Monday, 28 July 2008

This Weekends Heatwave

Lots of interesting insects and birds around this weekend, mainly spotted on the coast or Garn Fadryn whilst trying to get some breeze to cool off !
Garden Tigers (top two photos)keep arriving at the tiny actinic trap in the garden of my caravan most nights. Next photo show a Bee Moth (Aphomia sociella), they feed as caterpillars inside bee and wasp nests and can be a pest of bee hives. Seems to be quite common of the Llyn as I record them most nights. Next photo shows a pair of Gatekeeper butterflies in cop. This species is one of the most common species seen around the peninsular so far this summer whilst out walking and cycling.
Most spectacular bird sighting of the weekend was very close views of a Merlin as it flew alongside our car on the road up to Garn Fadryn village. We also had close views of Ravens feeding on a recently deceased Sheep carcase in a field below Garn Fadryn

Friday, 25 July 2008

Last Nights Moths 25/7/08

1356 Garden Pebble (Evergestis forficalis)

1439 Trachycera advenella

1634 The Lackey(Malacosoma neustria)

1651 Chinese Character (Cilix glaucata)

1713 Riband Wave (Idaea aversata)

1713 Riband Wave [non-banded form] (Idaea aversata ab. remutata)

1722 Flame Carpet (Xanthorhoe designata)

1728 Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata)

1808 Sandy Carpet (Perizoma flavofasciata)

1809 Twin-spot Carpet (Perizoma didymata)

1922 Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)

1931 Peppered Moth (Biston betularia)

1941 Mottled Beauty (Alcis repandata)

1961 Light Emerald (Campaea margaritata)

2030 Yellow-tail (Euproctis similis)

2050 Common Footman (Eilema lurideola)

2107 Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)

2118 True Lover's Knot (Lycophotia porphyrea)

2160 Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea)

2198 Smoky Wainscot (Mythimna impura)

2284 Grey Dagger (Acronicta psi)

2293 Marbled Beauty (Cryphia domestica)

2321 Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha)

2441 Silver Y (Autographa gamma)
A nice spread of species in the trap this morning. The single specimen of the Lackey (male) was a new life tick for me (photo courtesy of Ian Kimbers UK Moths website)

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Llwyndyrys and Penllech butterflies and moths

At last some summer weather to boost the butterfly and moth sightings! Our time is mostly spent between a coastal location (Penllech, Llangwnnadl) and woodland (Llwyndyrys, near Llithfaen) when we are in Llyn. In the week so far we have seen the following butterflies at the Llwyndyrys woods:

  • Small skipper

  • Red Admiral

  • Green-veined white

  • Large white

  • Comma

  • Speckled wood

  • Meadow brown

  • Ringlet

At Penllech, on the coast, the focus has mostly been on the moths, with a 15W actinic Skinner trap run on several evenings near the cliff-top. Not having a systematic list here I apologise for using only the English names of the moths found so far:

  • Six-spot Burnet (day-time on cliffs)

  • Drinker

  • Chinese character

  • Buff arches

  • Grass emerald

  • Single-dotted wave

  • Riband wave

  • Flame carpet

  • Red twin-spot carpet

  • Shaded broad-bar

  • Common carpet

  • Purple bar

  • Barred straw

  • July highflyer

  • Sharp-angled carpet

  • Sandy carpet

  • Clouded border

  • Brimstone moth

  • Early thorn

  • Scalloped oak

  • Yellow-tail

  • Dingy footman

  • Common footman

  • Garden tiger

  • Ruby tiger

  • Heart and dart

  • Crescent dart

  • Dark sword-grass

  • Flame shoulder

  • Large yellow underwing

  • Lesser broad-bordered yellow underwing

  • True lover's knot

  • Ingrailed clay

  • Bright-line brown-eye

  • Broad-barred white

  • Lychnis

  • Brown-line bright-eye

  • Clay

  • Smoky wainscot

  • Shark

  • Dark arches

  • Light arches

  • Common rustic agg

  • Uncertain
  • Rustic
  • Mottled rustic

  • Pale mottled willow

  • Gold spot

  • Dark spectacle

  • Fan-foot

Hopefully the weather will keep up for the next few days too!

PS The pictures show, in order, the Small skipper, Drinker, Gold spot and Six-spot burnet

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Around Garn Fadryn 20/7/08

A Lovely stroll along the track running below Garn Fadryn this afternoon in glorious sunshine produced an abundance of wildlife and stunning views of the coast around the Llyn.
I recorded one individual of The Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus) a rather nice looking butterfly, our first record of this species in the area. We also saw Meadow Brown and Small White Butterflies. We watched a pair of Merlins displaying spectacular acrobatics in the stiff breeze along the slopes of Garn Fadryn, they really are masters of the air ! Other birds seen included Stonechats, Pied Wagtail, Ravens and a solitary Buzzard.
Top photo shows the Gatekeeper
Lower Photo what has to be one of the best views in Britain, Looking down from Garn Fadryn towards Nefyn and the Rivals

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Last Nights Moths 18/7/08

Below is a list of moths caught and released from my garden actinic moth trap in Edern. The photos show Small Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila porcellus) and Yellow Tail (Euproctis similis), the last a new life species for me

0873 Blastobasis adustella
0998 Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)
1304 Agriphila straminella
1713 Riband Wave (Idaea aversata)
1724 Red Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe spadicearia)
1728 Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata)
1858 V-Pug (Chloroclystis v-ata)
1887 Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata)
1906 Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)
1921 Scalloped Oak (Crocallis elinguaria)
1922 Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)
1992 Small Elephant Hawk-moth (Deilephila porcellus)
2030 Yellow-tail Euproctis similis
2050 Common Footman (Eilema lurideola)
2089 Heart and Dart (Agrotis exclamationis)
2107 Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)
2111 Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthe)
2120 Ingrailed Clay (Diarsia mendica)
2199 Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens)
2216 Shark (Cucullia umbratica)
2321 Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha)
2343x Common Rustic agg. (Mesapamea secalis agg.)

Garden Tiger (Arctia caja)

The most spectacular moth to my garden lights this week has been Garden Tiger. A large stunningly marked species, sadly in decline in Britain for reasons that are as yet unclear. Its seems to be around in decent numbers on the Llyn as I have found it in several places as both larvae (Wooly Bears) and as adults in recent years.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii)

Found this beautiful creature flying along a lane near Edern yesterday. I know little about Dragonflies, but think its Golden Ringed Dragonfly. A large species which is not often seen in my home county of West Yorkshire

Friday, 18 July 2008

Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)

Being new to the area I am not sure how common this species is on the Llyn, but in my home area of Calderdale in West Yorkshire it seems to be species now spreading throughout the area. The only specimen of Ringlet I have seen so far was on Nefyn beach of all places on 14th July this year. Ringlets are a species of Grassland usually not beaches, so I assume it had been blown down from the grassy areas above the beach. Its a widespread on damp grassland throughout Britain and Ireland. Dark brown butterfly. Underwing has distinctive eyespots: white centre, black inner ring and outer yellow ring. Similar to male Meadow Brown.

Thanks to Winston and Charly for the loan of the images

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria)

Despite the heavy rain and storms around the Llyn in recent weeks I have seen good numbers of this butterfly on most minor road verges around the area. Despite being a recent colonist further north in my home county of West Yorkshire, its the most likely to be seen butterfly from late March right through until October. Hopefully the same will occur here.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Ringed Plovers

We have been watching several Ringed Plovers on the beach at Nefyn most mornings since the beginning of June when we first moved to the area. One pair in particular caught our eye as they obviously had young on the beach, they did the usual "broken wing" flutter to try and draw us away from the young on different areas of the beach most mornings. We eventually spotted two very small chicks running amongst the pebbles as the adults tried to draw us away. Over the last month we have watched the one surviving chick getting bigger and its now hard to tell from the adults, except in its seeming inability to fly yet. Sue and I found the fact the Ringed Plovers would breed on such a public beach amazing enough, but for at least one chick to survive not only gulls, people and dogs but the awful storms and rain we have had over late June and now July even more amazing !

Friday, 4 July 2008

Welcome to a new blog for the Llyn

As a newcomer to the area and its spectacular wildlife & scenery and with a for now limited knowledge of its hidden secrets, I hope others with more knowledge of what has to be the most beautiful part of Britain will want to contribute to this blog and help record the seasonal changes to its flora and fauna.