Saturday, 12 July 2014

Mynydd Aberdar

With the forecasters promising a warm, muggy night, with light winds, I thought it would be ideal weather conditions to try and open, upland site, so I decided to trap near the parish road between Abernant and Heolgerrig, choosing a site on the Cynon Valley side of the border. As it turned out, the temperatures fell well short of those forecast, with single figures being reached, just after midnight and a minimum of 8.50 C at 03:00, when I began packing up. Coupled with the clear skies and full moon, the catch was undoubtedly lower than hoped for.
That said, it wasn't too bad and 62 species were recorded, the highlights being Grass Emerald (used to be a regular to my trap, but now I rarely see them), Gold Spot, Gold Speck, Drinker, Northern Spinach and best of all, a single Scarce Silver Y: the main reason I was there at all.

Gold Spot

Gold Spangle

Scarce Silver Y
The GMS catch on the garden trap wasn't too bad either, with 34 species, the highlights being Monochroa cytisella, of which I had 21, a Welsh Wave and a Gothic, the latter being only a very, very occasional occurrence for me, either in the garden or trapping out in the valley.

While trapping up on Mynydd Aberdar, the clear skies enabled me to witness a few of astronomical spectaculars, including a slow moving meteor, with a white head and orange tail and most exciting of all, the best display of Noctilucent Clouds I've seen in years. They appeared between two and three, while I was sorting and recording the catch, I noticed them glowing in the dark N. Eastern sky while taking something back to the car and by 03:55, when I had finished packing up and was leaving the site, they had faded out, to be replaced by the growing light of dawn.


  1. Thanks David. As you know, these upland sites (in this case 410m) are always good for them. As well and the singles of Gold Speck and Scarce Silver Y, and five of the Gold Spot, I also had a Beautiful Golden Y.