Thursday, 14 June 2018

Summer Dragonflies on the Wing.

In Bouldnor Forest today a first Southern Hawker hunting along the forest ride.At the ponds one mature Ruddy Darter and another maturing Ruddy Darter.While observing the Southern Emerald Damselflies a first Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa was spotted.

The Isle of Wight Southern Emeralds.

A visit to Bouldnor Forest this afternoon was rewarded with at least two mature adult Southern Emerald Damselflies on the margins of their breeding ponds.The diagnostic feature of this species is the two tone wing spots.

A Look at Latchmore Brook.

My first ever visit to Latchmore Brook in the New Forest was an unexpected opportunity and unfortunately rather brief.Still an hour or so exploring the boggy feeder streams that flow from the north into the brook discovered several of the rare Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly and also the equally uncommon  Southern Damselfly.Other species seen at the brook and along the runnels were Beautiful Demoiselle,Keeled Skimmer,Large Red Damselfly,and Emperor Dragonflies.    


Saturday, 9 June 2018

Beautiful Demoiselles Active at Shalfleet Stream.

Since the first sighting of an immature male Beautiful Demoiselle on the 6th May it is not surprising that  now the season is well under way at Shalfleet Stream.Today under cloudy but bright conditions I  recorded over forty demoiselles along this wooded stream.When the sun appeared activity certainly increased with mature males performing their aerobatics for the females at any sunny spot over the water.Several immature males were evident and hopefully the peak has not yet been reached.

Friday, 8 June 2018

More from Bouldnor.

Unlike my last visit to Bouldnor excatly a week ago I enjoyed some  long sunny spells and consquently higher temperatures today. I observed more Southern Emerald Damselflies emerging from their two breeding ponds, albeit just two individuals,one from each pond.Although I looked for any mature L. barbarus I found none.Any damselflies that did emerge today would have had to compete for airspace with a  stream of teneral Common Darters that took off from these ponds.
An interesting sighting at the smaller of the two ponds was a male Four-spotted Chaser.He persistently patrolled the water and landed occasionally on any prominent reed.A species common on the mainland but not seen too often here on the Isle of Wight.Among the other odonata on show was the very attractive female Blue-tailed Damselfly form violacae.

A teneral Common Darter,just one of many again today

Larger of the two breeding ponds

Smaller breeding pond

Monday, 4 June 2018


Although the Scarce Chaser tends to dominate the streams and ditches around the town of Nydri on the Ionian Island of Lefkada,there is another dragonfly that shares this habitat.In the southern Balkans the Keeled Skimmer subspecies anceps is dominate, where the adult male may be all-pruinose.Unlike the Keeled Skimmers of northern Europe anceps frequent streams and ditches whereas its northern cousin prefers boggy acidic runnels.
A great surprise to me was also the sighting of a male Southern Skimmer Orthetrum brunneum, a species very similar to the Keeled Skimmer but differing in several features. 

A male Southern Skimmer

Immature male

Immature female

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Showing Off Those Legs.

As well as Scarce Chasers scattered on suitable habitat around the ditches and streams on the outskirts of Nydri,Lefkada there are also other odonata species to enjoy.Not least are White-legged Damselflies Platycnemis pennipes. These attractive damselflies are numerous at this time and can be seen gliding among the reeds in search of a sunny spot.The male is a handsome blue with dark markings and has very expanded white legs which it uses for display. The females have a overall cream colour turning green when mature.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Southern Emeralds Are Back Again.

Yesterday under cloudy but bright conditions I made a visit to our only known site for Southern Emerald Damselflies Lestes barbarus on the Isle of Wight.Both scrape-like ponds were well watered and generously covered in reeds and horsetails.Although the sun refused to appear the temperature was about 17C and there was no breeze to talk of.
After a rather prolonged search around the ponds I came across three teneral individuals near to the margins.In time I spotted another four fluttering in from the ponds.During the hour that I was there the total of seven were encountered.
A count of twenty plus was also made of teneral Common Darters that are now emerging from the same ponds.