Tuesday 17 September 2019

Back to the Southern Emeralds at Bouldnor.

Returning to the Southern Emerald site at Yarmouth today I was rewarded with a sighting of a female damselfly immediately on reaching the small scrape.Just as quickly she gave me the slip and I was unable to relocate her.Wandering around this scrape for about twenty minutes I had seven seperate sightings of male Southern Emeralds.How many individuals there were I cannot say.
Walking to the large scrape I again drew a blank.Retracing my steps, I had several more male sightings at the first scrape and while observing a particular male I noticed a joined pair just a few inches away.With this spell of settled,warm,summerlike weather set to continue for some days yet,hopefully more mating behaviour will be forthcoming.

Saturday 14 September 2019

Summer Returns to Help Our Southern Emeralds.

We are now enjoying a period of late summer weather with temperatures in excess of twenty Celsius.It can only assist the Southern Emerald Damselflies at Yarmouth in prolonging their breeding season.This afternoon's visit to the Bouldnor site was rewarded with three males and a female.All the males were seen at the small scrape,while the female was recorded on the 'path' between the two scrapes. Yet again there were no sightings at the large scrape.



Thursday 5 September 2019

Southern Emeralds in their Fifth Month at Yarmouth.

Another week and another visit to Bouldnor Forest to see the Southern Emerald Damselflies at their breeding site.To date all of the recent sightings have been at the smaller scrape and today was no exception with up to four males gliding through the reeds of this very dry pond.The larger scrape seems to be devoid of any activity but this season the numbers are particularly low and the odd male may be lurking there somewhere.

Thursday 29 August 2019

Southern Emerald's Still Proving Elusive.

The temperature in the last day or two has dropped significantly although the sun is shining, albeit with a stiff breeze.A wander around the Southern Emerald site at Yarmouth this afternoon proved to be another disappointment as regards numbers of individuals recorded.Just one male at the smaller scrape.This season seems to be the lowest count for Lestes barbarus since they were discovered here several years ago.


Thursday 22 August 2019

Southern Emerald Activity at Yarmouth.

Immediately on arrival at Bouldnor this afternoon a female Southern Emerald was seen at the smaller of the two breeding scrapes. It must be said that this is the first sign of any Southern Emerald activity at this scrape this season.While observing her she suddenly  and purposefully flew off and paired with a male just a few feet away.Hopefully this  behaviour will now continue until well into September.
Moving on to the larger scrape and despite a prolonged search only one mature male Southern Emerald was recorded.However I am sure that numbers will again increase over the next few days.

Thursday 15 August 2019

Southern Emerald Damselflies Holding On at Yarmouth.

After drawing a blank at Bouldnor Forest ponds last week, a curtailed visit  this afternoon resulted in two sightings of male Southern Emerald Damselflies at their usual site.Both individuals were seen at the larger of the two scrapes,the two 'ponds' now completely dry despite unsettled weather over the last couple of weeks. It seems that their only company at the moment are several male Emerald Damselflies and one or two Common Darters.

Friday 2 August 2019

Male Common Emeralds Compete for Space at Bouldnor.

The Common Emerald Damselfly is another damselfly to be seen now at Bouldnor Forest ponds.My earlier post of the 5th July recorded the first female Lestes sponsa   at the ponds this season and yesterday several males were vying with the male Southern Emerald Damselflies for territory .

Thursday 1 August 2019

Southern Emerald Numbers Rise as August Arrives.

Today Southern Emerald Damselfly numbers increased dramatically at their Isle of Wight breeding site.Dramatically that is for this colony,as since its discovery in 2015 sightings have only once reached double figures at one time.
At least six males were recorded this afternoon at the larger of the two scrapes.This area now looks bone dry although there are plenty of green rush and reed growing from the scrape.The same can be said of the smaller scrape, although it seems to be deeper than its partner with a hint of moisture and a covering of dead vegetation between the rush and reed.As yet no sightings have come from the smaller scrape this season.
I expect and hope that females will soon appear as August progresses with the mating period now imminent.

Saturday 27 July 2019

Southern Emerald Damselflies Back at Yarmouth.

The last sighting of Lestes barbarus was on the 21st of June at Yarmouth.Expert advice was that any further sightings would be when individuals had matured and returned to their breeding locations.This was well founded as yesterday I recorded up to three mature males on station at the larger of the two scrapes.Both scrapes are now dry so hopefully mating pairs will soon be seen throughout August.

Wednesday 24 July 2019

Black Darters on Town Common.

Arguably the best site for the Black Darter in this area is Town Common,Dorset.Of course there are several scattered populations in the New Forest as this species is found on lowland heathland particularly in the south.
Last year's visit to the Common was made in the first week of September after a prolonged bout of dry and hot weather.The open heathland was devoid of moisture so it was down to locating any small pools that may remain in the more restricted parts of the common.
Yesterday's visit however was more successful, as although several darters were recorded on the open heath,the same shallow pools and their immediate surroundings had good  numbers of both male and female Black Darters.In fact unlike last time there were a lot of females.
Other species in evidence were Emerald Damselflies mainly around the pools, and along the tree lined tracks  some Brown Hawkers on the hunt for prey.

One of several shallow pools still with water.

Saturday 20 July 2019

Summer Sunshine Brings a New Visitor to the Garden Pond.

After a period of overnight rain  and morning showers this afternoon gave way to blue sky and warm sunshine.As a way of celebration perhaps a male Ruddy Darter visited my garden pond and took up position on the ponds' lilly pads.This is the first time that this species has been recorded at the pond since its creation eight years ago.

Thursday 18 July 2019

Home Grown Dragonfly.

There are several containers on our patio that have pond plants of some sort.This morning a Common Darter nymph emerged from one of the containers to prepare for its rather short time as a dragonfly. 

Wednesday 17 July 2019

More Red-eyes.

The Red-eyed Damselfly or Large Red-eyed,as the name suggests, is a slightly bigger and more robust damselfly than its relative the Small Red-eyed Damselfly. Whereas the latter normally appear here at the beginning of July,the Red-eyed can be seen at the start of May.In fact an immature male was spotted at my garden pond on the 29th April this year.
This species is closely associated with floating leaves,typically water-lillies,and they favour large ponds and lakes where this plant grows.On the Isle of Wight the ponds at Stag Lane and Dickson pond which is close by, are good sites.
Both species can be seen in the same locations and can be difficult to tell apart.The following photographs show the Small Red-eyed Damselfly,except the two final images which are of an immature male Red-eyed.

Mature female

Immature male

Immature male