North Cave Wetlands – 12/09/2018

A late morning to early afternoon visit, with predominantly sunny conditions. A gentle westerly breeze blowing, with temperatures reaching 16 degrees C.

A good six species day on the Dragonfly front, not bad for mid-September. Good numbers of Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum present with plenty of breeding activity and ovipositing taking place. A single female Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea and Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis were found along the western path. Still a few Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum around the reserve, mainly in the south-west corner of the reserve. A single Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans was still to be found on the eastern Dragonfly Pond.

Migrant Hawker - Aeshna mixtaMigrant Hawker – Aeshna mixta

Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyaneaSouthern Hawker – Aeshna cyanea

Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatumCommon Darter – Sympetrum striolatum

It was also a good day for Butterflies. with seven species noted. The main surprise was a Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina hanging on along the Maize Field path. Good numbers of Small White Pieris rapae present around the reserve, along with Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria favouring the weestern and eastern paths. Comma Polygonia c-album and Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta were making use of the flowering Ivy along the northern path. A single Large White Pieris brassicae and Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas were the remaining species noted.

Red Admiral - Vanessa atalantaRed Admiral – Vanessa atalanta

Comma - Polygonia c-albumComma – Polygonia c-album

Meadow Brown - Maniola jurtinaMeadow Brown – Maniola jurtina

Small Copper - Lycaena phlaeasSmall Copper – Lycaena phlaeas

Large White - Pieris brassicaeLarge White – Pieris brassicae

Small White - Pieris rapaeSmall White – Pieris rapae

Hoverflies also fared a little better with Marmalade Hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus, Eristalis arbustorum, Eristalis tenax, Eupeodes latifasciatus, Helophilus pendulus, Sphaerophoria sp. and Syritta pipiens all recorded. A single Tachina fera was also found along the northern path.

Eupeodes latifasciatusEupeodes latifasciatus

Eristalis arbustorumEristalis arbustorum

SphaerophoriaSphaerophoria sp.

Helophilus pendulusHelophilus pendulus

Tachina feraTachina fera

A couple of Adonis’ Ladybird Hippodamia variegata can still be found along the northern path, where plenty of 22-spot Ladybird Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata are also to be found. Good numbers of 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella septempunctata present, with a few Harlequin Ladybird Harmonia axyridis. A new Weevil found on this visit was Apion frumentarium found near the entrance to the reserve.

Adonis' Ladybird - Hippodamia variegataAdonis’ Ladybird – Hippodamia variegata

Harlequin Ladybird - Harmonia axyridisHarlequin Ladybird – Harmonia axyridis

Apion frumentariumApion frumentarium

Other inverts. included a nice Hairy Shieldbug Dolycoris baccarum found near the Dragonfly Ponds along the northern path. Several Spiked Shieldbug Picromerus bidens were also found at various places around the reserve. Field Digger Wasp Mellinus arvensis was also found in a couple of places around the site.

Hairy Shieldbug - Dolycoris baccarumHairy Shieldbug – Dolycoris baccarum

Spiked Shieldbug - Picromerus bidensSpiked Shieldbug – Picromerus bidens

Field Digger Wasp - Mellinus arvensisField Digger Wasp – Mellinus arvensis

It was also a good day for birding, Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata being a site tick. Whilst photographing the Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos on Island Lake a Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica headed north with a Curlew Numenius arquata before turning west and dropping down onto the field to the north-west of the reserve. Another good bird was the drake eclipsed Pintail Anas acuta, again on Island Lake along with two Ruff Calidris pugnax.

Spotted Flycatcher - Muscicapa striataSpotted Flycatcher – Muscicapa striata

Ruff - Calidris pugnaxRuff – Calidris pugnax

Common Sandpiper - Actitis hypoleucosCommon Sandpiper – Actitis hypoleucos

Pintail - Anas acutaPintail – Anas acuta

Grey Heron - Ardea cinereaGrey Heron – Ardea cinerea

Little Egret - Egretta garzettaLittle Egret – Egretta garzetta

Buzzard - Buteo buteoBuzzard – Buteo buteo

Birds (46)
Bar-tailed Godwit – Limosa lapponica
Black Swan – Cygnus atratus
Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla
Black-headed Gull – Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Buzzard – Buteo buteo
Canada Goose – Branta canadensis
Carrion Crow – Corvus corone
Common Gull – Larus canus
Common Sandpiper – Actitis hypoleucos
Coot – Fulica atra
Cormorant – Phalacrocorax carbo
Curlew – Numenius arquata
Feral Pigeon – Columba livia
Gadwall – Anas strepera
Goldfinch – Carduelis carduelis
Great Crested Grebe – Podiceps cristatus
Green Sandpiper – Tringa ochropus
Green Woodpecker – Picus viridis
Grey Heron – Ardea cinerea
Greylag Goose – Anser anser
House Martin – Delichon urbicum
Jackdaw – Corvus monedula
Kestrel – Falco tinnunculus
Lapwing – Vanellus vanellus
Little Egret – Egretta garzetta
Little Grebe – Tachybaptus ruficollis
Little Ringed Plover – Charadrius dubius
Long-tailed Tit – Aegithalos caudatus
Mallard – Anas platyrhynchos
Meadow Pipit – Anthus pratensis
Moorhen – Gallinula chloropus
Mute Swan – Cygnus olor
Pied Wagtail – Motacilla alba yarrellii
Pintail – Anas acuta
Pochard – Aythya ferina
Red Kite – Milvus milvus
Rook – Corvus frugilegus
Ruff – Calidris pugnax
Shelduck – Tadorna tadorna
Shoveler – Anas clypeata
Spotted Flycatcher – Muscicapa striata
Stock Dove – Columba oenas
Teal – Anas crecca
Tufted Duck – Aythya fuligula
Wigeon – Anas penelope
Woodpigeon – Columba palumbus

Beetles (5)
22-spot Ladybird – Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata
7-spot Ladybird – Coccinella septempunctata
Adonis’ Ladybird – Hippodamia variegata
Harlequin Ladybird – Harmonia axyridis
Apion frumentarium

Butterflies (7)
Comma – Polygonia c-album
Large White – Pieris brassicae
Meadow Brown – Maniola jurtina
Red Admiral – Vanessa atalanta
Small Copper – Lycaena phlaeas
Small White – Pieris rapae
Speckled Wood – Pararge aegeria

Dragonflies (6)
Blue-tailed Damselfly – Ischnura elegans
Brown Hawker – Aeshna grandis
Common Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum
Common Darter – Sympetrum striolatum
Migrant Hawker – Aeshna mixta
Southern Hawker – Aeshna cyanea

Bees & Wasps (3)
Common Carder Bee – Bombus pascuorum
Field Digger Wasp – Mellinus arvensis
Large Red-tailed Bumblebee – Bombus lapidarius

True Bugs (2)
Sloe Shieldbug – Dolycoris baccarum
Spined Shieldbug – Picromerus bidens

Hoverflies (7)
Marmalade Hoverfly – Episyrphus balteatus
Eristalis arbustorum
Eristalis tenax
Eupeodes latifasciatus
Helophilus pendulus
Sphaerophoria
Syritta pipiens

Other flies (1)
Tachina fera