North Cave Wetlands – 25/05/2017

Arrived around 07:30am to find the reserve shrouded in mist. It did eventually clear after 45 minutes, with only a slight breeze, the temperature crept up to 22 degrees. First dragonflies of the season for me with two Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata along the western path, though too high up in the trees to photograph. Best of the ‘damsels’ was a Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula near the dragonfly ponds, supported by several Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum.

Large Red Damselfly - Pyrrhosoma nymphulaLarge Red Damselfly – Pyrrhosoma nymphula

Common Blue Damselfly - Enallagma cyathigerumCommon Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum

Azure Damselfly - Coenagrion puellaAzure Damselfly – Coenagrion puella

Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines butterflies are still doing well, with a fresh Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae found near the Maize Field. Other species noted included Large White Pieris brassicae, Green-veined White Pieris napi and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria.

Small Tortoiseshell - Aglais urticaeSmall Tortoiseshell – Aglais urticae

Large White - Pieris brassicaeLarge White – Pieris brassicae

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

A couple of Harelquin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis were found along the northern path, of two different colour forms. Other areas of the country report this species to be more numerous than 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella 7-punctata, the latter still being the dominant species in this area at least. Cantharis nigricans and Cantharis livida represented the Soldier Beetles on this visit. Several Click Beetles found were most likely Athous haemorrhoidalis.

Harelquin Ladybird - Harmonia axyridisHarelquin Ladybird – Harmonia axyridis

Harelquin Ladybird - Harmonia axyridisHarelquin Ladybird – Harmonia axyridis

Cantharis lividaCantharis livida

Cantharis nigricensCantharis nigricens

Athous haemorrhoidalisAthous haemorrhoidalis

Other miscellany included two Striped Millepede Ommatoiulus sabulosus on nettles along the northern path, and a spider Larinioides cornutus. Quiet on the hoverfly front, though Volucella bombylans and a Eupeodes species were new for the year.

Striped Millipede - Ommatoiulus sabulosusStriped Millipede – Ommatoiulus sabulosus

Larinioides cornutusLarinioides cornutus

EupeodesEupeodes sp.

Birding wise a nice 1st summer Little Gull Hydrocoloeus minutus was on Island Lake, along with the 1st summer Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus. A Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra was singing in the northern hedge and an Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus with three chicks was seen in the new workings along the western path. A showy Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa was announcing his presence from the bank in front of the Silt Lagoon.

Little Gull - Hydrocoloeus minutusLittle Gull – Hydrocoloeus minutus

Meditarranean Gull - Ichthyaetus melanocephalusMeditarranean Gull – Ichthyaetus melanocephalus

Corn Bunting - Emberiza calandraCorn Bunting – Emberiza calandra

Red-legged Partridge - Alectoris rufaRed-legged Partridge – Alectoris rufa

Oystercatcher - Haematopus ostralegusOystercatcher – Haematopus ostralegus

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