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