North Cliffe Wood – 26/07/12

A warm but cloudy afternoon saw me make a brief visit to this site. Due to the 100% cloud cover there were virtually no large dragonflies active, with only one Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum observed. Damselflies were present around the pond with many Emerald Damselflies Lestes sponsa paired up and ovipositing into the juncus grasses. There were a few more Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum on this occasion, with a supporting cast of Azure Damselflies Coenagrion puella and Blue-tailed Damselflies Ischnura elegans.

Emerald Damselfly - Lestes sponsa

Emerald Damselfly – Lestes sponsa

Common Blue Damselfly - Enallagma cyathigerum

Common Blue Damselfly – Enallagma cyathigerum

The cloud cover also meant that butterflies were low in numbers, though six species were observed. Small Coppers Lycaena phlaeas were found in double figures nectaring on the heather. A few Green-veined Whites Pieris napi were active, along with Meadow Browns Maniola jurtina, Ringlets Aphantopus hyperantus and a couple of Small Skippers Thymelicus sylvestris. A single Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus was trying to absorb as much heat as possible, whilst resting on Bramble, alowing close approach.

Gatekeeper - Pyronia tithonus

Gatekeeper – Pyronia tithonus

Small Copper - Lycaena phlaeas

Small Copper – Lycaena phlaeas

Green-veined White - Pieris napi

Green-veined White – Pieris napi

Ringlet - Aphantopus hyperantus

Ringlet – Aphantopus hyperantus

Hoverflies were not as active as usual, only really encountered when they were disturbed from grasses and foliage along the western footpath. Extra interest was found observing the grasshoppers, many adults now obvious having completed their nymphal stages. Two species were identified on this occasion, Mottled Grasshopper Myrmeleotettix maculatus and Field Grasshopper Chorthippus brunneus.

Hoverfly - Helophilus pendulus

Hoverfly – Helophilus pendulus

Hoverfly - Myathropa florea

Hoverfly – Myathropa florea

Field Grasshopper - Chorthippus brunneus

Field Grasshopper – Chorthippus brunneus

Mottled Grasshopper - Myrmeleotettix maculatus

Mottled Grasshopper – Myrmeleotettix maculatus