I had not been to south Wales since an undergraduate field course to Pembrokeshire in 1995 so a return trip has been long over due.
My wife had work commitments in Swansea so we met up with her, picked her up and carried on to a cottage that we'd booked on Air B'n'B.
My main target for the weekend was to see the strandline beetle Eurynebria complanata. This is found on either side of the Bristol channel and during the day lives under tideline debris like drift wood and more recently, bits of plastic.
With a bit of gen from the Pan Listing Facebook group, we spent most of the first day visiting Whiteford sands. The weather was sunny but with a cool wind but basically absolutely gorgeous.
There was no one else around and we only saw 2 or 3 other people all day. We dumped our bags on the edge of the dunes and then started searching.
We quickly found a couple of Broscus cephalotes under a piece of wood. Interestingly these were the only ones we saw. There were also plenty of staphs and what appeared to be Aphodius spp. too.
After about 10 mins we turned a log and were greeted with this sight.
In total we saw about 50 Eurynebria along a mile stretch of beach, under many of the bits of debris that were up near the high tide mark.
We also saw plenty of Dune Tiger beetles. What I noticed is that the sand has to be firmer with a higher number of small pebbles embedded for this species to occur. It's similar in Norfolk too. You can be wandering about looking for them in what seems like good habitat and you don't see any, but it just takes a small change in the substrate and suddenly they are everywhere.
There were loads of other goodies too. Some of which I'm still identifying.....
|Harpalus neglectus (left) and tarda (right)|
|Underside of Harpalus neglectus|
|Aphodius (Liothorax) plagiatus|
|Cafius sp. (still not quite sure which!)|
All in all everyone had a good day out and the weather held. I really want to get back for another visit to that part of the world ASAP!