With a misty start to the day and the threat of thunderstorms, I decided to keep fairly local and headed for North Cave Wetlands. Shortly after arrival the mist suddenly cleared, the sun came out, and insect activity increased dramatically.
It was good to see some large dragonflies active with Emperor Dragonflies Anax imperator patrolling along the north edge of Reedbed Lake and the Lilly Pond. Several Four-spotted Chasers Libellula quadrimaculata were active on the Lilly Pond and adjacent ponds. A mature male Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum was seen basking on the bare earth of the eastern footpath. There were numerous Common Blue Damselflies Enallagma cyathigerum around the site, with lesser numbers of Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and a small number of Azure Damselflies Coenagrion puella on the Lilly Pond.
Several butterfly species were on the wing, with Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina and Ringlets Aphantopus hyperantus being the most recent. A single Comma Polygonia c-album looked to be freshly emerged but eluded the camera. Common Blues Polyommatus icarus were in evidence along the northern edge of the reserve. An extremely worn Brown Argus Aricia agestis was also noted near the dragonfly pools.
The larvae of Yellow-tail Moth was strikingly obvious, on foliage adjacent to the walk-way into the southern hide on main lake.
There were plenty of other insects and spiders around the reserve to observe, I will let the photographs of these do the talking. As always some of these species are difficult to separate from each other, so don’t rely on my identification