Friday 21 July 2017

Crockford Stream.

Crockford Stream is on the southern edge of Beaulieu Heath in The New Forest.As mentioned in my two previous posts the stream is well known for two special damselfly species,the Small Red Damselfly and the Southern Damselfly.The stream is best accessed at Crockford Bridge on the B3054 from Lymington to Beaulieu.
On my visit this week I was welcomed by numerous male Beautiful Demoiselles and Keeled Skimmers every few feet, all defending their piece of the stream.The stream trickles its way through this boggy area almost disappearing at times in the low scrub. In places it forms small open pools and also clear slow running spots where female Golden-ringed Dragonflies can be seen laying their eggs in their unique fashion.There is also no shortage of male Golden-ringed flying low along the stream in search of females.
It wasn't long before I came across several male Southern Damselflies  at certain favoured points on the bank.Small Red Damselflies were not so common and only found in the more boggy areas of the stream.As this habitat seems to be very specialized the only other species of damselfly on view was a single male Blue-tailed.

Looking east to Crockford Bridge with the stream on the right

Thursday 20 July 2017

Southern Damselfly in The New Forest.

Apart from the Small Red Damselfly there is another specialist damselfly at Crockford Stream in the New Forest.The Southern Damselfly Coenagrion mercuriale or the Mercury Bluet as it is named in continental Europe is restricted to just a few sites in England and Wales.The New Forest is perhaps its main stronghold in the UK.The name of this Red Data Listed damselfly refers to the 'Mercury' mark on the S2 segment of the male, although this shape can sometimes vary slightly.
The female is normally a dull green with the abdomen mainly black above and blue divisions between the last few segments There is a blue form of the female as shown below in the third photograph.It can be seen that the female has green eyes.

Wednesday 19 July 2017

Small Red Damselflies in the New Forest.

Yesterday I made a long overdue visit to Crockford Stream in the New Forest .This stream is renowned above all for the Small Red Damselfly and the Southern Damselfly. The New Forest is one of the few locations in England and Wales for this species.The Small Red requires shallow and quite warm acidic waters in the form of pools,and small streams.This type of habitat is usually associated with heathland bogs as found in the New Forest.

Friday 14 July 2017

Small Red-eyes Take the Stage.

A count of at least eight adult male Small Red-eyed Damselflies this morning at a garden pond in the village of Shalfleet,all on their own individual lily-pads Hopefully numbers will increase in the next few weeks as activity reaches a peak.

Saturday 8 July 2017

First Golden-ringed Dragonfly of the Year.

Rather belatedly I saw my first Golden-ringed Dragonfly of the season yesterday while on a day trip to  the woods at Whiteley in Hampshire.This male was hunting in a very sunny spot on the main track.