Wednesday, 29 July 2009

What's going on here?

I filmed this female Broad Bodied Chaser from the underside and noticed that there seems to be a definite 'split' in the body - anyone noticed this before? ..and what is this called etc etc.... video

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Darters at Ditchford

A curious Common Darter


Male Ruddy Darter with the blood-red body.

We are now in the cross-over time between the summer species and the first appearence of the autumn species. The number of Common Blue Damselflies at Ditchford have plummeted from a peak of 500+ to ~100. Emperors are declining and Brown Hawker are ascending. We saw many oviposting Brown Hawker which is typical for this time of year. A few Migrant Hawker exuviae were found including one make with damaged wings. A single Ruddy Darter and a few Common Darter were also around.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Pitsford Reservoir


At last, some sunshine so I popped to Pisford at lunchtime in search of Ruddy Darter and Emerald Damselflies. Also present, Four-spotted Chaser, Brown Hawker, Southrn Hawker, Azure, Blue-tail and Common Blue Damsels. Both Ruddy and Emeralds were in-cop, so shown in the photos above.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Lesser Emperor Sighting at Pitsford

I have received a thorough descrition of the sightng of Lesser Emperor at Pitsford, and have added it to this year's total.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

New Sightings

11 July - Chris Emary reported this year's first Migrant Hawker at Greens Norton.

4 July - Doug Goddard forwarded a note from a northants birding site that a Lesser Emperor was sighted at Pitsford Reservoir. This remains unconfirmed at the moment. I have contacted the source who may be able to send more info.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Fermyn Woods Country Park

Darryl Sutcliffe visited Fermyn Woods CP to see the Purple Emperor butterfly, fortunately he also sent in records of the following:

At the Reedy Pond:
2 male Emperor, one defending territory, one female Emperor ovipositing.
3 Four-spotted Chaser, one on territory.
Ruddy Darter – 3+
Azure damselfly – 50+, with at least 10 pairs ovipositing.
Blue tailed damselfly -10+
Common blue damselfly - 5+
Emerald damselfly – 1 male

At the Big Pit Pond, with the dragonfly sculpture:
Four-spotted Chaser - one on territory.
Red-eyed damselfly – one male
Azure damselfly – 20+
Blue-tailed damselfly – 10+

At the Great-crested Newt Pond:
Brown Hawker – 2 male
Southern Hawker – 1 male, 1 female ovipositing when not disturbed by FSC.
Four spotted chaser – 3 males, 1 female ovipositing.
Ruddy Darter – 2+
Azure damselfly – 200+, with at least 50 pairs ovipositing.
Blue tailed damselfly -10+
Common blue damselfly - 5+
Emerald damselfly – 6 male

This is one of my favourote sites in Northants, as the ponds are small and accessible and it is great for the kids.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Emperors at the Red-veined Darter Pond




I returned to the Red-veined Darter pond, after a week of high activity there that saw up to 6 males and oviposting recorded at least twice. While the temperature was still hovering around 24 degrees it was quite windy. I only saw 2 males R-v Darters and neither hung around to be photographed. Instead I watched a male Emperor at territory occassionally hovering into the wind and managed the above photos. He saw and grabbed a female and I also caught them in-cop. Also seen was an oviposting Broad-bodied Chaser and many Common Darter. I walked through the grasslands in the hope of finding some roosting R-v Darters and promptly disturbed a male Scarce Chaser. On returning home, I picked up an e-mail from Mark Piper saying that he and Nick Roberts had also seen one on the Nene in this area. Could it have been the same one??? This is the furthest west on the Nene that they have been seen, Last year, Darryl Sutcliffe recorded on at Billing Mill, and Upton is quite a way further west from there.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Small Red-eyes at Higham Ferrers

Black-tailed Skimmer

Following Mark's sighting, I went to Higham Ferrers pits and saw several Small Red-eyes including many pairs in-cop already. They must be at least 1 week old. Also, many Black-tailed Skimmer, Brown Hawker and Emperors.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Mark Piper has reported the first Small Red-eyed Damselflies at ponds near Ravensthorpe Reservoir.