A partially cloudy morning, temperatures in the high teens with a moderate westerly breeze blowing. A good dragonfly day with the dragonfly ponds really coming to life. Highlight was a male Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense briefly patrolling the margins of the eastern pond. Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator showing well, difficult to ascertain how many males present, however at least one visited every one of the five ponds. I managed to find at least seven exuvia of this species on the eastern pond. A female was also present ovipositing in the new western pond. The latter pond with its bare margins is currently a great spot to obtain good views of Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum, with several males present. Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata were on all of the ponds. Good numbers of Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella, Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans around the reserve.
Lepidoptera wise Cinnabar Tyria jacobaeae was new for the year, with several Celypha lacunana and a single Silver-ground Carpet Xanthorhoe montanata also noted. Large Skipper Ochlodes venatus, Common Blue Polyommatus icarus, Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta, Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria represented the butterfly contingent.
On the diptera front, Flecked General Stratiomys singularior was the highlight, found between Main and Carp Lake. Other soldierflies included Common Green Colonel Oplodontha viridula and Broad Centurian Chloromyia formosa. Not many hoverflies noted Eristalinus sepulchralis being the most abundant, with Episyrphus balteatus, Volucella bombylans, Volucella pellucens, Eristalis tenax completing the list. Several Sicus ferrugineus were also found around the site.
Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis has suddenly increased in number, usually only find this species in ones or twos, however 26 recorded today with a 50/50 split of adults and larvae. Good numbers of 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata also noted with lots of larvae and several pupae also found. Several Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle Agapanthia villosoviridescens again on this visit, with Cantharis livida, Malachite Beetle Malachius bipustulatus and Liophloeus tessulatus also noted.
Of the true bugs it was nice to find a Hairy Shieldbug Dolycoris baccarum along Dryham Lane, along with three Woundwort Shieldbug Eysarcoris venustissimus and a single Pied Shieldbug Tritomegas bicolor larvae. Other bugs included Grypocoris stysi near the South Hide, Common Froghopper Piraeus spumarius near Carp Lake and a possible Apple Capsid Lygocoris cf. rugicollis larvae along the western path.
Other miscellany included several Speckled Bush-cricket Leptophyes punctatissima along the lane and an Impunctate Mini-miner Andrena subopaca in the north-west corner. A couple of spiders noted were Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis and Wolf Spider Pardosa sp.
All photos from this visit can be found on my Flickr site.