Dragonflies in Brecknock

Scarce blue tailed damselflyScarce blue tailed damselfly

Where to see Dragonflies

Llangors lake (c) Jon PimmLlangorse Lake (SAC & SSSI)

This is the largest natural lake in South Wales. It is a popular place with people looking for wildlife as well as boating enthusiasts and anglers. It has a wide range of plants and animals including at least 16 species of dragonfly and hosts the largest area of reedbeds in inland Wales.

How to get there: Public access is limited to the south and west margins of the lake. Parking is available at the Lakeside car park on the northern perimeter of the lake at grid reference SO 128 271. The Lakeside car park has room for lots of cars and there is also a cafe and boat hire in the summer. Parking for approximately 6 cars is also available at the Llangasty end of the lake where there is a bird hide. The bird hide is about 800m from the parking area and is accessible via a boardwalked meadow where you can spot many damselflies in June and hawkers in late summer.

Grid reference: SO 128 271. Nearest postcode: LD3 7TH.

Best time to go: Late May to June for large numbers of damsels including Variable, wide range from June including Migrant Hawkers in September/October

Potential Species: Beautiful Demoiselle, Banded Demoiselle, Emerald Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Variable Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Four-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Common Darter.

More information on the lake itself (external link)

Brechfa Pool & Common (SSSI & BWT Nature Reserve)

This is a small shallow-bottomed lake managed by the Brecknock Wildlife Trust. The number of species of dragonflies seen at this site does vary from year to year; it is also good for seeing water birds and home to rare plants including an aquatic fern called pillwort. If you walk up the hill from the main Pool you will find smaller pools on the Common. 

How to get there: The site is an open access reserve. To get to the site, follow the A470 south from Llyswen. After about 1.5 mile, turn right onto a lane. The lane leads to Brechfa Common and the pool is on the right after the cattle grid. There is limited parking opposite the small chapel – please do not drive on the turf of the common.

Grid Reference: SO 118 377. Nearest postcode: LD3 0NL.

Best time to go: June to September

Potential species: Emerald Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, Common Hawker, Southern Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Four-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Black Darter, Common Darter, Red-veined Darter.

More information on Brechfa Pool

 

Penlan Ponds

Of the three ponds situated behind Brecon Leisure Centre, the middle pond near the tennis courts offers close views of several species in small numbers. On warm days in August the flowery areas around the pond can be good for butterflies, with the chance of elusive Purple Hairsteaks in the oak trees.

How to get there: Park in Brecon Leisure Centre car park and walk down the hill next to the leisure centre entrance; the first and largest pond is straight in front of you, follow the path around the left edge of the pond to get to the other two ponds. Alternatively these ponds can be walked to in about five minutes from Brecon Town centre through Bellevue Road along the 'safe route to school' footpath.

Best time to go: June to September

Potential species: Beautiful Demoiselle, Emerald Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Migrant Hawker, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, Broad-bodied Chaser, Common Darter.

Grid reference: SO 050 293

 

Mynydd Illtyd 

Mynydd Illtyd Common is open access land managed by the Brecon Beacons National Park. Within the common, there are several pools which are good sites for dragonflies. Two of these, Traeth Mawr and Traeth Bach are within the Illtyd Pools Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which are situated on the western end of the common. Traeth Mawr is a large, shallow rainwater-fed raised mire; Traeth Bach is a shallow spring-fed basin mire. Traeth Mawr is dangerous and it is not advised that you walk in the swamp area, but walking the first 100m beside the Camlais stream from the road bidge can give rewarding dragonfly sightings. There are shallow pools east of the BBNP Visitor Centre some of these dry out but are worth checking if you are in the area.

There have been 16 Odonata species recorded and the site is also home to rare plants, birds and spiders. The reserve is open access but beware as there are thin layers of vegetation covering deep pools.

How to get there: To visit Daudraeth Illtyd Nature Reserve, you can park in a pay and display car park at the National Park Visitor Centre which is also known locally as ‘the Mountain Centre’ or ‘Libanus Visitor Centre’. This is 5 miles southwest of Brecon and 15 miles north of Merthyr Tydfil, the postcode is LD3 8ER. The nearest village is Libanus. You can walk to the pools from the Visitor Centre.

Alternatively take the A470 south from Brecon, after the village of Libanus, turn right onto the A4215. There is a footpath from the A4215 Libanus to Defynnog road which leads to Traeth Bach.

Best time to go: June to September

Potential species: Emerald Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, Common Hawker, Southern Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Four-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Keeled Skimmer, Black Darter, Common Darter.

Grid reference: SN 967 256. Nearest postcode: LD3 8ER.  

 

Pant y Llyn.

In the hills between Upper Chapel and Builth Wells is a large open lake and a swamp. Wheatears, Whinchats and Curlews nest nearby and there are fine views over the Irfon and Wye valleys.

How to get there: Turn off the B4520 on the minor road towards Erwood and park at SO 036 459. Walk up the clear track north for about half a mile, and go carefully round the swampy area in waterproof boots.

Best time to go: June to September

Potential species: Emerald Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Common Hawker, Emperor Dragonfly, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Four-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Black Darter, Common Darter.

Grid reference: SO 040 466

 

To send a dragonfly record to Keith Noble the County Dragonfly Recorder for Brecknock please e-mail knoble.kn@btinternet.com

 

British Dragonfly Society website

British Dragonfly Society in Wales website