Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Roesel's at last!

Within the giddy heights of Gwent orthoptera recording Roesel's bush cricket (Metrioptera roeselii ) was the most eagerly awaited new kid on the block. Known as a rapid coloniser it was expected to have spread quickly after the first county record from Dingestow Court about four years ago. But following false alerts from Solutia in Newport last year it wasn't until this year that the second record from a road verge in Cwmbran was confirmed by Roo Perkins.

Despite having 'prog rock' induced damaged hearing the very distinctive 'crackling' stridulation of this cricket was picked up from tall herbage close to the inlet at Llandegfedd Reservoir yesterday. After a protracted search one was found and obliged for some photography- there were at least three present.

When birds are a bit conspicuous by their absence inverts can full the gap and for me Llandegfedd Reservoir is now as important for bugs as it is for birds. A silver washed fritillary (Argynnis paphia ) flying strongly near to the North end park was a also new site record for me. Also plentiful was the distinctive kidney-spot ladybird (Chilocorus reinpustulatus) from sallows around Green Pool. The fast running ground beetle Bembidion dentellum was also easy to locate under stones in the draw down zone.

On the bird front - well not a lot. There was some indication of passerine movement with both chiffchaff and willow warbler in abridged autumn sub song. In my days of active bird ringing I remember LR being reasonably productive at this time of year for both species. A party of well over 100 Canada goose including the single Barnacle were close in the north end and amongst them was at least one with a shiny metal ring, maybe the product of the recent Llangorse Lake round up. Otherwise, there were 100's of great crested grebe and a single great black backed gull. 

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