We have many different wildlife habitats at Plas Farm which makes it a great holiday destination for nature lovers. One of the most fascinating things to spot in the Welsh countryside are dragonflies. Two of the largest species found at Plas Farm are the Golden Ringed Dragonfly and the Common Hawker.
Common Hawker at Plas Farm in Wales
We are very keen to find more and if you think you know a thing or two about dragonflies, then come on holiday to Wales and help us find them!
1. Golden Ringed Dragonfly Cordulegaster boltonii
The Golden Ringed Dragonfly restlessly patrols the skies above thistle patches in some of the fields at Plas Farm, attacking any unfortunate insects that fall within its sights. It is easy to spot being Britain’s largest dragonfly – its black and yellow warning bands help to deter birds and up close, its prominent eyes and fearsome mouthparts are a sight to behold. This insect is found principally on the western side of Britain and it is absent from much of England.
2. Common Hawker Aeshna juncea
This dragonfly is widespread and locally common throughout Wales and the UK. It flies from mid June to October and the best place to spot one during your cottage holiday is at the edges of woodland near boggy ground. The insect in the picture was seen on a hazelnut tree in the fields that lead from the cottages to the mountain. Common Hawkers like to breed in small acid pools and are so named as, typically, they restlessly patrol their territory looking for prey – other insects which they catch while flying.
Dragonflies are among the most ancient of living creatures. Fossil records, clearly recognisable as dragonflies, go back to Carboniferous times which means that they date back almost 300 million years, predating pterodactyls by 100 million years and birds by some 150 million. It would he tragic if, after surviving such an unimaginable number of years, it should be our generation that witnesses the decline of these fascinating and beautiful insects.
The British Dragonfly Society promotes and encourages the study and conservation of dragonflies and their natural habitats, especially in the United Kingdom. In the past 40 years Britain has lost three species of dragonfly and a third of the remainder are threatened with extinction in the UK. The BDS works to stop and reverse this trend.
Swansea Valley Holiday Cottages are proud supporters of the British Dragonfly Society. We are happy to provide a 5% discount on any holidays to members of the British Dragonfly Society.
Our holiday cottages are ideal for dragonfly enthusiasts as there are many excellent sites within easy reach in South Wales such as Kenfig Nature Reserve. In the summer, it is an amazing sight to see the mamny different species of dragonfly hunting over the pond in the afternoon. Kenfig Nature Reserve is a twenty minute drive from cottages.
Did you know that the Welsh word for Dragonfly is Gwas Y Neidr which means ‘The Snake’s Servant’?