North Cave Wetlands – 09/05/2018

A sunny day with intermittent cloud, a light increasing to gentle breeze south-easterly, temperatures around 15 degrees C. After a slow start, the Dragonfly season has well and truly burst into activity, with seven species recorded around the reserve. Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula have now been joined by Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas and Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum. The Red-eye was a female which appeared to have emerged that morning from Carp Lake. The Common Blues were mainly teneral individuals that had emerged that morning, however a mature pair were found on the Dragonfly Ponds, already mating and ovipositing. It was nice to find two Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa in the North-west corner of Reedbed Lake. A few Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata were noted, mainly around Carp Lake and the Dragonfly Ponds.

Broad-bodied Chaser - Libellula depressaBroad-bodied Chaser – Libellula depressa

Four-spotted Chaser - Libellula quadrimaculataFour-spotted Chaser – Libellula quadrimaculata

Azure Damselfly - Coenagrion puellaMale Azure Damselfly – Coenagrion puella

Azure Damselfly - Coenagrion puellaFemale Azure Damselfly – Coenagrion puella (Blue form found in only 10% of females)

Blue-tailed Damselfly - Ischnura elegansFemale Blue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans (Form – violacea)

Common Blue Damselfly - Enallagma cyathigerumCommon Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum

Large Red Damselfly - Pyrrhosoma nymphulaMale Large Red Damselfly – Pyrrhosoma nymphula

Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma najasFemale Red-eyed Damselfly – Erythromma najas

Eight species of Butterfly recorded with Small White Pieris rapae new for the year (NFY) Other species included Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni, Green-veined White Pieris napi, Large White Pieris brassicae, Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines, Peacock Aglais io, Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria. A trio of Micro Moths note included Common Roller Ancylis badiana (NFY), Pearled Dwarf Elachista apicipunctella (NFY) and Thistle Bell Epiblema scutulana (NFY).

Small White - Pieris rapaeSmall White – Pieris rapae

Green-veined White - Pieris napiGreen-veined White – Pieris napi

Speckled Wood - Pararge aegeriaSpeckled Wood – Pararge aegeria

49.214 Ancylis badianaAncylis badiana

49.285 Epiblema scutulanaEpiblema scutulana

38.032 Elachista apicipunctellaElachista apicipunctella

A cracking Hoverly day, 19 species recorded, with Epistrophe nitidicollis (NFY) and Platycheirus peltatus agg. (NFY) new species to me. The other species noted included Cheilosia albitarsis agg. (NFY), Cheilosia illustrata (NFY), Cheilosia pagana, Cheilosia variabilis, Dasysyrphus sp. (NFY), Epistrophe eligans, Eristalinus sepulchralis, Eristalis arbustorum, Eristalis intricarius, Eristalis pertinax, Helophilus hybridus (NFY), Helophilus pendulus, Leucozona lucorum, Melanostoma scalare, Parhelophilus sp. (NFY), Rhingia campestris and Sphaerophoria scripta.

Epistrophe nitidicollisEpistrophe nitidicollis

Platycheirus peltatus agg.Platycheirus peltatus agg.

Cheilosia albitarsis agg.Cheilosia albitarsis agg.

Cheilosia illustrataCheilosia illustrata

Cheilosia variabilisCheilosia variabilis

Dasysyrphus venustusDasysyrphus sp.

Eristalis arbustorumEristalis arbustorum

Helophilus hybridusHelophilus hybridus

Leucozona lucorumLeucozona lucorum

Melanostoma scalareMelanostoma scalare

Parhelophilus sp.Parhelophilus sp.

Sphaerophoria scriptaSphaerophoria scripta

Had a dabble with some Craneflies with Tipula oleracea (NFY) and Ptychoptera contaminata (NFY) new to me, along with Tipula rufina already recorded this year. Finally a couple of Empis were photographed, though not 100% I believe these could be Empis opaca (NFY).

Tipula oleraceaTipula oleracea

Ptychoptera contaminataPtychoptera contaminata

Tipula rufinaTipula rufina

Empis opacaEmpis cf. opaca

Beetle-wise Raspberry Beetle Byturus tomentosus (NFY) was a new species. The Soldier Beetles are now starting to appear with Cantharis nigricans (NFY) leading the charge. Following the arrival of Green Nettle Weevil Phyllobius pomaceus, which are now numerous, its smaller relative Small Green Nettle Weevil Phyllobius roboretanus (NFY) has also arrived on the scene. Knotgrass Leaf Beetle Chrysolina polita (NFY) are always nice to see, today’s found on the south side of Carp Lake. 22-spot Ladybird Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata, 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata and Thistle Tortoise Beetle Cassida rubiginosa complete the days list.

Raspberry Beetle - Byturus tomentosusRaspberry Beetle – Byturus tomentosus

Chrysolina politaChrysolina polita

Cantharis nigricansCantharis nigricans

Phyllobius roboretanusPhyllobius roboretanus

The Bees seemed elusive on this visit, though White-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lucorum (NFY), along with Common Carder Bee Bombus pascuorum and Vestal Cuckoo Bee Bombus vestalis the only Bumblebees noted. A single Nomada flava agg. was also found along Dryham Lane.

White-tailed Bumblebee - Bombus lucorumWhite-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus lucorum

Nomada flava agg.Nomada flava agg.

True Bugs were notable by their absence, only Cercopis vulnerata (NFY) found along the west path. Other oddments included Common Earwig Forficula auricularia (NFY) and Sawflies Aglaostigma aucupariae. Finally on the invert. front a Crab Spider found appears to be Xysticus ulmi (NFY).

Cercopis vulnerataCercopis vulnerata

Common Earwig - Forficula auriculariaCommon Earwig – Forficula auricularia

Aglaostigma aucupariaeAglaostigma aucupariae

Xysticus ulmiXysticus cf. ulmi

Smooth Newt Lissotriton vulgaris were numerous in the Dragonfly Ponds, the most I’ve ever seen. A Common Toad Bufo bufo was found along Dryham lane.

Common Toad - Bufo bufoCommon Toad – Bufo bufo

Finally on to the Birds. Highlight of the day was a Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (NFY) on Island Lake. One of the Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti was singing in the far north-west corner of Far Lake.

Black-tailed Godwit - Limosa limosaBlack-tailed Godwit – Limosa limosa

Lesser Black-backed Gull - Larus fuscusLesser Black-backed Gull – Larus fuscus

Species list (104)
Birds (47)
Avocet – Recurvirostra avosetta
Blackbird – Turdus merula
Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla
Black-headed Gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Black-tailed Godwit – Limosa limosa
Blue Tit – Cyanistes caeruleus
Buzzard – Buteo buteo
Carrion Crow – Corvus corone
Cetti’s Warbler – Cettia cetti
Chaffinch – Fringilla coelebs
Chiffchaff – Phylloscopus collybita
Common Tern – Sterna hirundo
Coot – Fulica atra
Feral Pigeon – Columba livia
Gadwall – Anas strepera
Great Crested Grebe – Podiceps cristatus
Grey Heron – Ardea cinerea
Greylag Goose – Anser anser
Jackdaw – Corvus monedula
Kestrel – Falco tinnunculus
Lapwing – Vanellus vanellus
Lesser Black-backed Gull – Larus fuscus
Lesser Whitethroat – Sylvia curruca
Little Egret – Egretta garzetta
Little Grebe – Tachybaptus ruficollis
Little Ringed Plover – Charadrius dubius
Long-tailed Tit – Aegithalos caudatus
Mallard – Anas platyrhynchos
Mediterranean Gull – Larus melanocephalus
Moorhen – Gallinula chloropus
Mute Swan – Cygnus olor
Oystercatcher – Haematopus ostralegus
Pochard – Aythya ferina
Reed Warbler – Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Robin – Erithacus rubecula
Rook – Corvus frugilegus
Sand Martin – Riparia riparia
Sedge Warbler – Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Shelduck – Tadorna tadorna
Shoveler – Anas clypeata
Song Thrush – Turdus philomelos
Starling – Sturnus vulgaris
Swallow – Hirundo rustica
Tufted Duck – Aythya fuligula
Whitethroat – Sylvia communis
Willow Warbler – Phylloscopus trochilus
Woodpigeon – Columba palumbus

Amphibians (2)
Common Toad – Bufo bufo
Smooth Newt – Lissotriton vulgaris

Beetles (8)
22-spot Ladybird – Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata
7-spot Ladybird – Coccinella septempunctata
Green Nettle Weevil – Phyllobius pomaceus
Knotgrass Leaf Beetle – Chrysolina polita
Raspberry Beetle – Byturus tomentosus
Small Green Nettle Weevil – Phyllobius roboretanus
Thistle Tortoise Beetle – Cassida rubiginosa
Cantharis nigricans

Butterflies (8)
Brimstone – Gonepteryx rhamni
Green-veined White – Pieris napi
Large White – Pieris brassicae
Orange-tip – Anthocharis cardamines
Peacock – Aglais io
Small Tortoiseshell – Aglais urticae
Small White – Pieris rapae
Speckled Wood – Pararge aegeria

Moths (3)
Common Roller – Ancylis badiana
Pearled Dwarf – Elachista apicipunctella
Thistle Bell – Epiblema scutulana

Dragonflies (7)
Azure Damselfly – Coenagrion puella
Blue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans
Broad-bodied Chaser – Libellula depressa
Common Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum
Four-spotted Chaser – Libellula quadrimaculata
Large Red Damselfly – Pyrrhosoma nymphula
Red-eyed Damselfly – Erythromma najas

Earwigs (1)
Common Earwig – Forficula auricularia

Bees (4)
Common Carder Bee – Bombus pascuorum
Vestal Cuckoo Bee – Bombus vestalis
White-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus lucorum
Nomada flava agg.

Sawflies (1)
Aglaostigma aucupariae

True Bugs (1)
Cercopis vulnerata

Hoverflies (19)
Cheilosia albitarsis agg.
Cheilosia illustrata
Cheilosia pagana
Cheilosia variabilis
Dasysyrphus sp.
Epistrophe eligans
Epistrophe nitidicollis
Eristalinus sepulchralis
Eristalis arbustorum
Eristalis intricarius
Eristalis pertinax
Helophilus hybridus
Helophilus pendulus
Leucozona lucorum
Melanostoma scalare
Parhelophilus sp.
Platycheirus peltatus agg.
Rhingia campestris
Sphaerophoria scripta

Flies (4)
Tipula oleracea
Tipula rufina
Ptychoptera contaminata
Empis opaca

Spiders (1)
Xysticus ulmi