Thursday 25 August 2016

An Evening Visitor.

After all activity it seems,has stopped for the day at my garden pond,it was pleasing to see a Southern Hawker this evening busily looking for a spot to oviposit.It was 1845 BST and the sun had disappeared from sight.A perfect moment perhaps for this female to lay her eggs in the pondside vegetation without any disturbance. 

Friday 19 August 2016

Beach Blues.

Although the dazzling  colour of the male Scarlet Darters was obvious along the stream that flowed,at least during the winter months, across the beach into the bay  at Chrysi Ammoudia on the Greek Island of Thassos,there are also other dragonflies to see here.Not least,the powder blue of the mature male Keeled Skimmers which, in this part of Southern Europe are the subspecies anceps. These skimmers tend to restrict themselves to the dense reeds just a short distance upstream away from the beach.They are a common sight here  and are seen in any small area of cleared reeds and  small pools.
On the other hand a very similar skimmer,the Southern Skimmer Orthetrum brunneum,is a species of more open ground.It is another common dragonfly in Southern Europe although until last week I had never seen one in the field. In the  summer months where this stream opens onto the beach a  large pool is formed,pictured below, and it was on the sandy bank of the pool that a male Southern Skimmer was spotted patrolling the waters edge.

Sunday 14 August 2016

The Reds Impress.

At this time of the year we look forward to a holiday in the Greek Islands and again our destination is the Aegean Island of Thassos.The sandy beach at Chrysi Ammoudia extends for 3 kms and is backed by a fertile plain to the mountains that overlook the bay.Twenty five years ago when we first visited the bay, the plain was devoid of holiday villas and apartments and many streams made their way from the mountains  to the shore.Inevitably things had to change,but pockets of reeds and some of the watercourses are still to be seen.Despite this human intrusion  dragonflies are around in some numbers, so find any water and they are sure to be close by.
No doubt the most noticeable of  all are the colourful male Scarlet Darters or Broad Scarlets. It is a spectacular species with the male an overall bright red. Males can be witnessed flying low over the water vying with other males for the best territorial spot.In contrast the females are a more sombre yellowy gold.


Friday 12 August 2016

An Uncommon Blue.

I was pleased to see this female blue form Common Blue Damselfly in my garden yesterday,particularly as I would not expect to record this species here.She has obviously not emerged from my small pond as this species prefers larger bodies of water.