North Cave Weltands – 23/07/2017

Arrived late morning and managed about an hour of bright conditions before the rain set in. Highlight was my first Small Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma viridulum for the site on Far Lake, albeit a little distant. Previous experience of this species meant I went prepared with telescope, following Pete Hinks finding the first for the site a few days earlier on 20th. I managed to find a single male at the north-east corner of Carp Lake, viewed from where the bench used to be. Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and a few Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa were found in the dull conditions. The only other species noted was a single Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis in the brief sunny conditions and a female Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum found on the path by some other observers.

A few butterflies were on the wing, though the mainly dull conditions restricted these to predominantly the whites and browns as follows:- Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina, Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus, Green-veined White Pieris napi, Large White Pieris brassicae plus a single Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae. On the moth front a Dingy Footman Eilema griseola was found along the western path, Silver Y Autographa gamma along the northern path and Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae at the Dragonfly Ponds.

Meadow Brown - Maniola jurtinaMeadow Brown – Maniola jurtina

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

72.044 Dingy Footman - Eilema griseola72.044 Dingy Footman – Eilema griseola

Hoverfly wise a nice Scaeva pyrastri was along the northern path between showers, first time I’ve had chance to photograph this species. Other ‘hovers’ present included Episyrphus balteatus, Eristalis tenax and Volucella pellucens. Off the flies a new species for me was Physocephala rufipes, one of the Conopid species. Quite a few Twin-lobed Deerfly Chrysops relictus obvious today with several mating pair observed. The first Coremacera marginata have started to appear, one of the snail-killing flies. Finally in this group Broad Centurian Chloromyia formosa and Common Green Colonel Oplodontha viridula were noted.

Scaeva pyrastriScaeva pyrastri

Physocephala rufipesPhysocephala rufipes

Twin-lobed Deerfly - Chrysops relictusTwin-lobed Deerfly – Chrysops relictus

Coremacera marginataCoremacera marginata

Common Green Colonel - Oplodontha viridulaCommon Green Colonel – Oplodontha viridula

Along the western path a 4th instar nymph of Common Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina was found on the nettles, with Deraeocoris ruber and several Common Froghopper Philaenus spumarius also present.

Green Shieldbug - Palomena prasinaGreen Shieldbug – Palomena prasina

Common Froghopper - Philaenus spumariusCommon Froghopper – Philaenus spumarius

Deraeocoris ruberDeraeocoris ruber

Other miscelany induded a sedate Ruby-tailed Wasp Chrysis cf. ignita near carp lake, normally to active to photograph, along with a male Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lapidarius. A few adult Speckled Bush-cricket Leptophyes punctatissima were around Carp Lake, with a single Field Grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus also photographed. Finally one of the identifiable Caddis Flies Mystacides longicornis was at the north-west corner.

Ruby-tailed Wasp - Chrysis ignita sensu latoRuby-tailed Wasp – Chrysis cf. ignita

Large Red-tailed Bumblebee - Bombus lapidariusLarge Red-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus lapidarius

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

Field Grasshopper - Chorthippus brunneusField Grasshopper – Chorthippus brunneus

Mystacides longicornisMystacides longicornis

With the weather not playing ball today, the birds got a bit of a look in. A Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus was quartering the fields to the west of the reserve, heading north. A male Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra was singing from the bushes in the middle of North Field. Whilst scanning Far Lake for damselflies a Kingfisher Alcedo atthis flew past. Finally from Crosslands Hide, after taking refuge from a downpour, a Wood Sandpiper Circus aeruginosus and three Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos were on the Silt Lagoon.

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