Sunday, 27 November 2016

Bird Watching day out 27/11/2016

Driving past the water treatment works on the Abercynon back road this pylon is a good Cormorant roost, on the way out in the morning I counted 15 but when comming back later in the aftenoon this had risen to 21 (only twenty in the photo as one flew off). Good for bird watchers but not so good for the anglers, I can not see many fish being left in the Taff after this lot help themselves.



Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Just over the Border: Chalara Ash Dieback

Out for a walk, just below the lower Neuadd reservoir, to the south of the Brecon Beacons, on Sunday, I noticed a form of dieback on some Ash saplings, the like of which I hadn't seen before.
The tops two or three feet of most of them were dead and most of them showed dead lateral shoots which had also dies and where they joined the main stem, lesions were formed in the living bark. At the time, I strongly suspected that what I was seeing was Chalara Ash Dieback disease: formally called Chalara fraxinea (a name now reserved for the asexual form of the disease) and which is now called Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, and a search on the internet, once home confirmed it.

According to the forestry commission's distribution map  < >, it is now pretty widespread and was confirmed in that 10km square (SO01) in 2015 and in the same year, it was also confirmed in SO00; the square I live in, though I haven't yet noticed this type of dieback locally.

Sad times!

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Creigiau - Minotaur Beetle

Found this guy in Thursday night's moth trap - doing backstroke in a puddle of water in one of the egg boxes. Dried him out and he was ok to be released into the garden yesterday. I've never seen one of these before - a male Minotaur Beetle (Typhaeus typhoeus). Those horns are amazing ......

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Common Toad - Creigiau

First ever sighting of a Common Toad in the garden this morning. Probably quite young as it couldn't have been much more than 2 inches long.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Nettle Leaf Gall

The nettles in the garden are liberally covered with these galls caused by the nettle Leaf Gall Midge - Dasineura urticae. So, yesterday I put one of the leaves in a pot and this morning several of these small (approx 2mm) larvae were crawling around. S'pose that now I'll have to do some reading to find out when the flies emerge!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Psocoptera (Barkfly) query

Looking through old images and came across these two tiny little flies (2-3mm long). With the wings so much longer than the abdomen I think they are Barkflies or Psocoptera species.

This image was taken in May 2016, and looks very similar to Ectopsocus briggsi. If correct, there are no current records on Aderyn for East Glamorgan.

The other was seen in July 2016 but I'm not sure on this one. There appear to be several with similar wing venation.

Has anybody else seen/recorded any of these little beasties?

Monday, 3 October 2016

Eupterycyba jucunda

Found this little beauty on a towel, hanging out to dry near one of the raised beds. it's another little, <5mm, leafhopper that I've never seen before. Pretty confident on the ID, and, according to Aderyn,  it has previously been recorded in the 2 squares (ST17 & ST18) east of here.

Managed a couple of grab shots before the wind blew it into the flower bed.