Tuesday 20 June 2017

Small Red-eyes Out & About.

As the hot and sunny weather continues I made a first visit of the year to a garden pond in the village of Shalfleet. The owners had cleared out a lot of the water lily from their pond last year and Small Red-eyes numbers seemed to suffer in 2016.However it is clear from today's visit that the lilies have recovered and many lily pads cover the pond.Damselfly prospects look good too with a teneral recorded on the pond and later an  adult male seen on a pad near to the pond edge.
It can be noted from the photograph that the exuvia is present.The  larva has therefore emerged from the pond as this point through the pond weed.   

Sunday 18 June 2017

Banded at Brighstone Mill Stream.

A short outing this afternoon presented the opportunity to drop in at Brighstone Mill stream to see the Banded Demoiselles. The former mill stream was alive with male demoiselles flitting over the clear running water in brief aerial combat before returning to their waterside stations.Female demoiselles were also in evidence and in particular a mature female Beautiful Demoiselle took my eye as she consumed her prey.Banded dominate this stream but Beautiful Demoiselles are known to wander so this one could have come from afar.


Dragonflies Out in the Hot Weather.

There were plenty of dragonflies on show around Bouldnor Forest ponds yesterday with the weather  set fair and temperatures in the high twenties celsius. Much of the ground surrounding the shallow pond are clear of vegetation and Black-tailed Skimmers are consequently numerous.It is also time for the emergence of Common Darters and many tenerals are easily disturbed from their hiding places in the scrub. I was lucky enough to come across one or two Emerald Damselflies in the long grass and short scrub along with an immature male Common Blue Damselfly..Mature Ruddy Darters have now returned and the  blood red males can be seen near to the pond edge.
Several species of dragonfly mainly immature,frequent the paths and tracks in the forest at the moment,Inevitably most are Black-tailed Skimmers,although I did see my first Southern Hawker as it hunted for insects.When successful it would take its prey to a convenient perch, usually high up in the branches of a tree


Friday 16 June 2017

Southern Emerald Isle.

Despite the occasional cloudy period a visit to our Southern Emerald site today was rewarded with several mature damselflies around their shallow pools.The small collection of scrape-like pools here all look to be dry except the largest which seems to have a puddle in the centre. However this type of habitat is apparently preferred by this species.

Thursday 15 June 2017

More Dragons on Thassos.

Although the sight of  Norfolk Hawkers on Thassos was a treat,there are also other dragonflies to be seen at this beach side pond at Chrissi Ammoudia .Perhaps the most common here at any time is the Scarlet Darter or Broad Scarlet The male is bright scarlet whereas the female is yellow-brown.Mature females can take on a blue-grey colour. Inevitably a male Emperor Dragonfly is ever present, continuously patrolling the water,   now and again stopping to rest in the margins.This led to the occasional midair sortie with the Norfolk Hawkers but they always gave way to the Emperor.
In among the reeds were teneral Common Darters mingling with good numbers of Blue-tailed Damselflies and away from all this activity in the shallower sections several Black-tailed Skimmers battled for the best locations of the open bank.

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Early Trip to Thassos.

A holiday to the Greek Island of Thassos,just a 30 minute ferry ride from the Greek mainland in the north Aegean has become an annual event over the last few years.Instead of the usual August holiday we decided to visit in the first week of June.Less people crowding the 3 kilometre long beach and a chance perhaps of seeing a few different dragonfly species.
At a favourite spot just at the back of the beach is a reed lined pool which in the winter discharges water from the nearby mountains.Now it is a magnet for dragonflies and a notable new species for me was the Green-eyed Hawker or as it is commonly known in the UK,the Norfolk Hawker.A very handsome dragonfly with conspicuous green eyes,a mainly plain brown body and a yellow triangle on upperside  S2. This diagnostic feature gives it its scientific name Aeshna isoceles. In the southern Balkans there is a sub-species antehumeralis so named for the presence of larger yellow antehumeral streaks.