Sunday 15 August 2021

Southern Emerald Damselflies Yet Again on Show.

At Bouldnor Forest ponds yesterday I quickly bypassed the two Southern Emerald Damselfly breeding scrapes and made for the only spot where sightings have been made this season. I did not linger at the scrapes as they are still full of water. This continuous summertime high water level has not occurred over the years that I have visited and is no doubt due to the bouts of heavy rain in early summer. How this may effect Lestes barbarus breeding remains to be seen.The dry grassy 'path' that seems to be a favourite spot for the Southern Emerald is pictured in the second photograph. Sure enough a female was seen immediately and several other sightings were made afterwards. However it could have been the same individual so numbers are unsure. 

At the same location I also came across a female Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa , the final two photos clearly show the differences with Lestes barbarus. 


Saturday 14 August 2021

Dragons & Damsels.

Not surprisingly the rides of  Bouldnor Forest are packed with odonata at present. Today in the forest Common Darter were by far the most prolific although my main interest were the large dragonflies. The two species in evidence were the Migrant Hawker and the Southern Hawker, both seen hunting for prey in any wooded sunny spot.

However at the ponds other species were recorded, in particular the Common Emerald Damselfly and the Southern Emerald Damselfly. My encounter with these will be detailed in my next blog entry.


Tuesday 10 August 2021

Another Migrant Hawker Drops In.

Dragonfly sightings around my garden pond have been meagre  this season, so I was very pleased to spot a Migrant Hawker today flying deliberately about the garden. This was not the first individual of this species to be seen however, as on the 24th July a male made a brief appearance in my front garden. Today's  female spent some time flying around with the occasional stop in the sunshine. It can be seen that the appendage is shorter than one would expect in this species. That is because it has been broken.


Tuesday 27 July 2021

Demoiselles and Golden Rings.

Yesterday's walk along a short stretch of Shalfleet Stream produced good numbers of Beautiful Demoiselles. However the main species of interest was the impressive Golden-ringed Dragonfly that with luck are seen here. Good fortune was with me as I soon came upon an individual  flying ahead of me along the path between the wooded stream and a field boundary. The female took time to land at various points but eventually made off toward the stream.


Sunday 18 July 2021

Southern Emerald Damselflies Again on Show.

Just as a week ago the highlight of the day at Yarmouth were the Southern Emerald Damselflies. At least two individuals were recorded, one male and a female, and both were spotted in the exact same location  as the female seen last week. Obviously a favourite spot. Both breeding scrapes are still full of water as are the other ponds on the site and Emperor Dragonflies again in prominence along with Black- tailed Skimmers and Common Darters.

Friday 9 July 2021

Better Late Than Not At All.

Top sighting today at Yarmouth was a female Southern Emerald Damselfly a short distance away from the two breeding ponds in Bouldnor Forest. Despite numerous visits to the site since mid-May this is the first record of Lestes barbarus  for 2021. At this time of year the two ponds are normally dry but other than a short period in early June, heavy bouts of rain have meant that they are continually full of water. This has given the opportunity for other species, such as the Emperor Dragonfly, to persistently quarter the ponds. Another dragonfly of note was an immature female Southern Hawker spotted hunting along a forest ride.


Wednesday 30 June 2021

A First Sighting of the Year Despite Little Activity at Bouldnor.

 A muggy afternoon at Yarmouth today with little activity around the forest ponds. Emperor Dragonflies were the main attraction with several males patrolling the ponds that are all now full of water following periods of heavy rain this month. However, I was glad to see an immature male Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa  which is a first sighting of the year for this species.

Tuesday 8 June 2021

Common Darters Take Flight.

Not surprisingly dragonfly activity has increased  markedly in the last few days at the ponds in Bouldnor Forest,Yarmouth. Since my last visit there are noticeably more Black-tailed Skimmers on and around the ponds, vying with the male Broad-bodied Chasers and Emperor Dragonflies. However I was pleased to see up to a dozen teneral Common Darters fluttering away to safety, as they were easily disturbed from the grass tussocks around the pond edges. 

Saturday 5 June 2021

Warm Sunshine & More Dragonflies.

 It seems that summer has arrived at last following one of the wettest months of May on record. Today at Yarmouth two first of the season species were seen; four Black-tailed Skimmers(one male and three female) and  three patrolling male Emperor Dragonflies with one ovipositing female.

Tuesday 1 June 2021

Back for Another Look.

 It was a retracing of steps today with another visit to Bouldnor Forest ponds. The main attraction yet again, were the Broad-bodied Chasers with  six adult males, two females, and another two ovipositing females. Large Red and Azure Damselflies completed the count.

At Brighstone Mill stream the first mature adult male Beautuiful Demoiselle was 'dancing' over the stream with just one female seen away from the water. However a female Banded was also noted at the water's edge.

Sunday 30 May 2021

First Banded Demoiselle of the Season.

 A return visit this afternoon to Brighstone Mill stream discovered my first sight of a Banded Demoiselle  this year. This immature female was the only Banded to be seen, together with just three Beautiful Demoiselles. 

Earlier in the day  the ponds at Bouldnor Forest produced several Broad-bodied Chasers and a blue form Common Blue Damselfly. With the exception of a few Large Red Damselflies no other species were recorded.




Wednesday 26 May 2021

Immature Demoiselles at Brighstone Mill Stream.

The mill stream at Brighstone is well known for its Banded Demoiselles. A first visit of the year today produced several immature demoiselles, all encountered in a sheltered sunny spot slightly away from the stream. However to my surprise they all seemed to be Beautiful Demoiselles although in the past, I have seen the odd individual of this species with the resident Banded at this location.

Wednesday 19 May 2021

A First Beautiful Demoiselle.

A midday walk along a short stretch of Shalfleet Stream today was greeted with dark clouds and a shower of rain. However this proved to be fortunate  as I soon came upon my first Beautiful Demoiselle of the year. This immature male was taking shelter very low down on a leaf and was not intending to move until the sun came out again. This individual was the only demoiselle to be seen and I count myself lucky to have come across him.

Tuesday 18 May 2021

Broad-bodied Chasers Out in Numbers.

A good number of Broad-bodied Chasers today at Bouldnor Forest ponds. At least six individuals present near to the ponds and all seeking the sun and the protection of the gorse.


Monday 19 April 2021

New Arrival.

There was no doubt that this particular female Large Red emerged from my garden pond today. She was found clinging to the reed stem with the larval case a few inches below. I hope that it is the  first of many to emerge from the pond this season.