North Cave Wetlands – 07/07/2018

A hot and sunny afternoon with a gentle easterly breeze blowing. Temperatures around 26 degrees C. A short visit with the heat meaning there was little activity from the smaller invertebrates. Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum was new for the year (NFY) at the eastern Dragonfly Pond, an almost mature male. The other highlight was a female Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis ovipositing in the western pond. Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator very active, with three females seen ovipositing. A Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea was on the south side of Carp Lake. A few Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas were active out over Far Lake, though now need to start looking out for Small Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma viridulum, as the first are already starting to appear elsewhere in the county. Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum, Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa complete the list.

Ruddy Darter - Sympetrum sanguineumRuddy Darter – Sympetrum sanguineum

Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandisBrown Hawker – Aeshna grandis

Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperatorEmperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator

Black-tailed Skimmer - Orthetrum cancellatumBlack-tailed Skimmer – Orthetrum cancellatum

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

Emerald Damselfly - Lestes sponsaEmerald Damselfly – Lestes sponsa

Butterflies were very active with 13 species noted, Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus and Painted Lady Vanessa cardui both NFY. The former was along the eastern path near East Hide, the latter along the path adjacent to the Maize Field, along with several Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae for company. Good numbers of Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris around the reserve especially around Carp Lake and the Maize Field area. Managed to find a single Marbled White Melanargia galathea at the south side of Carp Lake. The remaining species included Comma Polygonia c-album, Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus, Green-veined White Pieris napi, Large White Pieris brassicae, Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina, Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus, Small White Pieris rapae and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria. Moth-wise , Clouded Border Lomaspilis marginata was NFY, other species noted included Shaded Broad-bar Scotopteryx chenopodiata, Six-spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae and Yellow Shell Camptogramma bilineata.

Painted Lady - Vanessa carduiPainted Lady – Vanessa cardui

Comma - Polygonia c-albumComma – Polygonia c-album

54.008 Six-Spot Burnet - Zygaena filipendulaeSix-Spot Burnet – Zygaena filipendulae

Other bits and pieces included a pair of Red-legged Shieldbug Pentatoma rufipes found along the eastern path and Common Green Grasshopper Omocestus viridulus around the Dragonfly Ponds. The remaining species observed can be seen listed below, showing things were a little thin on the ground.

Common Green Grasshopper - Omocestus viridulusCommon Green Grasshopper – Omocestus viridulus

Red-legged Shieldbug - Pentatoma rufipesRed-legged Shieldbug – Pentatoma rufipes

On Reedbed Lake a few birds managed to draw the attention of the camera. An adult and juvenile Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus showing well along with adult and juvenile Common Tern Sterna hirundo. A better year the Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta with several well grown young around the reserve.

Mediterranean Gull - Larus melanocephalusMediterranean Gull – Larus melanocephalus

Common Tern - Sterna hirundoCommon Tern – Sterna hirundo

Avocet - Recurvirostra avosettaAvocet – Recurvirostra avosetta

Birds (5)
Avocet – Recurvirostra avosetta
Common Tern – Sterna hirundo
Green Woodpecker – Picus viridis
Mediterranean Gull – Larus melanocephalus
Snipe – Gallinago gallinago

Beetles (2)
7-spot Ladybird – Coccinella septempunctata
Common Red Soldier Beetle – Rhagonycha fulva

Butterflies (13)
Comma – Polygonia c-album
Gatekeeper – Pyronia tithonus
Green-veined White – Pieris napi
Holly Blue – Celastrina argiolus
Large White – Pieris brassicae
Marbled White – Melanargia galathea
Meadow Brown – Maniola jurtina
Painted Lady – Vanessa cardui
Ringlet – Aphantopus hyperantus
Small Skipper – Thymelicus sylvestris
Small Tortoiseshell – Aglais urticae
Small White – Pieris rapae
Speckled Wood – Pararge aegeria

Dragonflies (10)
Black-tailed Skimmer – Orthetrum cancellatum
Blue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans
Brown Hawker – Aeshna grandis
Common Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum
Emerald Damselfly – Lestes sponsa
Emperor Dragonfly – Anax imperator
Four-spotted Chaser – Libellula quadrimaculata
Red-eyed Damselfly – Erythromma najas
Ruddy Darter – Sympetrum sanguineum
Southern Hawker – Aeshna cyanea

Bees (2)
Large Red-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus lapidarius
White-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus lucorum

Moths (4)
Clouded Border – Lomaspilis marginata
Shaded Broad-bar – Scotopteryx chenopodiata
Six-spot Burnet – Zygaena filipendulae
Yellow Shell – Camptogramma bilineata

Grasshoppers (1)
Common Green Grasshopper – Omocestus viridulus

True Bugs (1)
Red-legged Shieldbug – Pentatoma rufipes

Hoverflies (3)
Marmalade Hoverfly – Episyrphus balteatus
Eristalis intricarius
Eristalis tenax