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.
Tuesday, 14 August 2018
Sunday, 5 August 2018
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.
Wednesday, 1 August 2018
It will take more a day of rain as experienced this week to dampen the breeding pools at our Southern Emerald site.Yesterday in rising temperatures they looked as dry as ever but this species is used to these conditions,so I was pleased to find three Southern Emeralds,two males and a female at the pools.The first damselflies were seen on the first of June and it will be interesting to see how long their season will last.
Friday, 20 July 2018
The hot and dry weather continues and it now must be almost two months since there has been any meaningful rainfall on the Isle of Wight and much of Southern England.However our colony of Southern Emerald Damselflies in Bouldnor Forest find it 'just like home' and the count today was eight males and one female at the two breeding scrapes.Both scrapes have now completely dried up.The males were seen on the vegetation in the scrapes and the lone female in the surrounding scrub
The usual species are seen at my garden pond at this time although today it was good to see a male Southern Hawker spending some time quartering the pond and its surrounds.He was of course on the lookout for a meal and it was not long before he took his latest catch to a close by bamboo plant to devour it.
Tuesday, 17 July 2018
The Blue-tailed Damselfly is common and widespread in many lowland areas of the UK The male is particularly conspicuous with its black and blue colours.However the female occurs in five colour forms.One of those forms is infusicans and this was seen recently at a garden pond.The male is never seen with the female when she oviposits unlike some other damselflies.
Monday, 16 July 2018
Activity at the garden pond in the village of Shalflleet is increasing with several mating pairs in addition to a number of ovipositing pairs in tandem. I would guess that numbers have not yet peaked as this is a thriving colony.The pond is now well covered in lily pads since the plants were thinned a couple of seasons ago.It seems that this species is happy with an almost choked pond covering.
Thursday, 12 July 2018
Like the Southern Damselfly the New Forest is renowned as a stronghold for the Small Red Damselfly Ceriagrion tenellum. Perhaps the best location to see this delicate damselfly is Crockford Stream on Beaulieu Heath.A visit to the stream on Tuesday discovered good numbers of this very restricted species.It is classed as Nationally Scarce and the habitat required for the Small Red is usually limited to shallow warm acidic waters on heathland bogs where there are pools and small streams.
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Crockford Stream trickles its way across Beaulieu Heath in the New Forest.As soon as you leave the small road bridge that spans the stream activity is frantic with a myriad of dragonflies every few feet along the watercourse.It really is a mecca for heathland odonata.
Perhaps the most numerous species here is the Keeled Skimmer,closely followed by Beautiful Demoiselles and at regular intervals male Golden-ringed Dragonflies.They patrol the stream on the lookout for females and any other males that they may want to send on their way.
One must not forget of course the two species of specialised damselflies that are also present along the stream,the Small Red Damselfly and the Southern Damselfly.