Sunny afternoon with intermittent clouds, gentle westerly breeze blowing with temperatures just in to double figures. Only managed to cover the areas bordering Carp and Far lake, so not a full site account. First Odonata of the season was a nice find, with a female Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula found along the western path. Sign of things to come.
A good day for hoverfly species with two new lifers found. First was on the gate at the west side of Main Lake. As I approached the gate I noticed what looked like a small Eristalis, so thought it was worth a closer look. The grey stripes on top of the thorax and spots on the wings making it a distinctive species, Ferdinandea cuprea. Unfortunately it flew off before I had chance to grab a photo. Another new one for me was Baccha elongata along the west path, this one posing well for the camera. Other species noted included Platycheirus albimanus, Melanostoma scalare, Epistrophe eligans, Helophilus pendulus, Rhingia campestris, Eristalis pertinax, Cheilosia pagana, Leucozona lucorum and several Syrphus sp. Another pair of flies photographed were one of the picture-winged flies Euleia heraclei.
Bugs and butterflies. Healthy number of Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines around the site at the moment, though the males rarely settling during their quest for a female. Only other species seen was Green-veined White Pieris napi. A nice Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina was on a Silver Birch along the western path, a few Pied Shieldbugs Tritomegas bicolor were on the nettles bordering the brambles at south-east corner of Carp Lake.
A few beetles noted including Polydrusus cervinus, a small weevil only 4mm in length. Mark Gurney’s guide to Polydrusus and Phyllobius species being an excellent tool, which has helped me identify several different species at North Cave Wetlands. Good numbers of Green Nettle Beetle Phyllobius pomaceus now obvious and several Cereal Leaf beetle Oulema melanopus s.l. are now also appearing. First 14-spot Ladybird Propylea quattuordecimpunctata of the season also noted.
A few of the bee species encountered included Early Mining Bee Andrena haemorrhoa and Hawthorn Mining Bee Andrena chrysosceles, along with some of the cuckoo bees Nomada flava agg. and Gooden’s Nomad Bee Nomada goodeniana.
Little bird recording done though the first xCommon Tern Sterna hirundo of the year was on Dryham Ings Cell A. Usual suspects here included Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta, Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius, Ruff Philomachus pugnax and Little Egret Egretta garzetta. A Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla was along the western path, with Reed warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus and Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus both singing in the north-west corner of Reedbed Lake.
Full set of photos from this visit can be found on my Flickr site.