Wednesday 21 May 2014

Another Early Riser.

In the early morning shade of my garden pond this Emperor Dragonfly gets ready for its first flight
Today  four Emperors emerged from the pond.However the success rate was only 50% as one dragonfly fell into the water straight after emergence and did not recover,while a second had badly deformed wings.

Monday 19 May 2014

Spring Has Sprung.

Early this morning at my garden pond was an Emperor Dragonfly excuvia.This is the first Emperor larva skin I have seen this season.There were none last year unlike 2012 when I collected five.Let us hope for a few more soon of our largest dragonfly.The occupant of the skin had gone so maybe it emerged in the night or at first light.
A morning trip to my local copse resulted in several Azure damselflies and an immature Emperor.
Close by at Shalfleet Stream an improved count of 24 Beautiful Demoiselles at this wooded stream over the ten of a week ago.Good numbers of mature male Demoiselles  now in their waterside territories busily displaying over the stream.
Unfortunately the female Demoiselle below suffered a deformed wing.

Friday 16 May 2014

New Arrival

Today a male Broad-bodied Chaser arrived at my garden pond and found a perfect perch to await any passing females.

Flying Today.

Walking across the fields to my local pond this morning and the first sound of a cuckoo this year calling repeatedly.
At Clamerkin pond I immediately came across a Downy Emerald dragonfly on gorse and just time for one quick shot before it took off. I never had another opportunity to see it land..Perhaps a chance will present itself another time although this species is well known for its long flight periods over the water and then alighting in a tree.
Close by are several other smaller ponds and there I was very pleased to see a patrolling adult male Emperor Dragonfly which occasionally had a  territorial dispute with a male Broad-bodied Chaser.
Trudging through the long grass that surrounds these ponds I also disturbed five immature Emperors which had presumably very recently emerged closeby.
However not all made it away from the pond a this Emperor came to grief in a pondside spiders web


Thursday 15 May 2014

More Spring Damselflies.

A first visit this year to Downton Farm Stream at Brook village and the pond close by.At the latter workers were busy clearing the water soldier that was clogging the whole surface.In the grassy margins there were plenty of Common Blue Damselflies to see but no other species were noted.
At the stream a few Large Reds and two male Broad-bodied Chasers pursuing one another for the best spot on a small side scrape in the company of a nesting pair of Canada Geese.The highlight though was two immature male Beautiful Demoiselles
Photograph of the 'punky' Large Red Damselfly by kind permission of Barb Close..

A Common Sight.

The Common Blue Damselfly must be of our most abundant damselflies,hence the name.However it is  one of the most colourful especially the adult male in this bright blue.
My trip to Southford stream yesterday did not produce any early Banded Demoiselles but at the lake there were good numbers of the Common Blue in different stages of maturity.The immature males are a pale lilac,whereas the females prior to there adult green are a greyish.The adult female also has a blue form similar to the male.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

A Beautiful Walk

A second visit this year to Shalfleet Stream hoping that the Beautiful Demoiselles are now on the wing.
Although the weather started today with blue skies it was not long before patchy cloud bubbled up and this lead to showers.Luckily they seemed to pass by and just after midday there were some extended sunny spells.
That was enough for the Demoiselles to appear and I quickly counted to double figures with females seemingly outnumbering the males by two to one.
It became a very pleasant walk along tree lined stream bank with good numbers of butterflies,particularly Orange Tip,nectaring on the wild flowers and I was treated to the continuous waft of wild garlic

Saturday 10 May 2014

A Welcome Visitor.

With this latest bout of unsettled weather,activity at my garden pond has been low.Total dragonfly sightings are in single figures for this season when normally I would expect a steady increase in numbers now.
However I am sure that once a settled spell returns things will change rapidly.Despite another very windy day  I was pleased to see a adult female Azure close to my pond along with the male I saw yesterday. I assume that they have emerged from my neighbours established pond as I have only found evidence of one emergence from mine.

Friday 9 May 2014

Keeping Station

Despite an almost gale force wind today a couple of damselflies braved it to keep station at my garden pond.
Inevitably one was an adult Large Red and the other a male Azure.

Monday 5 May 2014

First Azure.

The Azure Damselfly is one of our most common damsels here in the UK and today was my first sighting of one this year.
This immature Azure was seen fluttering around my garden and I would expect quite a few more in the near future.

Saturday 3 May 2014

Large Reds Gather Round.

With the warm weather now here, male Large Red Damselflies are gathering at my garden pond.
Although it did not join them a female Broad-bodied Chaser made several flights around the garden,no doubt on the lookout for a male.Once mated she will then deposit her eggs into the pond while in flight.