Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Back at Bouldnor.

A further visit to  the Southern Emerald Damselfly site yersterday was rewarded with four males and a mating pair.All the sightings were at the smaller of the two breeding scrapes as no damselflies could be seen at the larger scrape.Weather conditions were again good with temperatures exceeding 20 celcius.
The only other species recorded were Common Darter,Ruddy Darter,and at the other ponds on the site Southern and Migrant Hawkers.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Late Summer Sunshine at Bouldnor Forest.

On the Isle of Wight today we enjoyed a warm and sunny day.This late summer day enticed the dragonflies into action and in Bouldnor Forest plenty were about.The colony of Southern Emerald Damselflies continue to occupy their two dry scrapes with seven males,a female,and a mating pair in evidence.Not surprisingly Common Darters were the most numerous along with several Southern Hawkers as well as the slightly smaller Migrant Hawkers.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

More From Town Common.

Despite my disappointment at failing to locate more than one female Black Darter I was pleased to see several males.By this time of the season the males have matured with their frons darkening as well as the yellow spots on the side of the abdomen. The base of the hind wings is very broad as can be particularly noted in the second photo below.Unlike the female,the males wings are clear.

Thursday, 6 September 2018

A Late Summer Darter.

The Black Darter is not found on the Isle of Wight.The nearest sites are situated in the New Forest where the lowland heaths provide the right habitat conditions for our smallest dragonfly.However perhaps the best location is on Town Common in Hampshire's neighbouring county Dorset 
Yesterdays trip was blessed with sunny weather and is just an 18 mile car ride from Lymington.The Common is a large expanse of  heathland normally with areas of very wet and boggy ground,although due to the dry conditions this summer they all seemed well dried out.It therefore transpired that the best locations to find any darters was to search for the odd damp pool or runnel.Luckily one of two still remained and male Black Darters were on guard for intruders and females.
On the  heather covered heath I only saw one darter,a female,that unfortunately disappeared as quickly as it appeared.

Monday, 3 September 2018

Southern Emerald Season Sees a Fourth Month.

This morning under sunny skies the bone dry scrapes at Bouldnor saw Southern Emerald activity go into its fourth month.Mature males were evident at both scrapes with a count of eight individuals and two pairs.Not surprisingly the males like their own space and see off any other encroaching males that come too close.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Southern Emeralds Still Bright & Beautiful.

Today's visit to Bouldnor Forest ponds was somewhat marred by an extensive dark cloud that lingered for the duration over the Southern Emerald Damselfly site.The temperature was a mild 19 degrees but now and again light rain fell and not surprisingly dragonfly activity was very low.
However a walk around the two dry scrapes yielded a total of nine Southern Emeralds,all of them mature males.


Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Choosing the Right Spot.

The Southern Hawker has visited the garden pond over the last several seasons to oviposit.It is a treat to watch the female as she busily glides around the pond looking for the best places to lay her eggs.
Yesterday I witnessed two visits,the first in the early afternoon and a second much later when the female laid eggs in the bank facing the pond and then into reed leaves and stems.These are ideal spots  compared with other Southern Hawkers that seem to try and oviposit into anything from a large rock to my leg.
The photos below follow a short sequence of  ovipositing into a reed where the female uses the ovipositor to deposit her egg.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Southern Hawkers & Southern Emeralds.

Following a cloudy start to the day the sun soon came out and by midday the temperature was a warm 25 degrees celsius.At Bouldnor Forest ponds several dragonfly species were on show.In particular the Southern Hawker along with Common and Ruddy Darters.Of course the main attraction was yet again the Southern Emerald Damselflies with seven males seen at the two breeding ponds together with a copulating pair.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Southern Emeralds Still Active at our Local Site.

The dry heat of the last couple of months has now gone and today was a comfortable 22 celicus.However the occasional cloudly spell did mean that there were some cool  periods.Nevertheless activity at our Southern Emerald site was excellent and perhaps at its peak now, with many male damselflies in evidence together with one or two copulating pairs.In addition females were busy ovipositing into any suitable reed stems.The count of individuals today was the highest of the season, so we will hopefully look forward to the continuation of  this breeding colony next year.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Southern Hawker at the Garden Pond.

It is always satisfying to observe dragonflies and damselflies ovipositing into my garden pond and today was a special treat to see a female Southern Hawker exploring the pond for egg laying spots.This very attractive hawker is one of my favourites,not only to see their fabulous colours but also to enjoy the females enthusiastic behaviour.She will always oviposit into pondside plants or mossy material on the bank.As I have watched this and as happened today, the hawker will land on any convenient object such as my leg and attempt to lay an egg.