Wednesday 10 October 2018

And Then There Was One?

A solitary male Southern Emerald was to be the only sighting today at Bouldnor or so I thought, following a prolonged search at the two dried up scrapes.Surprisingly this sighting was at the larger of the two scrapes, as all my recent records have been at the smaller.
The promised mild weather for this week was fulfilled with blue skies and temperatures in excess of 20 degrees today.The long season  of our Southern Emerald Damselflies must end soon, and  just as I was bringing my visit to a conclusion another damselfly was spotted again at the large scrape.This was a female Southern Emerald but she unfortunately gave me the slip soon afterwards.

Saturday 6 October 2018

More From Bouldnor Forest Ponds.

Although the autumnal weather is now here we are still enjoying the odd 'Indian summer' day and yesterday was one such day.With a blue sky,a faint breeze and a temperature of 20 celcius I made another visit to Bouldnor for the Southern Emerald Damselflies.I was not disappointed as there were four males to be seen.With more mild weather promised for next week the continuation of their long season looks favourable.

Monday 1 October 2018

Southern Emeralds Clock Up Five.

The Southern Emerald Damselflies at Bouldnor are now in their fifth calendar month since the first sighting at the start of June.Today's individuals were again seen at the smaller scrape with just two males and an attached pair.It is clear to see that the once metallic green colouring is now bronze with age. 

Wednesday 26 September 2018

Still Going Strong.

Although the weather was wet and very windy over the last weekend,this week is giving us several days of late summer sunshine with midday temperatures again in the low 20's celcius.At Bouldnor the Southern Emerald Damselflies are continuing with their long season with a count today of four males and two females.It remains to be seen if this colony can clock up a fifth month this year as no doubt so much depends on favourable weather.

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Back at Bouldnor.

A further visit to  the Southern Emerald Damselfly site yersterday was rewarded with four males and a mating pair.All the sightings were at the smaller of the two breeding scrapes as no damselflies could be seen at the larger scrape.Weather conditions were again good with temperatures exceeding 20 celcius.
The only other species recorded were Common Darter,Ruddy Darter,and at the other ponds on the site Southern and Migrant Hawkers.

Thursday 13 September 2018

Late Summer Sunshine at Bouldnor Forest.

On the Isle of Wight today we enjoyed a warm and sunny day.This late summer day enticed the dragonflies into action and in Bouldnor Forest plenty were about.The colony of Southern Emerald Damselflies continue to occupy their two dry scrapes with seven males,a female,and a mating pair in evidence.Not surprisingly Common Darters were the most numerous along with several Southern Hawkers as well as the slightly smaller Migrant Hawkers.

Saturday 8 September 2018

More From Town Common.

Despite my disappointment at failing to locate more than one female Black Darter I was pleased to see several males.By this time of the season the males have matured with their frons darkening as well as the yellow spots on the side of the abdomen. The base of the hind wings is very broad as can be particularly noted in the second photo below.Unlike the female,the males wings are clear.

Thursday 6 September 2018

A Late Summer Darter.

The Black Darter is not found on the Isle of Wight.The nearest sites are situated in the New Forest where the lowland heaths provide the right habitat conditions for our smallest dragonfly.However perhaps the best location is on Town Common in Hampshire's neighbouring county Dorset 
Yesterdays trip was blessed with sunny weather and is just an 18 mile car ride from Lymington.The Common is a large expanse of  heathland normally with areas of very wet and boggy ground,although due to the dry conditions this summer they all seemed well dried out.It therefore transpired that the best locations to find any darters was to search for the odd damp pool or runnel.Luckily one of two still remained and male Black Darters were on guard for intruders and females.
On the  heather covered heath I only saw one darter,a female,that unfortunately disappeared as quickly as it appeared.

Monday 3 September 2018

Southern Emerald Season Sees a Fourth Month.

This morning under sunny skies the bone dry scrapes at Bouldnor saw Southern Emerald activity go into its fourth month.Mature males were evident at both scrapes with a count of eight individuals and two pairs.Not surprisingly the males like their own space and see off any other encroaching males that come too close.

Friday 31 August 2018

Southern Emeralds Still Bright & Beautiful.

Today's visit to Bouldnor Forest ponds was somewhat marred by an extensive dark cloud that lingered for the duration over the Southern Emerald Damselfly site.The temperature was a mild 19 degrees but now and again light rain fell and not surprisingly dragonfly activity was very low.
However a walk around the two dry scrapes yielded a total of nine Southern Emeralds,all of them mature males.


Wednesday 22 August 2018

Choosing the Right Spot.

The Southern Hawker has visited the garden pond over the last several seasons to oviposit.It is a treat to watch the female as she busily glides around the pond looking for the best places to lay her eggs.
Yesterday I witnessed two visits,the first in the early afternoon and a second much later when the female laid eggs in the bank facing the pond and then into reed leaves and stems.These are ideal spots  compared with other Southern Hawkers that seem to try and oviposit into anything from a large rock to my leg.
The photos below follow a short sequence of  ovipositing into a reed where the female uses the ovipositor to deposit her egg.

Tuesday 21 August 2018

Southern Hawkers & Southern Emeralds.

Following a cloudy start to the day the sun soon came out and by midday the temperature was a warm 25 degrees celsius.At Bouldnor Forest ponds several dragonfly species were on show.In particular the Southern Hawker along with Common and Ruddy Darters.Of course the main attraction was yet again the Southern Emerald Damselflies with seven males seen at the two breeding ponds together with a copulating pair.

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Southern Emeralds Still Active at our Local Site.

The dry heat of the last couple of months has now gone and today was a comfortable 22 celicus.However the occasional cloudly spell did mean that there were some cool  periods.Nevertheless activity at our Southern Emerald site was excellent and perhaps at its peak now, with many male damselflies in evidence together with one or two copulating pairs.In addition females were busy ovipositing into any suitable reed stems.The count of individuals today was the highest of the season, so we will hopefully look forward to the continuation of  this breeding colony next year.