Saturday, 26 June 2010

Scarce Chasers and Common Darter at Stanwick Lakes

This morning, I co-hosted a Dragonfly & Butterfly walk at Stanwick Lakes with Doug Goddard. We had a good number of attendees and managed to show them several species of Butterfly as well as many dragonflies. Around the ponds near the ranger's office we saw many Common Blue, Red-eyed and Blue-tailed Damseflies including >20 pairs of the latter mating. We also found several exuviae which we discussed with the group. Four-spotted Chaser and Black-tailed Skimmer were also buzzing around the ponds. Moving on to the River Nene, we added many male and female Banded Demoiselle to our list, and at one spot on the river, a male Hairy Dragonfly was hawking low down among the reeds looking for a female and a solitary Emperor went passed, not to return. The highlight of the day was at the end of the trip, when we walked to the footbridge over the river. Unfortunately, the bridge was closed after some unruly behaviour, so we could not walk across, but wading through the grass towards the water's edge, we spotted a number of Scarce Chaser over the water, and Doug found one in a convenient position to photograph (see above). This is the first record at Stanwick Lakes, after several years of searching, and a fitting end to a good (if not hot) walk.
Prior to the trip, Doug found the first Common Darter seen this year.