Sunday 7 March 2021

Just Over the Water.

The New Forest really needs no introduction. A fabulous ancient area of woodland, heathland, bog, and streams. The 'gateway' from the Isle of Wight is via Yarmouth, with a short ferry trip  to Lymington. There are several damselfly species in the New Forest that are not found on the Island, two of which are on the GB Red List as Endangered or Near Threatened. Another is classed as Nationally Scarce.

The Small Red Damselfly Ceriagrion tenellum  is  one of our smallest and can be seen at heathland bogs and streams. This is the only British species to qualify as Nationally Scarce.

Another priority species and sometimes seen in the same habitat as the Small Red is the Southern Damselfly  Coenagrion mercuriale. The New Forest is one of the few sites where this damselfly is found in the UK and also one of their main strongholds. In fact the Southern Damselfly is so rare that it has been afforded significant legislative protection.

The White-legged Damselfly is absent on the Isle of Wight but maybe found in one or two locations in the New Forest. This species prefers to spend it's time in tall vegetation along mature stretches of rivers. Can be quite abundant when conditions suit.(Images of  White-legged Damselflies below were not captured in the New Forest)

The final species in the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio. The best places to find the Scarce Blue-tailed in the New Forest are at small heathland streams and flushes. They are sometimes in the company of  the common Blue-tailed Damselfly so identification can be tricky.