24 May 2023

Conservation Volunteers’ Observations – toadpoles, orange tip butterflies and oak tree flowers

Conservation Volunteers

May 2nd

From Colin: 1 early Purple Orchid next to tree in usual spot by the path opposite the bent overhanging tree near Llyn Uchaf.  When first spotted there were 3 and the most have been 5.  However, the nearby Hostas seemed to have smothered the main group.

From Chris, John and Jean: We headed down to Llyn Felin Gat to check the woodcrete nest boxes.  On the way down through Cae Trawscoed Meadow we saw a Mistle Thrush in the large Ash on the right, Goldfinches went over the Meadow, a Blackcap singing.  We walked up the river from the spa water bath but no sign of the Flycatchers yet but a good view of a pair of Dippers mating just down from the waterfall. Also a Grey Wagtail in the river below the top bridge, invertebrates in bill. Probably nesting under the bridge.  Heard Green Woodpecker in woods. Lots of male and female Orange tips (Anthocharis cardamines) and some Green Veined Whites feeding on flowers. Coming back down the east side of Llyn Mawr, saw a male Stonechat in the scrubby marshland.  Going back up the side of Llyn Mawr saw one Greylag on the lake, two in Cae Blaen.  A Dunnock around the tables in the Stables Block.

May 9th

From Peter: We found a fungus at the entrance to Cae Trawscoed Meadow . My first thought was Psathyrella sp. gill adnate spore print red/brown but had an ID from Emily Ivens as Bolbitius titubans the Yellow Fieldcap . This fungus likes enriched meadows and the Genus Bolbitius suggests ‘of dung ‘. The species name translates as ‘staggering’ and this derives from it’s characteristic of tilting .. It is also hygrophanous which means that the cap is opaque when dry and transparent when wet. When fresh the cap is bright yellow but changes rapidly to a cream colour. Looking again at the phot , I could see remnants of the yellow on the cap.

From Maud, Hazel, Frances, Gilly  & Jan: 9 Moths, 7 Species – Chocolate Tip, 3 Flame Shoulder, Muslin Moth, Mullein, Pebble Prominent, Ruby Tiger, Lesser Swallow Prominent

The Mullein Moth caterpillars have been seen in the Growing the Future Garden but we have not seen one in the trap before.  The Chocolate Tip was first seen last year but it is unusual to see it this far west.  The Lesser Swallow Prominent we haven’t had before.

From Ruth: This morning the oak tree near the GGH absolutely dripping with flowers and underneath the holly also in flower. Ruth

Colin, Gary, John, Chris, Sue and Peter: Cae Trawscoed Meadow – lots of Southern Marsh Orchids in flower, Common Spotted mainly leaf.  Used to be able to count them, but too many now. Only 1 Orchid emerging from Mole Hill so they obviously have had an effect. In the Spur from Llyn Mawr, teaming with Frogpoles and at least 3 big clumps of toadpoles, plus lots of newly emerged very tiny Sticklebacks.  5 Green-Veined White Butterflies around the foliage near the bottom of the lower waterfalls.

Bird notes from Chris:

  • Cae Trawscoed Meadow – songs from Chaffinch, Robin, Song Thrush, Blackcap
  • Woods approach to Llyn Mawr – Great Tit, Blue Tit, Nuthatch, Song Thrush
  • Cae Trawscoed Wood – young Song Thrush and parent in undergrowth. Young Blackbird trying to eat Ivy Berries on the ground.
  • Me and John walked back over to the back of the Apothecary’s Hall and confirmed sighting of 2 Swifts overhead.  As a bonus  noted that there is a Starling nest in the roof space over the’Cwtsh’ icecream parlour  The adult was going into a ‘decorative’ hole on the side wall.  We could hear the young chattering inside.