Saturday 27 June 2015

A Ready Ruddy.

Back at my local patch of forest ponds this adult male Ruddy Darter has taken up his position beside one of the small ponds.Thankfully this particular pond still has some sort of water level as others are now dry or very low.Dragonfly activity continues to produce newly emerging Common Darters and Black-tailed Skimmers along with increasing numbers of Emerald Damselflies such as this adult male.


Wednesday 24 June 2015

A New Emperor.

Yesterday a new Emperor Dragonfly proudly spread its wings soon after  emerging from my garden pond.I saw this teneral dragonfly as he 'shimmied ' his wings in preparation for a first flight.Within a minute or two he had fluttered off.Just a few feet away he landed on a shaded branch of a hawthorn tree where he remained for the rest of the day,only departing this morning.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Shining Like a Gem.

Walking around my local forest ponds today and shining in the sunshine were the new wings of several Emerald Damselflies.These are elegant and dainty damselflies and this female was resplendent in her green and gold outfit.
Colourful too were the various female forms of the Blue-tailed Damselfly,and this violacea female form is eye-catching.

Sunday 14 June 2015

Slow Going at my Garden Pond.

Activity at my garden pond has not been great to date.Only now do the Azure and Large Red Damselflies seem to be in the mood to mate and oviposit.I have not witnessed any damselfly emergents yet.
A adult male Broad-bodied Chaser arrived at the pond a couple of days ago and was just preceded by a female.Apart from one Broad-bodied Chaser exuvia earlier in the season  I have found just two Emperor Dragonfly exuviae. Not very encouraging so far.I am hoping for the sight of the larger dragonflies too cruising around the garden soon,so fingers crossed.

Tuesday 9 June 2015

Poor Weather Keeps the Banded Away.

Despite today's blustery and cool weather I made a first of the year visit to Southford Stream in the hope of seeing the Banded Demoiselle. Numbers were very low with just four sightings,three males and one female and no activity at all along this particular stretch of stream.Still,perhaps this was due to disappointing weather and no doubt numbers will increase as the season progresses.
There were however many Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies in several areas of long grass close to the stream.These originate from the reservoir which is very close by.

Monday 8 June 2015

From a Forest Pond 2.

After a successful trip to the collection of small ponds at Bouldnor Forest I returned yesterday to take a closer look at one or two of the other dragonfly species.
First sighting, a pair of mating Emperor Dragonflies in the reeds close to the edge of a pond.Leaving them to look at the activity on the  ponds and of particular notice were the regular aerial clashes of the male Broad-bodied Chasers and the Black-tailed Skimmers.Both species find the habitat  around the ponds ideal and although in flight both species of males are very similar,it is easy to know which is which when they land on their own piece of territory.The Chasers tend to perch on a reed stem or overhanging twig whereas the Skimmers will always choose a spot on the bare ground.
Common Darter are still emerging and a few are easily disturbed from the surrounding long grass to flutter away to safety in the nearby branches of small trees. In these grasses too are the damselflies and a particular beauty is the very common Blue-tailed Damselfly.The immature male has a green thorax but when mature it will become blue and there are five colour forms for the females.

Mature male Broad-bodied Chaser

Mature male Black-tailed Skimmer

Tenaral Common Darter

Maturing male Blue-tailed Damselfly

Immature female Blue-tailed Damselfly

Saturday 6 June 2015

From a Forest Pond.

The small complex of ponds at Bouldnor Forest are perhaps in their third season and today mature Black-tailed Skimmers and Broad-bodied Chasers were in evidence.With the ponds bare banks they are the ideal habitat for the Black-tailed Skimmers and as with most ponds the Broad-bodied Chasers are present at this time of year.I also came across several damselflies including this immature female Blue-tailed Damselfly called violacea which is one of five female forms.
The Common Darter is now emerging and  while walking through the pond margins I disturbed many tenerals.


Friday 5 June 2015

Cherchez les Demoiselles.

Since the first sighting of Beautiful Demoiselles at Shalfleet on the 11th May,many males have now matured and they can now be seen at a sunny spot over the stream in aerial combat with each other.It is quite a sight as maybe three or four adult males flutter around frantically with one another in their attempts to win the prime territory places.
The females of course prefer to take a ringside seat and watch from the bank before deciding on which to choose.

Tuesday 2 June 2015

Back to Lefkada.

This is the ideal time of the year to visit a favourite Greek Island of mine.In and around the coastal town of Nidri on Lefkada there are a host of dragonflies and damselflies to see.The small streams that gently flow into the sea here are clogged with reeds in places and are a perfect habitat for the Scarce Chaser.The adult males can be found in good numbers, along with other species that like these conditions such as White-legged Damselflies and Keeled Skimmers.But perhaps the most exotic dragonfly to grace these streams is the Violet Dropwing and in particular the colourful male.