Saturday, 23 August 2008

Along the Coast above Nefyn

Sue and I had a superb walk in some welcome Sunshine on Thursday. A Coolish breeze kept the temperatures down somewhat but nevertheless it as one of the warmer days in this misrable summer so far.

We found a nice large patch of Butterwort sp. My botanical skills are not up to identifying this one for certain but we think its common Butterwort. I have only seen this in one small patch in my home area of Calderdale but we found an area of seepage on the seashore which contained dozens of plants.

For once there were quite a variety of insects about and we found some huge (body length on around 1 inch !) what we think were a type of Ichneumons feeding on an umberllifer. They are possibly the largest Ichneumons we have ever seen and they presumably are parasitic on largish lepidoptera caterpillars.

We also saw various individuals of what I belive are type of Hoverfly called Helophilus but I am not able to definately ID to species for certain from the photos and I did not wish to take and kill a specimen simply to satisfy my curiosity.

Lots of birds around as usual but until I get my Digital SLR set and working I have no chance with the point and snap digital we use for close ups of plants and insects of getting any decent bird photos.
Photos from top down
1& 2 the Hoverfly
3&4 the Ichneumons
5&6 Butterwort

Last Nights Moths 22/8/08

Despite the hot sunny day the trap last night proved to be another dissapointment due to clearing skies and rapidly dropping temperatures. I did have another new life tick for my species in list with two individuals of Magpie Moth. I have never recorded this species before so was well pleased. Photos show Magpie Moth and the beetle Aphodius rufipes

Nicrophorus investigator
Aphodius rufipes


Blastobasis adustella
Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)
Flame Carpet (Xanthorhoe designata)
Magpie Moth (Abraxas grossulariata)
Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)
Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)
Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea)

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Last Nights Moths 20/8/08

The rather unsettled summer weather continues which unfortunately is lowering numbers and species range at the Actinic Moth Trap in my garden at Edern. Last night looked promising with cloudy skies and a warmish breeze but as the night progressed the rain got heavier and any sensible moths departed back to cover

Trap List
Nicrophorus investigator....beetle in the photo

Light Brown Apple Moth (Epiphyas postvittana)

Flame Carpet (Xanthorhoe designata)

Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata)

Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternata)

Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta)

Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)

Common Rustic agg. (Mesapamea secalis agg.)

Friday, 15 August 2008

Maya 1993-2008

Some photos of our beloved old Springer Spaniel , Maya who sadly died after only two months in her new home on the Llyn. At least her last couple of months were spent in the lanes and on the beaches she had enjoyed over the last three years of our visits to the Llyn. Maya came to us at the advanced age of nine from Springer Spaniel Rescue and despite not having much of a life before she quickly took to long walks, swims and the out door life in general, chasing seagulls and ducks was her second favorite occupation after eating ! For an old dog she discovered how to be an overgrown pup again and spent hours hill walking with Sue and I even though it took some weeks for her pads to harden up so that she could walk comfortably. She also learned how to swim by the simple method of jumping in the local canal in pursuit of ducks. Her swimming grew increasingly strong as we discovered when she swam out into the bay at Criccieth on one of our first visits to the Llyn. She was hot pursuit of some seagulls she felt sure she could catch if only she could swim out a little further ! We knew she had reached an advanced age at 15, but hoped the sea air on the Llyn could give her a few more years yet, sadly it was not to be, but at least she enjoyed life and the Llyn to the very end.

Gone but not forgotton, Maya... March 1993- August 2008

Out and About

First post for some time due to a combination of bad weather, visitors, trips back to Yorkshire and the sad death of my Springer Spaniel Maya.
Sue and I have had some cracking cycle rides this week in much better weather than was forecast at the start of the week. We have been mainly on the route we take via Tudweiliog, Sarn, Rhiw, back along the coast and then up to Mynytho, across the Peninsular and back to Edern. the small sheltered lanes with "clouths" which in the main are like mini hay-meadows. Most common butterfly at the moment is Gatekeeper which is around in huge numbers despite some of the poor weather we have experienced this year. Its not uncommon to see 5 or 6 Gatekeepers feeding on one flower and counts of 30 to 40 in well flowered and sheltered spots is not unusual. This abundance is a real eye-opener for someone who has spent is life in an area when its unusual to see 30-40 butterflies in a week sometimes !

Species seen in the last week
Common Blue,Small Copper,Painted Lady,
Small Tortoiseshell,Peacock,Red Admiral,
Gatekeeper,The Wall ,Meadow Brown,
Large White,Small White Green Veined White,Small Heath

Lots of individuals of a Dor Beetle seen in the last week on just about any part of the Llyn we have cycled or walked. Not sure of the species but its a beautiful colour. There are also large numbers of Grasshoppers around at the moment, again not too sure of species but boy are they around in some numbers ! One species which is also now probably extinct in my home town of Halifax is Garden Tiger. Its reasonably frequent to light on the campsite and we have found the larvae (and removed to safety) crossing many of the lanes we have cycled in the last week.