It's my 'just in time' approach to project management that had me finishing off my presentation for the recent Gwent Wildlife Trust Grasshoppers and Crickets training course just the day before it need to be rolled out. Despite my misgivings about cumulative SSSI impacts by stealth, Welsh Water's Watersports Centre at Llandegfedd Reservoir was a nice venue for a course. Spacious room and balcony over looking the reservoir was complete with excitable teenagers, canoeing, falling in and screaming with adolescent fun - those were the days!
A friendly bunch of attendees stoically endured my morning biology and identification Powerpoint session. After lunch it was in convoy around the lanes to the Glascoed end of the reservoir for a couple of hours of practical field work. We were joined by Gavin Vella who had been out all day waiting for the summering osprey to appear instantly pointing a large moth, probably red underwing, resting motionless high up on tree trunk.
The troop of budding orthoperists moved on to the nearby meadows where excitement was barely contained as Roesel's bush cricket was netted followed quickly by long and short winged coneheads. Further vegetation bashing turned in meadow and field grasshopper and speckled and dark bush cricket. A successful day was rounded off by some keen naturalists sniffing and reeling back at the pungent smell of a potted sexton beetle caught by Elaine Wright. The smell of death is the trademark of this coleoptera.