Thursday, 15 August 2019

Southern Emerald Damselflies Holding On at Yarmouth.

After drawing a blank at Bouldnor Forest ponds last week, a curtailed visit  this afternoon resulted in two sightings of male Southern Emerald Damselflies at their usual site.Both individuals were seen at the larger of the two scrapes,the two 'ponds' now completely dry despite unsettled weather over the last couple of weeks. It seems that their only company at the moment are several male Emerald Damselflies and one or two Common Darters.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Male Common Emeralds Compete for Space at Bouldnor.

The Common Emerald Damselfly is another damselfly to be seen now at Bouldnor Forest ponds.My earlier post of the 5th July recorded the first female Lestes sponsa   at the ponds this season and yesterday several males were vying with the male Southern Emerald Damselflies for territory .

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Southern Emerald Numbers Rise as August Arrives.

Today Southern Emerald Damselfly numbers increased dramatically at their Isle of Wight breeding site.Dramatically that is for this colony,as since its discovery in 2015 sightings have only once reached double figures at one time.
At least six males were recorded this afternoon at the larger of the two scrapes.This area now looks bone dry although there are plenty of green rush and reed growing from the scrape.The same can be said of the smaller scrape, although it seems to be deeper than its partner with a hint of moisture and a covering of dead vegetation between the rush and reed.As yet no sightings have come from the smaller scrape this season.
I expect and hope that females will soon appear as August progresses with the mating period now imminent.

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Southern Emerald Damselflies Back at Yarmouth.

The last sighting of Lestes barbarus was on the 21st of June at Yarmouth.Expert advice was that any further sightings would be when individuals had matured and returned to their breeding locations.This was well founded as yesterday I recorded up to three mature males on station at the larger of the two scrapes.Both scrapes are now dry so hopefully mating pairs will soon be seen throughout August.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Black Darters on Town Common.

Arguably the best site for the Black Darter in this area is Town Common,Dorset.Of course there are several scattered populations in the New Forest as this species is found on lowland heathland particularly in the south.
Last year's visit to the Common was made in the first week of September after a prolonged bout of dry and hot weather.The open heathland was devoid of moisture so it was down to locating any small pools that may remain in the more restricted parts of the common.
Yesterday's visit however was more successful, as although several darters were recorded on the open heath,the same shallow pools and their immediate surroundings had good  numbers of both male and female Black Darters.In fact unlike last time there were a lot of females.
Other species in evidence were Emerald Damselflies mainly around the pools, and along the tree lined tracks  some Brown Hawkers on the hunt for prey.

One of several shallow pools still with water.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Summer Sunshine Brings a New Visitor to the Garden Pond.

After a period of overnight rain  and morning showers this afternoon gave way to blue sky and warm sunshine.As a way of celebration perhaps a male Ruddy Darter visited my garden pond and took up position on the ponds' lilly pads.This is the first time that this species has been recorded at the pond since its creation eight years ago.

Thursday, 18 July 2019

Home Grown Dragonfly.

There are several containers on our patio that have pond plants of some sort.This morning a Common Darter nymph emerged from one of the containers to prepare for its rather short time as a dragonfly. 

Wednesday, 17 July 2019

More Red-eyes.

The Red-eyed Damselfly or Large Red-eyed,as the name suggests, is a slightly bigger and more robust damselfly than its relative the Small Red-eyed Damselfly. Whereas the latter normally appear here at the beginning of July,the Red-eyed can be seen at the start of May.In fact an immature male was spotted at my garden pond on the 29th April this year.
This species is closely associated with floating leaves,typically water-lillies,and they favour large ponds and lakes where this plant grows.On the Isle of Wight the ponds at Stag Lane and Dickson pond which is close by, are good sites.
Both species can be seen in the same locations and can be difficult to tell apart.The following photographs show the Small Red-eyed Damselfly,except the two final images which are of an immature male Red-eyed.

Mature female

Immature male

Immature male

Monday, 15 July 2019

Better Late Than Never.

This  garden pond at Shalflleet has reliably produced a thriving population of Small Red-eyed Damselflies for a number of seasons. This year I am glad to say that males are on the ponds' lily pads.I must admit that I was somewhat concerned as normally the first damselflies are recorded in the last week of June.Today there were at least three males together with a green/black immature male that briefly landed on a pad only to fly off.

Monday, 8 July 2019

All Quiet at Bouldnor.

It was a disappointing visit to Bouldnor Forest today with little in the way of dragonfly activity despite the warm and sunny weather.Yet again no Southern Emerald Damselflies were encountered and the usual species seen in very small numbers.In fact it seems to be the norm this year with low counts of odonata.
A slight improvement was made on my return out of the forest, when along the track I recorded my first Golden-ringed Dragonfly of the year.This male was in hunting mode and I had only a brief glimpse before it took off into the trees.