North Cave Wetlands – 23/10/2016

Overcast afternoon, before finally brightening up, with a North-easterly breeze. Before leaving the car park the only Butterfly of the day, a stunning Comma Polygonia c-album, was sunning itself  on the Brambles, a nice start. Was surprised to find three Gorse Shieldbugs Piezodorus lituratus along Dryham Lane in the section bordering Village Lake. At this time of year they begin to take on a purple tinge before hibernating. A Common Froghopper Philaenus spumarius was also found along this section of the Lane, along with a few active Common Darters Sympetrum striolatum.

Comma - Polygonia c-albumComma – Polygonia c-album

Gorse Shieldbug - Piezodorus lituratusGorse Shieldbug – Piezodorus lituratus

Common Froghopper - Philaenus spumariusCommon Froghopper – Philaenus spumarius

Several Snipe Gallinago gallinago were being flushed from Dryham Ings, the cause finally revealing itself to be a female Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus. Two Little Egrets Egretta garzetta were on Cell A of the Ings, along with a lone Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus. The Green Woodpecker Picus viridis was also in this area along the Lane.

Whooper Swan - Cygnus cygnusWhooper Swan – Cygnus cygnus

Little Egret - Egretta garzettaLittle Egret – Egretta garzetta

Before entering Crosslands Hide a new Plant Bug species was found. This appears to be Phytocoris varipes based on the length of the hairs on the first antennal segment! Very little of interest on the Silt Lagoons apart from a single Redshank Tringa totanus.

Phytocoris varipesPhytocoris varipes

In the far North-west corner several Siskins Carduelis spinus were feeding in the Alders, though very little else was found from here to the Maize Field. A caterpillar found on Nettles adjacent to the Maize Field still needs to be confirmed, but appears to be a 3rd instar Ruby Tiger Phragmatobia fuliginosa larva.

Ruby Tiger - Phragmatobia fuliginosaRuby Tiger – Phragmatobia fuliginosa

The sun broke through at Island Lake, and although it was late afternoon several skeins of Pink-footed Geese Anser brachyrhynchus were seen heading North, totalling around 650 birds. 26 Snipe G. gallinago were present, with several of the Wildfowl species now beginning to look smart again as the lose their eclipsed plumage.

Snipe - Gallinago gallinagoSnipe – Gallinago gallinago

Pink-footed Goose - Anser brachyrhynchusPink-footed Goose – Anser brachyrhynchus

Gadwall - Anas streperaGadwall – Anas strepera

Teal - Anas creccaTeal – Anas crecca

Shoveler - Anas clypeataShoveler – Anas clypeata

Mallard - Anas platyrhynchosMallard – Anas platyrhynchos

Full set of photos from this visit can be found on my Flickr site.