Saturday 27 May 2017

More Southern Emeralds.

A further visit yesterday  to the site of the recently discovered Southern Emerald Damselflies was rewarded with more sightings in and around the shallow pond, pictured below.It seems to be a typical location for this species as it is prone to dry out at certain times particularly in the early summer.Among the several damselflies seen was a maturing female showing the two tone wing spots,a diagnostic feature of this species.
Rather embarrassingly it has been brought to my attention that my post of the 17th June 2016 also shows Southern Emeralds not Lestes sponsa as I originally believed.Therefore it seems that Lestes barbarus has been resident for at least two seasons.  

Friday 26 May 2017

Ruddy Darters Make an Appearance.

During yesterdays visit to my local forest pond there were numerous teneral darters on the fringes of a shallow scrape.The new emergents in question were Ruddy Darters,easily identified by their all black legs.

Thursday 25 May 2017

First Sighting of the Southern Emerald Damselfly.

A visit today to a local forest pond was rewarded with my first ever sighting of the impressive Southern Emerald Damselfly Lestes barbarus.Quite a few tenerals were fluttering away from the very shallow scrape-like pond and apparently this is the first record of this continental species on the Isle of Wight.

Thursday 18 May 2017

Red-eyes Now Appearing.

Despite the promise of a sunny day the cloud returned during the morning and by the time I arrived at my chosen location of Dickson pond it was well and truly overcast.However the damselfly species that I had come to see had decided to ignore the inclement weather and was emerging among the reeds around the pond.The Red-eyed Damselfly normally emerges during May whereas the very similar Small Red-eyed Damselfly is out towards the end of June.Both species can be found in the same habitat so when seen together careful inspection is required to tell them apart.

Wednesday 17 May 2017

Blue-tailed Damselflies Out in Force.

The recent fine and mainly dry weather has given way to an unsettled period of rain and cloud.So yesterday a visit to a large body of water known as Dodnor Nature Reserve adjacent to the coast was marred by a brisk wind and an overcast sky.However the lakeside reeds seemed to be crowded with what must be our most common damselfly,the Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.The female has five colour forms and all were on show.Perhaps the two most colourful  are rufescens (shown below devouring a moth) and violacea,also pictured below,with violet sides to the thorax.

Wednesday 10 May 2017

First Dragonfly of the Season.

Two female Broad-bodied Chasers have been flying around my garden and pond for  the last two or three days.I have not yet seen  a male Chaser  so no doubt these ladies are waiting for him.This species is always the first dragonfly to appear at my pond every year and I expect plenty of direct aerial egg-laying to go on in the short while.

Tuesday 2 May 2017

First Beautiful Demoiselles.

At this time of year a visit to Shalfleet Stream is a treat as many wildflowers are in bloom along wooded banks of this meandering stream.In particular the drifts of Wild Garlic are a sight to behold ,as they attract  butterflies and other insects to their flowers.My first walk along the stream today was rewarded with three Beautiful Demoiselles,all immature males.It will not be long before they mature and along with other males we can sit and watch them 'dance' over the water in aerial combat.A true sign of early summer.