Having spent the last 2 years hoping that I would stumble upon a population of Marsh Fritillaries or Green Hairstreaks in Neath Port Talbot and failing miserably, this year I thought I'd see what I've been missing. To Welsh Moor then..
On arrival Rob and Jenny Colley were at the parking area and I was very please to hear from them that the numbers of Marsh Fritillaries on show were extremely good. As we enjoyed a quick chat at least 4 Marsh Frits flew past us but didn't stop for me to get a look at them properly. As Rob and Jenny left I headed in the area they suggest I should look, along the southern edge of the moor that was sheltered from the wind. What followed was one of my most memorable 'insect days!' I walked out along the southern edge and then back to the car along a route about 50 to 100m in from the edge. Marsh Fritillaries were 100+ strong. There were also 17 Green Hairstreak; they were mainly defending territories in small groupings along the wooded edge but also at least 3 set back from the edge.
I thought my luck was in when a Narrow-bordered Bee Hawkmoth looked quite settled in a small area until it was chased off by a Marsh Fritillary. Another sighting about 40mins later might have been another individual or the same one from earlier?
A quick stop at Pengwern Common on the way back didn't produce the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries (I think I stopped at the wrong spot?) but a quick look around the area did produce 1 Mother Shipton and another 5 Marsh Fritillaries.