Thursday 27 June 2013

Summer Colour at Clamerkin.

Today continued with the warm sunny weather we have enjoyed over the last few days.Although it seems that dragonfly and damselfly numbers are down this year there are still  some beautiful  and colourful species to see around the pond.Not least Emerald and Blue-tailed Damselflies.

Friday 21 June 2013

First Emerald Damselfly of 2013

After a cloudy start the sun appeared this afternoon and a long awaited visit to my local patch following several days of poor weather.
The ponds closeby to Clamerkin NT are now awash with Azure Damselflies and many fall prey to the numerous spiders webs that cover the tall  reed grass surrounding the ponds.However a walk through the grass will send up hordes of teneral Common Darters.Other damselflies are beginning to be seen too including the Blue-tailed Damselfly and in patricular I came across my first sighting of the beautiful and delicate Emerald Damselfly.

Sunday 16 June 2013

Enjoying a Common Sight.

The Common Darter must be one of our most abundant darters here.However when I made a visit to several small ponds close to my local patch a couple of days ago I was pleased to see several tenerals in the surrounding reeds.
As well as these first of the year darters there were, what could be described as masses of Azure Damselflies,along with three ovipositing Emperor Dragonflies,a male and what could only have been a Downy Emerald patrolling  one pond.
Close by too was an immature female Emperor hiding in the long grass.

Thursday 13 June 2013

Emergence Time for the Azures.

After a period of fine,warm, and sunny weather the last few days have been more autumn like with heavy rain and strong winds.Today the sun came out for a while during the afternoon but the wind did not abate.
However it did trigger several damselflies to emerge from my garden pond,crawling up the leaves of the water soldier.The first emergent I saw had not fared very well as its wing seemed to be badly deformed.Happily the remaining Azures were more fortunate.
This is the first batch of tenerals I have witnessed from the pond this season and hopefully there will be many more.

Monday 10 June 2013

Orthetrum brunneum or Orthetrum coerulescens?

Or to laymen like me a Southern Skimmer or Keeled Skimmer.Both very similar,especially in the Mediterranean regions where the male Keeled Skimmer is all blue in colour as is the male Southern.
However there are several differences which can separate the species on close inspection.
The following photos were taken on a recent trip to Lefkada,Greece and show male and female Keeled Skimmers sp. anceps.

Thursday 6 June 2013

A Beautiful Day.

It was a glorious day today with lots of sunshine and the Beautiful Demoiselles certainly responded at Shalfleet Stream with feverish activity.There were many aerial combat flights between males over sunny spots of the stream.The courtship flight is particularly impressive with a male hovering and circling the stationary female.
A lovely damselfly species in movement,colour,and appearance.


Wednesday 5 June 2013

First Broad-bodied Chaser of the Season..

With the sunny weather continuing on the Island things have now taken off with good numbers of Large Red and Azure Damselflies at my garden pond.They are all very busy pairing up and this morning the first Broad-bodied Chaser arrived at the pond.This year it is a female so hopefully she will stick around to await a male.

 A short while later I noticed that the female had been replaced by a male,so I assume that the female has now departed for ponds anew.

Dropping in to use the Facilities

The hotel we stayed at on the Greek Island of Lefkada recently has a very inviting swimming pool.On several occasions while we enjoyed it some dragonflies also decided to drop by.
Perhaps the most exotic was a mature male Violet Dropwing.This widespread African species has colonised parts of  Europe around the Mediterranean coast over the last forty or so years.This male would have been a yellowish colour on emergence,turning orange and red before attaining their final violet colour.

This female Keeled Skimmer dragonfly also made use of a poolside lounger.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

Blue Featherleg

Or White-legged Damselfly as it is known in the UK and a very attractive damselfly.The males are blue with feathery hind legs which they display in courtship to the mainly green females.However the immature females can be found in the creamy-white colour with brownish thorax,known as the form lactea.
The following photos were taken on the Greek Island of Lefkada where I came across a small colony near to a sheltered stream in the corner of a field.

Monday 3 June 2013

Scarce Chaser

The Scarce Chaser is not a dragonfly normally seen on the Isle of Wight,although sightings have been made here a year or so ago.
A holiday to the Greek Island of Lefkada  a few days ago proved to be my first look at this species.On the fringes of Nidhri where streams and ditches reach the coast from the mountains I came across several Scarce Chasers.A treat for me indeed.