Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) at Pembrey Burrows. (Photo R.D.Pryce)Llanelli Naturalists Newsletter - October 2002 - No 6
Ian Morgan

Little recording was reported in 2001, with the exception of the work done by Wendell Thomas and Malcolm Holding at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, Penclacwydd, Llanelli 21/53-98- etc.  Interesting records here included a brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni on 8/5, marbled whites Melanargia galathea on 25/6 and a single wandering silver-washed fritillary Argynnis paphia on 22/8.  The first brimstone of the year, however, was a male rapidly flying through a woodland-edge garden at Denham Avenue, Llanelli 22/495013 on 1/4 (and subsequently seen there on 26/4); this species was also noted at the Horsebox Pond, Pwll 22/470010 on 21/4 by Arthur Chater et al and in Pembrey Forest 22/387030 on 7/5.  Nearby (at 22/380033), a green hairstreak Callophrys rubi was also seen.  Pembrey Forest also yielded records of silver-washed fritillaries – on bramble flowers at Pembrey Country Park 22/397007 on 11/7 and near ‘The Scrape’ in the NW part of the forest 22/378038 on 14/7.  Another long-known site for silver-washed fritillaries is the Brechfa-Abergorlech area and one was observed at Dolgafros 22/482287 on 13/8. A healthy number (12) of dark green fritillaries Argynnis aglaja were flying around their regular haunt at the ‘Bee Orchid Ride’ 22/370035 in Pembrey Forest on 14/7.  The open dunes of the southern arm of Pembrey Burrows 21/420993, still fortunately relatively unaffected by the inexorable spread of sea buckthorn and other rank vegetation, had numerous small blues Cupido minimus and graylings Hipparchia semele on 1/8.

Tony Braithwaite who records around his home  ‘Nantyllyn’ 22/671493 near Ffarmers in N. Carmarthenshire, communicated several records of interest, including green hairstreaks on 7/5 and small pearl-bordered fritillaries Boloria selene on 3 dates in late June and early July.

To summarize, 2001 was an unremarkable year, with the overwhelming majority of species being recorded from previously known localities and the low number of records of many species simply reflecting low recorder effort and the appropriate time of year.