With water levels exceptionally low now is a good time explore to those hard reach river side areas. Urban rivers can be rich pickings for naturalists with an often eclectic mix of native and not so native wildlife. With this in mind I called into a nice accessible spot on the Afon Llwyd at Ponthir. A wide pebbly margin was ripe for stone turning producing good numbers of ground beetles including Elaphrus cupreus. Plant life included the now omnipresent invasives of Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam. Here too were good stands of pendulous sedge and a some wood-club rush a plant somewhat surprisingly on the 2017 Monmouthshire Rare Plant Register. Also frequent were remote sedge and hairy brome. Other plants include figwort (with mullein moth caterpillar), water chickweed, lesser spearwort and brooklime.
|Mullein moth caterpillar|