Known as the Scarce Chaser in the UK and the Blue Chaser on the continent this species is very specific in its habitat requirements.Consequently populations are very localised and as would suggest in its name this Chaser has a restricted UK range. However in favoured spots numbers can be abundant and around the town of Nydri,Lefkada there are still many such spots.These streams and ditches which in the winter take rainwater from the hills and mountains to the sea, are at this time a perfect breeding habitat for this Chaser.
Thursday 31 May 2018
Wednesday 30 May 2018
The waterfalls close to the town of Nydri on the Greek Island of Lekada are a visitor attraction.However my reason for taking the hour long walk from the town was to see any large dragonflies that may be around the clear flowing pools.Unfortunately none were to be seen at least on that day.This was a disappointment as on my last visit three years ago there were several.
My only count of the day was one unidentified damselfly which gave me the slip and this male Beautiful Demoiselle which posed very nicely over a crystal clear pool.In this part of south east Europe this subspecies Calopteryx virgo festiva is present.The difference in this species in comparison to the species seen in the UK are the purple wings that completely cover the wing surface area.
Thursday 17 May 2018
At Bouldnor Forest ponds today there were good numbers of Large Red Damselflies and many Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies emerging from the smaller ponds.Broad-bodied Chasers were also evident with several males and one or two females over the water.
Tuesday 15 May 2018
The fine weather continues and activity at the garden pond has increased.There are now many Large Red Damselflies flying around and egg laying pairs can be seen on the water.Azure Damselflies have emerged over the last few days and today the first adult Broad-bodied Chaser arrived and immerdiately took up position on the perch put there for just this purpose.How long he has to wait for a female remains to be seen.
Friday 11 May 2018
This time last year the Red-eyed Damselflies were emerging from Dicksons pond near Newport.No such luck this year no doubt because of the poor weather of early spring.In fact no odonata were seen and the only sign of any dragonfly activity was this excuvia found on a bankside reed stem.This is the nymph case of a Broad-bodied Chaser,a common dragonfly at this time.
Wednesday 9 May 2018
A return visit to Shalfleet this afternoon resulted in two sightings of Beautiful Demoiselles.This doubled the number that was recorded on the 6th of this month.Still,the weather conditions today were not good in spite of the sunshine.Temperatures were much lower and there was a stiff breeze.Demoiselles it seems like a sunny,warm and sheltered spot with plenty of prey passing by .
In contrast to the individual seen on Sunday the male pictured below has somewhat matured and despite his brown wings the eyes are darkening and the thorax is showing that metallic blue-green.
Tuesday 8 May 2018
A visit to the stream at Southford near to the village of Niton today did not produce any sightings.It seems that the Banded Demoiselles are not yet on the wing.However close by is a reservoir and a known spot for Common Blue Damselflies.Happily I managed to find three individuals all immature/teneral.
Sunday 6 May 2018
A lunchtime walk along a local wooded stream at Shalfleet was made all the more enjoyable by the scent of wild garlic,lots of spring flowers, and plenty of Orange Tips hurrying by.The main purpose of my visit was to see the Beautiful Demoiselles and just one was on show.This immature male is perhaps the very first to emerge along this stretch of river this year.
Saturday 5 May 2018
Following a brief sighting of a Broad-bodied Chaser a couple of days ago in the garden, this morning another flew in and promptly took up postion in a sunny spot.It seems that she is here to stay for the time being in the hope of meeting a male as my pond is very close by.
Thursday 3 May 2018
A visit to Bouldnor Forest at Yarmouth today discovered only Large Red Damselflies at the old and new ponds.Numbers are on the increase with many new emergents fluttering around the ponds and heading for the safety of the trees and bushes.