North Cave Wetlands – 17/05/2018

A morning visit with intermittent sunny conditions, a gentle northerly breeze with temperatures around 12 degrees C. A good Dragonfly day with eight species recorded around the reserve. Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense was new for the year (NFY), with two male present patrolling the reeds at the south side of Carp Lake looking for females to mate with. The presence of this species early in the season would indicate that it now has a foothold on site, though need to find an exuvia to confirm definite breeding. Lots of Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas emerging from Carp Lake, many settling on the Brambles in the south-west corner. Now is the best time to see this species well, as soon as they have matured they will almost always be out over the water. Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula now in to double figures. Previously this species has only been found as lone singletons, so another species showing positive signs of increasing. Of interest was a female of the colour form melanotum, the fist time I’ve found this colour form in Yorkshire. Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum all now in to three figures, the latter species more obvious around Carp Lake, with Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella more prevalent along Dryham Lane. Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa was only represented by a lone female in the north-west corner of Reedbed Lake, thought the northerly breeze was making conditions not ideal here. Finally a few Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata were noted around the reserve.

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

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

Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma najasRed-eyed Damselfly – Erythromma najas

Large Red Damselfly - Pyrrhosoma nymphulaLarge Red Damselfly – Pyrrhosoma nymphula (colour from melantoum)

Blue-tailed Damselfly - Ischnura elegansBlue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans (colour form infuscans)

Common Blue Damselfly - Enallagma cyathigerumCommon Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum

Azure Damselfly - Coenagrion puellaAzure Damselfly – Coenagrion puella

Butterfly-wise five species were noted, consisting of Green-veined White Pieris napi, Large White Pieris brassicae, Peacock Aglais io, Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria and Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines. The latter species actually settling for a photo opportunity. On the moth front Silver Y Autographa gamma was (NFY), along with Common Nettle-tap Anthophila fabriciana (NFY) and Green Long-horn Adela reaumurella (NFY). The Garden Tiger Arctia caja caterpillars are now well grown and easily found around the reserve.

Orange-tip - Anthocharis cardaminesMale Orange-tip – Anthocharis cardamines

Orange-tip - Anthocharis cardaminesFemale Orange-tip – Anthocharis cardamines

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

Speckled Wood - Pararge aegeriaSpeckled Wood – Pararge aegeria

73.015 Silver Y - Autographa gammaSilver Y – Autographa gamma

72.026 Garden Tiger - Arctia cajaGarden Tiger – Arctia caja

Another good day for Hoverflies, 13 species recorded. Tropidia scita and Xylota segnis were both NFY. An interesting observation with regards to the Parhelophilus sp. is the numbers present, probably into three figures along Dryham Lane, usually only encounter this species in single figures. Other noted include Cheilosia albitarsis agg, Cheilosia illustrata, Cheilosia variabilis, Epistrophe eligans, Eristalinus sepulchralis, Eristalis intricarius, Eristalis pertinax, Eupeodes sp, Helophilus hybridus, Helophilus pendulus and Leucozona lucorum.

Xylota segnisXylota segnis

Eupeodes sp.Eupeodes sp.

Cheilosia illustrataCheilosia illustrata

Cheilosia albitarsis agg.Cheilosia albitarsis agg.

Eristalinus sepulchralisEristalinus sepulchralis

Eristalis intricariusEristalis intricarius


Helophilus hybridusHelophilus hybridus

Helophilus pendulusHelophilus pendulus

Other fly species noted included Bee Fly Bombylius major (NFY), Empis tessellata (NFY), Lucilia sp. (NFY) and Tachina fera (NFY).

Lucilia sp.Lucilia sp.

Tachina feraTachina fera

Empis tessellataEmpis tessellata

Several Soldier Beetles are now evident with Cantharis cryptica (NFY), Cantharis livida (NFY) and Cantharis nigricans all noted. A Red-headed Cardinal Beetle Pyrochroa serraticornis was also (NFY). See list at bottom of page for other species.

Cantharis nigricansCantharis nigricans

Cantharis crypticaCantharis cryptica

Cantharis lividaCantharis livida

Red-headed Cardinal Beetle - Pyrochroa serraticornisRed-headed Cardinal Beetle – Pyrochroa serraticornis

Four Bumblebee species noted, again Vestal Cuckoo Bee Bombus vestalis seems to be having a good year with several found around the site. Other species included Buff-tailed Bumblebee Bombus terrestris, Common Carder Bee Bombus pascuorum and Large Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lapidarius.

Vestel Cuckoo Bee - Bombus vestalisVestel Cuckoo Bee – Bombus vestalis

Other miscellany included Panorpa communis (NFY) and Arge cyanocrocea (NFY), the latter being a new species to me.

Arge cyanocroceaArge cyanocrocea

Panorpa communisPanorpa communis

Finally on to the birds. Hobby Falco subbuteo (NFY) was the highlight, one having an altercation with a Kestrel Falco tinnunculus along the western path. One of the Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti still remaining faithful to its Far lake territory. A single Dunlin Calidris alpina was on Cell A of Dryahma Ings.

Mediterranean Gull - Larus melanocephalusMediterranean Gull – Larus melanocephalus

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

Oystercatcher - Haematopus ostralegusOystercatcher – Haematopus ostralegus

Whitethroat - Sylvia communisWhitethroat – Sylvia communis

Species list
Birds (50)
Avocet – Recurvirostra avosetta
Blackbird – Turdus merula
Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla
Black-headed Gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Blue Tit – Cyanistes caeruleus
Buzzard – Buteo buteo
Carrion Crow – Corvus corone
Cetti’s Warbler – Cettia cetti
Chiffchaff – Phylloscopus collybita
Common Gull – Larus canus
Common Tern – Sterna hirundo
Coot – Fulica atra
Corn Bunting – Emberiza calandra
Dunlin – Calidris alpina
Feral Pigeon – Columba livia
Gadwall – Anas strepera
Goldfinch – Carduelis carduelis
Great Crested Grebe – Podiceps cristatus
Greylag Goose – Anser anser
Herring Gull – Larus argentatus
Hobby – Falco subbuteo
Jackdaw – Corvus monedula
Kestrel – Falco tinnunculus
Lapwing – Vanellus vanellus
Lesser Black-backed Gull – Larus fuscus
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
Reed Warbler – Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Rook – Corvus frugilegus
Sand Martin – Riparia riparia
Sedge Warbler – Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Shelduck – Tadorna tadorna
Shoveler – Anas clypeata
Skylark – Alauda arvensis
Starling – Sturnus vulgaris
Stock Dove – Columba oenas
Swift – Apus apus
Tufted Duck – Aythya fuligula
Whitethroat – Sylvia communis
Woodpigeon – Columba palumbus
Wren – Troglodytes troglodytes
Yellow Wagtail – Motacilla flava

Amphibians and Reptiles (3)
Great Crested Newt – Triturus cristatus
Smooth Newt – Lissotriton vulgaris
Grass Snake – Natrix helvetica

Beetles (6)
7-spot Ladybird – Coccinella septempunctata
Common Cardinal Beetle – Pyrochroa serraticornis
Green Nettle Weevil – Phyllobius pomaceus
Cantharis cryptica
Cantharis livida
Cantharis nigricans

Butterflies (5)
Green-veined White – Pieris napi
Large White – Pieris brassicae
Orange-tip – Anthocharis cardamines
Peacock – Aglais io
Speckled Wood – Pararge aegeria

Dragonflies (8)
Large Red Damselfly – Pyrrhosoma nymphula
Red-eyed Damselfly – Erythromma najas
Azure Damselfly – Coenagrion puella
Blue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans
Broad-bodied Chaser – Libellula depressa
Common Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum
Four-spotted Chaser – Libellula quadrimaculata
Hairy Dragonfly – Brachytron pratense

Bees (4)
Buff-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus terrestris
Common Carder Bee – Bombus pascuorum
Large Red-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus lapidarius
Vestal Cuckoo Bee – Bombus vestalis

Sawflies (1)
Arge cyanocrocea

Moths (4)
Common Nettle-tap – Anthophila fabriciana
Garden Tiger – Arctia caja
Green Long-horn – Adela reaumurella
Silver Y – Autographa gamma

Scorpionflies (1)
Panorpa communis

True Bugs (1)
Cercopis vulnerata

Hoverflies (15)
Cheilosia albitarsis agg.
Cheilosia illustrata
Epistrophe eligans
Eristalinus sepulchralis
Eristalis intricarius
Eristalis pertinax
Eupeodes sp.
Helophilus hybridus
Helophilus pendulus
Leucozona lucorum
Parhelophilus sp.
Tropidia scita
Xylota segnis

Flies (4)
Bee Fly – Bombylius major
Empis tessellata
Lucilia sp.
Tachina fera