Afternoon visit, with mainly overcast conditions, moderate westerly breeze and temperatures in the mid-teens. Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans present in good numbers, with lesser numbers of Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella predominatly along Dryham Lane. Conditions meant that most of the larger species weren’t active with only single Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator, Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum and a few Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum noted. Best find was a female Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas along the northern path behind Reedbed Lake.
Things were a little bit better on the lepidoptera front with several Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta active around the site, along with a single Comma Polygonia c-album along the western path. Plenty of Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus around, along with a few Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina. Several Large Skipper Ochlodes venatus noted, but no signs yet of any of their close relatives. A Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni showed well along the Eastern Path, its tatty condition probably indicating it’s an old over-wintering adult. A few moths included Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae, Nemophora degeerella, Eucosma hohenwartiana and Dichrorampha cf. petiverella.
Of the beetles, some Ladybirds seem to be having a good year with plenty of 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella 7-punctata and Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis present, with good numbers of pupae and still a few larvae around. Three other species also recorded, with at least four 2-spot Ladybird Adalia bipunctata noted, usually only find this species occasionally as single individuals. The other two species were 11-spot Ladybird Coccinella undecimpunctata and 22-spot Ladybird Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata. A couple of Golden-bloomed Longhorn Beetle Agapanthia villosoviridescens were found, though these are now starting to become a little worn, loosing their golden bloom. A single Cantharis nigra found at the Dragonfly Ponds was new for the year.
On the diptera front Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus were abundant, easily in to three figures present. Also in high numbers were the Syrphus sp, though despite trying I only managed to get one individual down to species level, a female Syrphus Ribesii. Other ‘Hovers’ included Eristalis tenax, Volucella bombylans, Chrysotoxum bicinctum, Eristalis intricarius, Helophilus pendulus, Helophilus hybridus, Eristalinus sepulchralis, Eupeodes sp. and Parhelophilus sp. One patch of brambles along the lane proved productive for Soldierflies with four species within a few metres including Flecked General Stratiomys singularior, Four-barred Major Oxycera rara, Broad Centurian Chloromyia formosa and Common Green Colonel Oplodontha viridula. Other allies included Stripe-legged Robberfly Dioctria baumhaueri and Marsh Snipefly Rhagio tringarius. A couple of other flies recorded included Poecilobothrus nobilitatus and Sicus ferrugineus.
Several plant bugs starting to appear with Common Green Capsid Lygocoris pabulinus, Potato Capsid Closterotomus norwegicus and Deraeocoris flavilinea all new for the year. Good numbers of Common Froghopper Philaenus spumarius showing their various different colour forms.
Speckled Bush-cricket Leptophyes punctatissima nymphs growing in size, so not too long before the adults appear. Lots of other grasshopper nymphs about, though best left to identify when they are adults.
A few Bees and Wasps observed, with Common Carder Bee Bombus pascuorum and Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum being the common species noted. A likely, based on distribution, Impunctate Mini-miner Andrena cf. subopaca was also photographed, but can’t rule out at least one scarcer species. Also a Ruby-tailed Wasp Chrysis cf. ignita was on the sign between Main and Carp Lake, another group that can’t be confirmed to species from a photograph. Finally a Slender Bodied Digger Wasp Crabro cribrarius was feeding on the umbellifers.
Finally the birds get a mention, on this occasion with the Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta having a more succesful breeding year. Several young are almost reaching the fledging state, including two showy individuals on Reedbed Lake.
Full set of photos from this visit can be found on my Flickr page.
First six months species totals for 2017
acarine (Acari) – 1
bird – 111
flowering plant – 8
harvestman (Opiliones) – 1
beetle (Coleoptera) – 36
butterfly – 15
dragonfly (Odonata) – 10
hymenopteran – 27
moth – 14
orthopteran – 2
true bug (Hemiptera) – 14
true fly (Diptera) – 63
millipede – 1
mollusc – 1
spider – 7
terrestrial mammal – 2