Water Ladybird Anisosticta 19-punctata new to Tophill!!!
Not uncommon, but up until Saturday it was another of those species that was missing from the flora and fauna list of Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire. Doug Fairweather and myself have lost count of the times we’ve commented ‘Just got to find one’… but finally Doug found and photographed a Water Ladybird Anisosticta 19-punctata on a reed stem on site. Hopefully the first of many, as unfortunately despite being less than four strides away, it disappeared very quickly.
The ladybird theme was a Saturday thing – 7-spot Ladybird Coccinella 7-punctata made the notebook, while the less regular Orange Ladybird Halyzia 16-guttata was also noted with singles of Fourteen-spot Ladybird Propylea 14-punctata and the scarcely recorded on site Two-spot Ladybird Adalia 2-punctata.
The plus side of the birding is that the year list continues to increase. This Garganey Anas querquedula was present on D res on Saturday, while Hobby Falco subbuteo has been regular for the last five days, with an Osprey Pandion haliaetus showing on and off from Monday until Wednesday evening at least – at one point gliding over Decoy fields in pursuit of a Hare Lepus capensis… while several moments later as the Osprey closed in on the Hare, a Sparrowhawk Accipter nisus took out a Swift Apus apus in the same binocular view! A Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra was noteworthy on Sunday on the Tophill approaches, and 2 Black Terns Chlidonias niger looked stunning on D res on Wednesday. The Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris remained on site Saturday-Wednesday, but despite wader movements across Yorkshire on Wednesday, not a single passage wader was noted at Tophill. Two first-summer Little Gull Larus minutus have lingered on D res for a couple of days, while a massive 35+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls L. fuscus graellsii were present on site on Monday. More can be found on the Tophill Low official round-up.
Some of the numerous 1st summer and non-breeding Black-headed Gulls L. ridibundus which are on site at the moment.
Odonata… fair to say it has been a slow start, not only at Tophill Low NR, but also across Yorkshire. Almost 200 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula exuvae have been collected from one area, though few adults can be seen. The first Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella of the year was found on Tuesday, complete with exuvia and four more larval cases where in close proximity. Noticeably, after exuviae collection on Saturday and Sunday over a target area, few were found on Monday and Tuesday, with only one Large Red Damselfly emergent noted. From the previous posting, a Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata was found on Monday. Check out the Yorkshire BDS sightings page for more Odonata news.
The cool Saturday weather provided ample opportuntity to catch up with Hoverflies. Sunny spells, followed by lengthy cloudy periods (and light rain) ensured what is on the wing could be found sitting around. A number of images below, not including Heliophilus pendulus and Vollucella bombylans which were also on the wing.
The brief spells of warm weather does nothing for the lepidoptera. Butterflies are more noticeable by their absence, while an Ingrailed Clay Diarsia mendica has been the only highlight of the moth trapping effort.
Finally, the opening Leafhopper of the summer – Cercopis vulnerata
While the odd Tingis cardui Spear Thistle Lacebug demonstrated that despite the cold, looking hard does prevail!!!