North Cave Wetlands – 13/05/2017

Arrived mid-afternoon in overcast conditions with things only brightening up around 5pm. Conditions were not ideal and it was no surprise to not find any Dragonflies or Butterflies on the wing. I did however find a few interesting invertebrates, the beetle being the most numerous. Green weevils on nettles, plenty about on this occasion, with three different species to tackle. Small Green Nettle Weevil Phyllobius roboretanus were abundant, with Green Neetle Weevil Phyllobius pomaceus also noted in good numbers. A potential third species still to be confirmed was Green Leaf Beetle Phyllobius cf. maculicornis, some what intermediate in size with hairs on the elytra. I’ve spent time checking these species out using Mark Gurney’s Polydrusus and Phyllobius guide. Another weevil found on this visit was Tropiphorus terricola. First solider beetle of the season was along the path to Turret Hide, Cantharis nigricans.

Green Nettle Weevil - Phyllobius pomaceusGreen Nettle Weevil – Phyllobius pomaceus

Small Green Nettle Weevil - Phyllobius roboretanusSmall Green Nettle Weevil – Phyllobius roboretanus

Green Leaf Beetle - Phyllobius maculicornisGreen Leaf Beetle – Phyllobius cf. maculicornis

Tropiphorus terricolaTropiphorus terricola

Cantharis nigricansCantharis nigricans

Although no butterflies were noted, lepidoptera still made the day list with two moth caterpillars found. Drinker Euthrix potatoria larvae are now looking good at around 5cm in length,with several found. Another species found was Dingy Footman Eilema griseola on one of the fence post along the northern path.

66.010 Drinker - Euthrix potatoriaDrinker – Euthrix potatoria

72.044 Dingy Footman - Eilema griseolaDingy Footman – Eilema griseola

Not a good hoverfly day, though found my first Sphaerophoria of the season, along with what I believe may be Cheilosia albitarsis agg. Away from the hoverflies Empis tessellata was the only other species of fly photographed.

Sphaerophoria sp.Sphaerophoria sp.

Cheilosia albitarsis agg.Cheilosia albitarsis agg.

Empis tessellataEmpis tessellata

Finally several Cercopis vulnerata now found in several places around the reserve, along with one of the commoner spiders Nursery Web Spider Pisaura mirabilis. Another spider photographed was a Tetragnatha, unable to get to species on this one from a photo.

Nursery Web Spider - Pisaura mirabilisNursery Web Spider – Pisaura mirabilis


Finally the birds. Two Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola were the highlight, both on Reedbed Lake, along with a Little Egret Egretta garzetta. The Brent Goose Branta bernicla was still present on Silt Lagoon and a Ruff Philomachus pugnax was on Cell C of Dryham Ings.

Wood Sandpiper - Tringa glareolaWood Sandpiper – Tringa glareola

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