Ceredigion Moths were back with us on the 11th this month, trapping some of the more autumnal species such as pink-barred sallow, centre-barred sallow, and frosted orange, which gave a seasonal feel to the session. Other species included; copper underwing, common marbled carpet, angle shades, pinion-streaked snout, canary-shouldered thorn, September thorn, flame carpet, gold spot, small phoenix, spruce carpet, and rosy rustic. A grey dagger Acronicta psi larva at Ynys Eidiol screen on the 13th was a pleasing record for the moth group, as it is extremely difficult to separate this species from dark dagger Acronicta tridens at the adult stage without dissection. Larval foodplants include hawthorn, birch, rowan, and apple. A small copper near Breakwater on the 12th could possibly have been a 3rd generation at this time of year. An otter was seen from Saltings hide on the 17th.
In bird news, 2 kingfishers were seen from Marian Mawr on the 10th, multiple records of juvenile marsh harrier were reported between the 16th and the 19th, a merlin on the 20th, and two noisy, squabbling peregrines passed over Marian Mawr, also on the 20th. The barnacle geese influx is well under way, with a total of 420 recorded on the 20th, and a little under 400 between Domen Las and Breakwater hide on the 21st. Teal, wigeon, and pintail numbers have also begun to build as the days get colder, and linnets have been seen congregating in preparation for their imminent departure.
Now is a good time to look for glue fungus on the reserve. A dark, initially unassuming species which grows on hazel, in the autumn it becomes impressively sticky, trapping fallen twigs to the stems on which it grows.
Glue fungus, Hymenochaete corrugata (Chris Goding)
Wednesday last week was significant for the publication of The State of Nature Wales 2016, part of a UK wide suite of reports detailing the abundance and distribution trends of nearly 10,000 species, and representing the culmination of a vast number of hours spent monitoring and number crunching across a large range of conservation bodies. The outcome for Wales is mixed, with many vascular plants and butterflies in particular in decline since the 1970s. An overview can be found here http://bit.ly/2d3Kl2E, and read the full report here http://bit.ly/2dh2hDn.
Until next time...
Little Egret, Egretta garzetta, Domen Las (Karen Burns)