Tuesday 24 June 2014

Island Red-veined Darters

Today I was fortunate enough to get the chance to see Red-veined Darters at a reservoir in the West Wight.
This darter is not a common sight here although several do turn up from time to time.
The banks of the reservoir are still bare ground in many places and just the habitat for Black-tailed Skimmers.Up to ten were seen including females and mating pairs,along with Emperor dragonflies and the common damselflies.
However we had no problem finding the Red-veined as the males seem to spread themselves out around the perimeter of the reservoir.Up to fifteen were present although we did not see any females
Many thanks to Andy Butler for the final photo below..


Monday 23 June 2014

More Scarce Chasers

A morning visit to private fishing ponds on the Island and three Scarce Chasers.The two males were perching in the sun for all to see but the third a female,was in reeds adjacent to the path and would have been missed if we had not seen it land.She stayed stock still for some time and gave us close views of her beautiful colouring.
Also at the ponds today,a large population of Red-eyed Damselflies.mainly out on the water on the lily pads,a male Downy Emerald,also a  male Black-tailed Skimmer,together with an Emperor Dragonfly and an early Southern Hawker, in flight.

Friday 20 June 2014

Another Hot Day.

It was another hot,early summer day and a walk through the fields to Clamerkin pond was a real pleasure with Marbled White and Meadow Brown butterflies flying over the long meadow grass.The hedgerows are still home to several species of damselfly and  darters with the occasional dragonfly in hunting mode.
At the pond Ruddy Darters are emerging together with Emerald Damselflies.Of the larger dragonflies it seems to be only the male Emperor patrolling the water

Thursday 12 June 2014

Back For More.

Another visit today to the site of  yesterdays Scarce Chasers on a very warm,sunny day.Not much to see before midday but in the early afternoon one sighting of what is thought to be an immature male Scarce Chaser flying low along a line of reeds onto open water and disappearing into thick vegetation.(However it could so easily be an adult female)Happily it was spotted for a brief moment and photographed before it vanished from our sight.Photo of today's 'catch'  kindly provided by Andy Butler.

Wednesday 11 June 2014

A Rare Treat.

The Scarce Chaser is not a common dragonfly on the Isle of Wight. In fact one is very fortunate to see it at all. Therefore when I had the opportunity to hopefully get a sight of this Chaser at an Island location it was a chance not to be missed..
In the company of a friend who has seriously searched for suitable habitat that might attract the Scarce Chaser we visited two areas. The first was a marsh maintained by the RSPB where it had been reported several years ago. Unfortunately despite some time looking at possible sites the Chaser was not seen. However there was no shortage of other more common species here with many Banded Demoiselles and damselflies along the riverbank. Around the ditches were Common and Ruddy Darters that had not long emerged.
At the second site not too far away which is a short stretch of muddy and very slow flowing stream we immediately came on a beautiful female Scarce Chaser perched very conveniently on a reed.
The Scarce Chaser preferred habitat is as just described with a good covering of  reed vegetation but having one or two small cleared areas of open water.
After this excellent first sighting a short distance farther on and at one these small open areas we saw a male which again was perched on what must be a favourite reed as it did not move off for some time.

Friday 6 June 2014

Early Summer Strolls.

A return visit today to one of my local streams to see the Beautiful Demoiselles that are a joy to behold as the males spar with each other over the stream for the best territorial spot.
I encountered well over twenty individuals, mostly males, that are now in their own private space.One or two females were seen eyeing up the display flights.

There was still lots of warm sunny weather to enjoy this afternoon so I stopped by at Bouldnor Forest near Yarmouth to investigate the new ponds that have been created in the forest in the last year or two.
Pondside vegetation is now established although the banks are still bare stone and soil.In fact a good place  maybe to see some Black-tailed Skimmers that prefer landing on this type of  terrain.Among the species here today were recently emerged Common Darters,several male Broad-bodied Chasers together with two females,Blue-tailed Damselflies,and an ovipositing Emperor Dragonfly.
Happily I came across a male  Black-tailed Skimmer and also a mating pair.

June Gems.

It was idyllic at my local pond yesterday afternoon in the early summer sunshine.It was not long before I saw a male Emperor quartering his patch along with two male Downy Emeralds.I was very fortunate to come across one of the latter perched on a section of bank favoured by most dragonflies at this site and it allowed some close views.Other species here included several Large Red,and the common Azure Damselfly.
A short walk to some nearby ponds yielded first records of the year for  Emerald Damselflies and half a dozen recently emerged Common Darters. These were in the company of an ovipositing Emperor and a patrolling male Broad-bodied Chaser.
Photo of ovipositing Emperor dragonfly  very kindly provided by Barb Close.

Tuesday 3 June 2014

Banded on the Run.

The River Yar at Southford is no more than a stream at this point as it flows through farmland.Here at this time of year the Banded Demoiselles are emerging and today I must have counted at least twenty individuals along the riverbank and on the footpath leading to the river.
In addition good numbers of Common Blue Damselflies are here, as well as Large Red,Azure, and  Blue-tailed.