North Cave Wetlands – 20/09/2017

A late morning to early afternoon visit. Intermittent sun with a gentle southerly breeze, temperatures reaching the mid teens. A Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis was still hanging on, quartering the north-west corner of Reedbed Lake. Good numbers of Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum around the reserve, with several Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum also still present. A single Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa was at the Dragonfly Ponds.

Common Blue Damselfly - Enallagma cyathigerumMale Common Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum

Common Blue Damselfly - Enallagma cyathigerumFemale Common Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum

Migrant Hawker - Aeshna mixtaMigrant Hawker – Aeshna mixta

Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta and Comma Polygonia c-album were again making full use of the flowering Ivy, Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria again the only other species noted.

Red Admiral - Vanessa atalantaRed Admiral – Vanessa atalanta

Comma - Polygonia c-albumComma – Polygonia c-album

Beetle-wise a new species in the form of Rhinocyllus conicus was found along the north path. Other species included Chrysolina staphylaea and Sphaeroderma testaceum, along with three Ladybirds; 22-spot Ladybird Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata, 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata and Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis.

Rhinocyllus conicusRhinocyllus conicus

Chrysolina staphylaeaChrysolina staphylaea

Sphaeroderma testaceumSphaeroderma testaceum

7-spot Ladybird - Coccinella septempunctata7-spot Ladybird – Coccinella septempunctata

Harlequin Ladybird - Harmonia axyridisHarlequin Ladybird – Harmonia axyridis

Another good True Bug day with at least six Spiked Shieldbug Picromerus bidens along the north path, with several Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina noted around the site. A single Blue Shieldbug Zicrona caerulea was also on the north path in the north-west corner. Several Common Froghopper Philaenus spumarius noted at various points around the site. Three species awaiting confirmation are Eupteryx urticae, Arthaldeus pascuellus and Drymus sylvaticus, the latter two being new species for me.

Spiked Shieldbug - Picromerus bidensSpiked Shieldbug – Picromerus bidens

Common Green Shieldbug - Palomena prasinaCommon Green Shieldbug – Palomena prasina

Blue Shieldbug - Zicrona caeruleaBlue Shieldbug – Zicrona caerulea

Common Froghopper - Philaenus spumariusCommon Froghopper – Philaenus spumarius

Drymus sylvaticusDrymus sylvaticus

Eupteryx urticaeEupteryx urticae

Arthaldeus pascuellusArthaldeus pascuellus

A few more Hoverflies noted on this visit, Eristalis tenax and a couple of Myathropa florea were on the Ivy along the north path. Other species noted included Sphaerophoria scripta, Syritta pipiens and a Platycheirus sp.

Sphaerophoria scriptaSphaerophoria scripta

Platycheirus sp.Platycheirus sp.

Other miscellany consisted of a Scorpianfly Panorpa communis, a spider in the shape of a male Larinioides cornutus, amd a single Slender Ground-hopper Tetrix subulata along the western path.

Panorpa communisPanorpa communis

Larinioides cornutusLarinioides cornutus

Slender Ground-hopper - Tetrix subulataSlender Ground-hopper – Tetrix subulata

One of the highlights was finding a Common Lizard Zootoca vivipara for the second time this year along the northern path. After photographing this individual, I came across another three, all basking on the dead cut grass when the sun came out. If you hear a rustle,it’s well worth waiting for a few minutes, as they will regularly come back out to bask in the same spot. They were all smaller than I would expect for adults, but did seem well-marked, so not sure if they are potentially this years young.

Common Lizard - Zootoca vivipara

Common Lizard - Zootoca vivipara

Common Lizard - Zootoca viviparaCommon Lizard – Zootoca vivipara

On the birding front the Green Woodpecker Picus viridis showed well feeding around the Maize Field. A Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica was associating with Curlew Numenius arquata, first seen heading north with three and potentially dropping down in the north-west field. It then left to the south with five Curlew N. arquata about half an hour later. A single Dunlin Calidris alpina was on Island Lake.

Green Woodpecker - Picus viridisGreen Woodpecker – Picus viridis

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