Sunday, 27 September 2009

Migrant Hawkers at Thrapston Lakes

Still plenty of Migrant Hawkers around at Thrapston Lakes, including this mating pair.

Red-veined Darters

Graham and I found about 4 more Red-veinded Darters today (26 Sept), all of them recently emerged, taking their first flights.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

More Red-veinded Darters Emerging

Jim Dunkley has sent me these photos from 22 Sept which show a male RvD recently emerged along with its exuvia. Note the bicoloured pterostigma on the wings and the reduced abdominal spines on the exuvia. The blue-grey eyes are not clear, perhaps because this is a very recently emerged adult.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Red-veined Darters AND Black Darter at Upton

Following the sightings of the Red-veined Darters oviposting at Upton, I have been visiting every week since the beginning of September to see if any adults had emerged. Well, today was the day!. I was with my son and we met Alan who was also looking for them. We were looking for exuviae in the reeds, when we spotted a Black Darter. Whether this is the same one seen by Doug Goddard at Weston Mill last week is not known, but if it isn't it means there may be more elsewhere. I managed to grab a couple of not very good pictures as it didn't settle for long. When we lost sight of it, we hunted in the ditch and noticed that a male Common Darter was attempting to mate with a very fresh looking female. This turned out to be a newly emerged Red-veined Darter. We got some good photos, and went on to see up to two more all of which were being harassed by male Common Darter. On the way back we located two exuviae.
The Red-veined Darters were beautiful (especially compared with the drab Black Darter). The contrast of the blue-grey lower half of the eyes with the red-brown upper part is incredible and the blue-grey really stands out. The coming week may see more emergences. It is expected that these adults will leave and fly south within a few weeks, and will not stay to breed.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Went to see the Black Darter

I went to Weston Mill pond today, but must have missed the Black Darter. As compensation, I got this shot of a Migrant Hawker and a pair of oviposting Common Darter.

Black Darter Confirmed

Bob B., Darryl S., Nick R. and Graham B. visited the Mill pond on 11 Sept. and saw the Black Darter again, with further photos taken by Bob (above). My visit today (12 Sept) couldn't find it - it must have heard I was coming. Steve Cham has confirmed what we all believe, that it is an wandering Black Darter. But where doid it come from?

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Is this a Black Darter??

Doug Goddard has sent me these two images that show a "Black" darter seen at Abington Meadow pond near Weston Mill. Is it a Black Darter (the first for Northants), a very very mature Ruddy Darter or a melanistic Darter.?? I have never seen one like this before. If it is an aged adult, I would also expect the wings to show signs of age too.