The fields glisten as the suns early morning rays strike the dew, the watery cloak only missing around the sheep highway. The wheezy coo of a Wood Pigeon travels from the forest edge meanwhile a Song Thrush tilts its head and focuses on a surfacing earthworm, striking and obtaining the first food parcel for it’s offspring of the day.
Whilst wading through waist high bracken a flurry of Ringlet butterflies emerge into the air, a Golden-ringed dragonfly shoots through the fluttering mass in pursuit of midge. A breeze begins to accumulate as the suns heat intensifies, Common Buzzards rise from the tree tops flying effortlessly over the hillsides. Alarming Swallows give away the presence of a passing Hobby darting through the valley.
As evening approaches, I find myself walking along a track, pipistrelle bats float up and down the forestry rides. Suddenly a badger emerges from the long grass, stopping and sniffing the air. The fragrance of hedgerow honeysuckle fills the air, however it is not the plant’s scent that unnerves the badger, it is that of another mammal, a potential predator, which proves too much and the badger runs off into the distance. Upon reaching the forest edge I am greeted by a golden sky as the sun begins to disappear behind the hills. A Nightjar awakens, its churring carried upon a slight breeze, the sound uninterrupted for minutes at a time. The churring stops and is replaced by a round of applause as the bird’s wings clap together in display flight. The bird approaches and lands on a nearby perch its song echoing amongst the surrounding trees.
The fragrance of Honeysuckle fills the air at dusk.
Hello, so there we are, a snapshot of what a fine July day can offer at Lake Vyrnwy. Moving onto the weeks stats and facts, the lake played host to 30x Canada Geese, 20+ Mallard, 2+ Goosander, 5x Great Crested Grebe, 3x Cormorant, 3x Grey Heron, up to five pair of Common Sandpiper and 17x Lesser Black-backed Gull. Peregrine Falcons were sighted from the Lakeside Hide on a daily basis.
Large Red, Azure and Common Blue damselflies, Four-spotted Chaser and Golden-ringed Dragonfly remained on the wing alongside Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Large Skipper, and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary butterflies.
Ringlet dominated this weeks butterfly transect with 132 individuals counted.
Other interesting sightings included, Hummingbird Hawkmoth (near the Sculpture Park), 1x Hobby flew over Llanwddyn (5th), Swallow and Dipper chicks fledged around the dam, a family of Wheatear (Dinas Mawddwy Road) and Crossbill (daily, Red, Blue and Green Trails).
You may come across a smelly Stinkhorn fungus whilst walking along our trails at present.
Macrolepidoptera Of The Week
This week’s top moth was also the mystery creature in the following photo posted on our RSPB Mid Wales Facebook Page earlier in the week.
Well done to everyone who identified the creature as a moth, however if you managed to take your i.d. to the next level and named the creature as a Buff Arches, please give yourself a pat on the back now! The mystery photo zoomed into the distinctive white and orange-brown ‘arches’ which assist in the identification of this well-patterned and common UK moth.
Finally, if you would like to join us in search of Nightjar click on the following link for more details: http://www.rspb.org.uk/events/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-342011