A morning visit before the forecast rain arrived. Overcast with a moderate westerly breeze blowing, temperatures in the mid-teens. Only covered the lane from South Hide to the western path up to Far Lake. Damselflies were active, Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum, Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans in good numbers. Only other species recorded was Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum with a handful flushed as I walked along the paths. Lepidoptera wise Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus and Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina were both new for the year, with Large Skipper Ochlodes venatus, Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria also noted. Large Clover Case-bearer Coleophora trifolii was a new species found along Dryham Lane.
On the beetle front Horsetail Weevil Grypus equiseti was a new species for me, record already confirmed and accepted via iRecord. First Common Red Soldier Beetle Rhagonycha fulva are now starting to appear and will soon be abundant around the reserve. Wasp Beetle Clytus arietis was new for the year on the reserve, found in the usual corner near Carp Lake. 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella 7-punctata and Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis also still obvious adults, pupae and larvae all noted.
Several hoverflies recorded, unfortunately some nice ones got away from the camera, however the best was photographed in the shape of Anasimyia contracta. Other species recorded in no particular order were Scaeva pyrastri, Eristalis nemorum, Eristalis intricarius, Eristalis tenax, Eristalinus sepulchralis, Episyrphus balteatus, Baccha elongata, Xylota segnis, Volucella bombylans, Syrphus sp. and Eupeodes sp. Soldierflies and their allies featured well with another Flecked General Stratiomys singularior on the brambles around far lake. First Four-barred Major Oxycera rara of the year was along Dryham Lane, along with several Broad Centurion Chloromyia formosa. Allies included Twin-lobed Deerfly Chrysops relictus, Black Snipefly Chrysopilus cristatus and Striped Slender Robberfly Leptogaster cylindrica. Several Sicus ferrugineus were again noted on this visit.
Other miscellany included Willughby’s Leafcutter Bee Megachile willughbiella on the information sign between Main and Carp Lake, this being another new species to me and again confirmed on iRecord. Plenty of Speckled Bush-cricket Leptophyes punctatissima nymphs observed, though pretty well camouflaged so easily walked past if not concentrating. Several Common Froghopper Philaenus spumarius now obvious, with a single Alder Spittlebug Aphrophora alni also found.
Not a bad couple of hours in overcast conditions. Full set of photos can be found on my Flickr site.