An overcast morning visit with a gentle westerly breeze blowing, temperatures around 20 degrees C. Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum were present around the reserve in small numbers, along with a single Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis. Plenty of Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans still present, though only a single Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa was found at the Dragonfly Ponds. Finally a brief spell of sun brought out a single Small Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma viridulum in front of South Hide on Main Lake.
Only four species of Butterflies observed with Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina now past their best in the company of Green-veined White Pieris napi, Small White Pieris rapae and Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria. On the moth front several Common Marble Celypha lacunana were noted around the site, with a single Common Nettle-tap Anthophila fabriciana also present. A cluster of around 30 Buff-tip Phalera bucephala caterpillars on the lone Silver Birch along the western path as a nice find.
Nothing unusual on the Beetle front, though the large aggregation of Ladybirds along the Maize Field path has started to disperse, 22-spot Ladybird Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata, 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata, Adonis’ Ladybird Hippodamia variegata and Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis noted. Alder Leaf Beetle Agelastica alni also still present along the Western Path.
Figwort Sawfly Tenthredo scrophulariae was very accommodating at the start of the Butterfly Walk, plus several Turnip Sawfly Athalia rosae were also around the site.
A few True Bugs noted today with Common Froghopper Philaenus spumarius the most numerous. Tarnished Plant Bug Lygus rugulipennis and Hawthorn Shieldbug Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale were the best of the bunch, with Apolygus spinolae and Chilacis typhae also present, the latter found on the Bulrush heads on the south side of Carp Lake.
Seven Hoverflies noted included Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus, Cheilosia pagana, Eristalis intricarius, Eristalis tenax, Eupeodes latifasciatus, Helophilus pendulus and Syritta pipiens, the latter carrying a mite between its head and thorax. The only other fly recorded was Tachina fera.
Spiders are a tricky bunch, though there was no mistaking Four-spotted Orb Weaver Araneus quadratus along the Northern Path, a new site record for me.
Finally the Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis showed well from South Hide. Little Egret Egretta garzetta was also showing well on Dryham Ings Cell A.
Green-veined White – Pieris napi
Meadow Brown – Maniola jurtina
Small White – Pieris rapae
Speckled Wood – Pararge aegeria
Blue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans
Brown Hawker – Aeshna grandis
Common Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum
Common Darter – Sympetrum striolatum
Emerald Damselfly – Lestes sponsa
Migrant Hawker – Aeshna mixta
Small Red-eyed Damselfly – Erythromma viridulum
Wasps and Sawflies (3)
German Wasp – Vespula germanica
Buff-tip – Phalera bucephala
Common Marble – Celypha lacunana
Common Nettle-tap – Anthophila fabriciana
Field Grasshopper – Chorthippus brunneus
Lesser Marsh Grasshopper – Chorthippus albomarginatus
True Bugs (5)
Common Froghopper – Philaenus spumarius
Tarnished Plant Bug – Lygus rugulipennis
Hawthorn Shieldbug – Acanthosoma haemorrhoidale
Marmalade Hoverfly – Episyrphus balteatus
Stoat – Mustela erminea
Black-necked Grebe – Podiceps nigricollis
Common Sandpiper – Actitis hypoleucos
Little Egret – Egretta garzetta
Pink-footed Goose – Anser brachyrhynchus
Snipe – Gallinago gallinago