Saturday 13 July 2013

Last Night, at Cwm Taf Fechan NR

Last night I joined Carys Solman (warden) and two volunteers, to run a trap at Cwm Taf Fechan nature reserve, just north of Merthyr Tydfil. The area trapped was some scrubby, calcareous grassland, alongside the river and in a very well vegetated, disused limestone quarry.
The temperatures were a few degrees lower than anticipated, with a light, cool breeze rolling down the valley from the Brecon Beacons, so the catch was not as good as it might have been. Caddis almost outnumbered the moths and everything, including the population of Wales was outnumbered by a veritable swarm of small, pale buff coloured flies, many of which died during the session, and congealed into drifts and clumps and also adhering to the trap. Although they didn't bite, the sheer numbers of them made carrying any task close to the trap and ordeal. I have never encountered the like before and hope never to do so again.
Anyway, running the trap from 21:35 til 01:40, the catch amounted to 53 species, the highlights, in no particular order, being:

Evergestis pallidata, Blomer's Rivulet (2), Beautiful Carpet, Clouded Magpie (12), Double Line (42), The coronet (4), Green Arches (6), Miller, Satin Lutestring (3) and Drinker (3).

Clouded Magpie

I hope to trap somewhere on the reserve again, later in the season.


  1. Interesting to hear about the flies, not sure of I mentioned it or not in an earlier post but I was plagued by hundreds (probably thousands) of small beetles a week or so ago. I ended up hoovering the trap out to get rid of them! I guess this warm weather is responsible.

  2. Could very well be, Adam. I saw your mention of the beetles. My notebook has several squashed specimens in it, so when I get the chance, I'll see if I can work out what they were. I don't think they were true flies and definitely not midges. I'm wondering if they were some sort of miniature caddis.