North Cave Wetlands – 13/08/2016

A sunny but windy morning with a strong westerly leaving few sheltered areas suitable for macro photography. The wind however did have its benefits when it came to the Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator on the Dragonfly Ponds. Due to the wind it was regularly settling in its favoured corner of the eastern pond allowing several photo opportunities. On still days I have spent up to an hour here and never seen it settle. For the same reason a male Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis also posed well along the Western path, these usually a difficult species to photograph. Several Migrant Hawkers Aeshna mixta are also now in evidence, with at least half a dozen noted as I wandered around the site. Other species included a Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum down the side of the Maize Field, and good numbers of Common Darters Sympetrum striolatum around the site. A single Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa was found at the start of the Butterfly Walk, where several Common Blue Damselflies Enallagma cyathigerum and Blue-tailed Damselflies Ischnura elegans were also present. A few Black-tailed Skimmers Orthetrum cancellatum still around the site, though on this occasion I didn’t find any Four-spotted Chasers Libellula quadrimaculata, their season being almost over.

Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperatorEmperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator

Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandisBrown Hawker – Aeshna grandis

Ruddy Darter - Sympetrum sanguineumRuddy Darter – Sympetrum sanguineum

Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatumCommon Darter – Sympetrum striolatum

On the butterfly front the two highlights go to Brown Argus Aricia agestis, at start of the Butterfly walk, and Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus on the Northern Path. On checking my records the latter is a site first for me, so pleased to add that one to the list. Other species noted included Common Blue Polyommatus icarus, Small White Pieris rapi, Green-veined White Pieris napi, Large White Pieris brassicae, Peacock Inachis io, Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus.

Small Heath - Coenonympha pamphilusSmall Heath – Coenonympha pamphilus

Brown Argus - Aricia agestisBrown Argus – Aricia agestis

Peacock - Aglais ioPeacock – Aglais io

Gatekeeper - Pyronia tithonusGatekeeper – Pyronia tithonus

Small White - Pieris rapaeSmall White – Pieris rapae

Green-veined White - Pieris napiGreen-veined White – Pieris napi

Due to the wind very little else was photographed, the best of the rest shown below.

Myathropa floreaMyathropa florea

Helophilus pendulusHelophilus pendulus

Speckled Bush-cricket - Leptophyes punctatissimaSpeckled Bush-cricket – Leptophyes punctatissima

Bar-headed Goose - Anser indicusBar-headed Goose – Anser indicus

Common Sandpiper - Actitis hypoleucosCommon Sandpiper – Actitis hypoleucos

Full set of photos from the day can be found on my Flickr site.