Marloes and St Brides

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The most interesting insect on the peninsula is the Great Green Bush Cricket. Here it is very close to the northern limit of its range but it is quite common. The loud buzzing sound of its stridulations can be heard in the late afternoon wherever there are scruffy bits of hedgerow and bracken. On a suitable warm afternoon in August or September you can hear a singing male about every 50 metres along the road west of Marloes on the way to Martin’s Haven. Despite being huge - the size of a pea pod - they are very hard to see and are almost always further away then you imagine. The females are even more impressive with a large scythe-shaped ovipositor.

The grassy clifftops can be very good for butterflies. Common Blues can indeed be very common, with Small Coppers in accompaniment. The Coast Path and especially the dry stone walls can be good place for Wall Browns and Graylings - there is good spot for all these butterflies to the east of St Brides beach where there is a grassy cliff top then a beautiful flower-covered wall next to the path. In good years there will be Painted Ladies and Clouded Yellows here too. The Deer Park in July can be a very good spot for Dark Green Fritillaries.

As there are many pools and streams on the peninsula there is a good selection of dragonflies. (The author has recorded 14 species in the garden!) Hairy Dragonflies can be seen early in the year then the first Beautiful Demoiselles appear on suitable streams. Ponds can be covered in ovipositing Azure Damselflies which here seem to be more common then Common Blue Damselflies. Golden Ringed and Emperor dragonflies patrol the ponds whilst Four-spotted Chasers and Broad-bodied Chasers compete for perching rights. Settled quietly in the rushy stems there will be a few Emerald Damselflies. Later in the year Migrant Hawkers are usually the most common hawker.

Photos by Peter and RosemaryRoyle

For information about moth sightings in Pembrokeshire have look at the Moths blog HERE