North Cave Wetlands – 24/10/2017

An overcast, late morning visit, with a brief sunny spell. Temperatures in the mid-teens, with a gentle southerly breeze blowing. The True Bugs continue to dominate the autumn scene, the brief spell of sun drawing out several species. The highlight was a new lifer, two Grey Damsel Bug Himacerus major found along Dryham Lane. Next best was Field Damsel Bug Nabis ferus, found near Carp Lake, a new species to my reserve list. A third species of Damsel Bug was also present along the lane, in the form of a male Marsh Damsel Bug Nabis limbatus. Shieldbugs also featured, Blue Shieldbug Zicrona caerulea a nice find, again along the lane. At least three Gorse Shieldbug Piezodorus lituratus were also noted, now attaining their winter colours. A Common Green Shieldbug Palomena prasina was found along the western path. Finally a Common Froghopper Philaenus spumarius was also noted.

Grey Damsel Bug - Himacerus majorGrey Damsel Bug – Himacerus major

Field Damsel Bug - Nabis ferusField Damsel Bug – Nabis ferus

Marsh Damselbug - Nabis limbatusMarsh Damselbug – Nabis limbatus

Blue Shieldbug - Zicrona caeruleaBlue Shieldbug – Zicrona caerulea

Gorse Shieldbug - Piezodorus lituratusGorse Shieldbug – Piezodorus lituratus

Common Green Shieldbug - Palomena prasinaCommon Green Shieldbug – Palomena prasina

Common Froghopper - Philaenus spumariusCommon Froghopper – Philaenus spumarius

Several Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta made the most of the sunny spell, with at least one copulating pair found on the reeds in front of Carp Lake. Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum were also still present in good numbers.

Migrant Hawker - Aeshna mixtaMigrant Hawker – Aeshna mixta

Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatumCommon Darter – Sympetrum striolatum

A couple of Hoverflies still present, included several Eristalis Tenax, plus a single Helophilus pendulus. Other insects recorded included a single Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis, a few 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata, and a couple of Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta along the lane being the only butterflies noted.

Eristalis tenaxEristalis tenax

Helophilus pendulusHelophilus pendulus

Harlequin Ladybird - Harmonia axyridisHarlequin Ladybird – Harmonia axyridis

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

Bird-wise the female Goldeneye Bucephala clangula was still present on Main Lake. Whilst viewing the lake from South Hide, 67 Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus flew in from the east and alighted on Reedbed Lake, however they had departed by the time I’d made it round to the rear of the reserve. Several Redwing Turdus iliacus were along North Hedge, with an unexpected Kingfisher Alcedo atthis coming in from the north! Up to six Redshank Tringa totanus noted back on the reserve.

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