North Cave Wetlands – 22/05/2018

A sunny morning visit with a gentle northerly breeze blowing, temperatures around 14 degrees C. Great to see a step change in the abundance of some species of Dragonflies on the reserve this year, proving that the developing habitat on the reserve is benefiting this charismatic group of insects. Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense was well represented around the reserve, particularly in the south-west corner of Carp Lake, along with the eastern most Dragonfly Pond. Good news here was the presence of a female, busily ovipositing around the ponds margins. Another species doing well this year is Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa, which has now spread out even more around the reserve compared to recent visits. Several individuals were found around Carp Lake, favouring the Brambles on both the south and west side of Carp Lake. A mature male was also holding territory on the spring fed ponds in front of East Hide on Village Lake. Good numbers of Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas also showing well around Carp Lake, some now almost mature. Another species doing well is Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula, now easily found around the reserve. Other species noted included Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata. Dragonflies are predated by a number of different species, this always interesting to see, though witnessing a Great Crested Newt Triturus cristatus taking a Damselfly was something I’ve not observed before.

Hairy Dragonfly - Brachytron pratenseMale Hairy Dragonfly – Brachytron pratense

Broad-bodied Chaser - Libellula depressaMaleĀ Broad-bodied Chaser – Libellula depressa

Four-spotted Chaser - Libellula quadrimaculataMale Four-spotted Chaser – Libellula quadrimaculata

Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma najasMale Red-eyed Damselfly – Erythromma najas

Large Red Damselfly -Volucella bombylansMale Large Red Damselfly -Volucella bombylans

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

Butterfly-wise I only managed to find five species. Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines again showed well, though it now won’t be long before their season is over, so make the most of them while you can. Green-veined White Pieris napi, Large White Pieris brassicae, Peacock Aglais io and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria the other species noted. A couple of micro moths were photographed including the attractive Pyrausta aurata (NFY) along with a Dichrorampha sp.

Orange-tip - Anthocharis cardaminesOrange-tip – Anthocharis cardamines

63.006 Pyrausta aurataPyrausta aurata

DichroramphaDichrorampha sp.

Time was short on this visit, so the shorter Hoverfly list is probably down to not slowing down enough to see what was around. Volucella bombylans was the only new Hoverfly for year, with both colour forms noted, representing different species of Bumblebees which they mimic, enabling them to lay their eggs in Bumblebee nests, where the larvae feed off the debris and occasionally the bee larvae. Other species noted included Cheilosia variabilis, Eristalinus sepulchralis, Eristalis intricarius, Eristalis pertinax, Eupeodes sp, Helophilus hybridus, Leucozona lucorum and Parhelophilus sp. Moving on to the Robberflies, Common Red-legged Robberfly Dioctria rufipes was a new species, found at the start of the Butterfly Walk.

Volucella bombylansVolucella bombylans (var. plumata)

Volucella bombylansVolucella bombylans (var. bombylans)

Helophilus hybridusHelophilus hybridus

Cheilosia variabilisCheilosia variabilis

Common Red-legged Robberfly - Dioctria rufipesCommon Red-legged Robberfly – Dioctria rufipes

Other miscellany included Hawthorn Shieldbug Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale (NFY) along the eastern path. Early Mining Bee Andrena haemorrhoa along the western path was also NFY. Finally a few Wasp Beetle Clytus arietis were around Carp Lake, again NFY.

Hawthorn Shieldbug - Acanthosoma haemorrhoidaleHawthorn Shieldbug – Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale

Early Mining Bee - Andrena haemorrhoaEarly Mining Bee – Andrena haemorrhoa

Wasp Beetle - Clytus arietisWasp Beetle – Clytus arietis

Bird-wise a Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti was in the north-west corner of Reedbed Lake, where a couple of Redshank Tringa totanus and a Dunlin Calidris alpina were also present. A Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra was singing from its usual North Field song post and several pairs of Common Tern Sterna hirundo are now nesting on Main and Village Lake.

Pochard - Aythya ferinaPochard – Aythya ferina

Tufted Duck - Aythya fuligulaTufted Duck – Aythya fuligula

Common Tern - Sterna hirundoCommon Tern – Sterna hirundo

Species list
Birds (52)
Avocet – Recurvirostra avosetta
Blackbird – Turdus merula
Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla
Black-headed Gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Blue Tit – Cyanistes caeruleus
Carrion Crow – Corvus corone
Cetti’s Warbler – Cettia cetti
Collared Dove – Streptopelia decaocto
Common Tern – Sterna hirundo
Coot – Fulica atra
Cormorant – Phalacrocorax carbo
Corn Bunting – Emberiza calandra
Dunlin – Calidris alpina
Dunnock – Prunella modularis
Feral Pigeon – Columba livia
Gadwall – Anas strepera
Great Crested Grebe – Podiceps cristatus
Grey Heron – Ardea cinerea
Greylag Goose – Anser anser
Herring Gull – Larus argentatus
House Martin – Delichon urbicum
Jackdaw – Corvus monedula
Kestrel – Falco tinnunculus
Lapwing – Vanellus vanellus
Lesser Black-backed Gull – Larus fuscus
Linnet – Linaria cannabina
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
Redshank – Tringa totanus
Reed Warbler – Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Robin – Erithacus rubecula
Rook – Corvus frugilegus
Sand Martin – Riparia riparia
Sedge Warbler – Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Shelduck – Tadorna tadorna
Shoveler – Anas clypeata
Sparrowhawk – Accipiter nisus
Starling – Sturnus vulgaris
Stock Dove – Columba oenas
Swallow – Hirundo rustica
Swift – Apus apus
Tufted Duck – Aythya fuligula
Whitethroat – Sylvia communis
Willow Warbler – Phylloscopus trochilus
Woodpigeon – Columba palumbus

Amphibians (1)
Great Crested Newt – Triturus cristatus

Beetles (4)
7-spot Ladybird – Coccinella septempunctata
Wasp Beetle – Clytus arietis
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

Moths (2)
Small Purple & Gold – Pyrausta aurata
Dichrorampha sp.

Dragonflies (8)
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
Large Red Damselfly – Pyrrhosoma nymphula
Red-eyed Damselfly – Erythromma najas

Bees (2)
Buff-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus terrestris
Early Mining Bee – Andrena haemorrhoa

True Bugs (1)
Hawthorn Shieldbug – Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale

Robberflies (1)
Common Red-legged Robberfly – Dioctria rufipes

Hoverflies (9)
Cheilosia variabilis
Eristalinus sepulchralis
Eristalis intricarius
Eristalis pertinax
Helophilus hybridus
Leucozona lucorum
Volucella bombylans