Sunday, 26 June 2011

End of June Update

The end of June brings with it hot weather, and at last a chance to get to see some dragons. I visited Yardley Chase and saw: Downy Emerald, Emperor, Four-spotted Chaser, Large Red, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies and my first Emerald Damselflies. Several Southern Hawker were emerging too (Doug Goddard spotted the first on 9 May). I managed to capture shots of Downy and Four-spots in-flight.

Chris Emary has reported seeing the first Migrant Hawker at Salcey Forest.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

BDS Field Trip - Variable Damselfly Hunting

For this year's BDS Field Trip, we went hunting for Variable Damselfly. This is a species that has sporadic records, mostly in the north of the County, so we set off to see if we could find any colonies in the Peterborough area. Our first stop was at Maxey Gravel Pits where Variables were recorded here in 2007 although I haven't heard of any records since then. About 20 Variable Damselflies were flitting about the lilly pads on a large floating mass of lillies. A single pair in tandem landed on the pads and began to oviposit, frustratingly out of reach of my camera. In the air above, Emperor, Hairy and many Four-spotted Chaser buzzed around as the sun burts through the clouds. Also see were Common Blue, Blue-tail, Azure Damselfly, an ovipoiting pair of Large Reds and many Red-eyes. Maxey pits are very unspectacular and could be any other gravel pit complex, so why does it host Variables Damselfies while others do not? As we pondered this enigma, we took a detour along Maxey Cut, walking for many km along this linear water course. Here we saw more Variables, Azures, Emperors, Four-spotted Chaser, hundreds of Common Blues & Blue-tails and several Banded Demoiselle - fewer than expected considering the habitat. A great day out added 3 new 1km squares for Variable Damselfy and a total of 9 species seen.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Scarce Chaser at Waddenhoe

Waddenhoe is probably my favourite site for Scare Chaser as it affords great views of territorial males along the Nene from the Mill to the footbridge. Despite windy conditions, good numbers of males were present, along with Hairy Dragonfly, Red-eyed Damselflies and fewer than expected numbers of Banded Demoiselle. I also managed to capture a male Banded Demoiselle coming intot land on his territorial perch.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Brown Hawker Emerging

Emerging Brown Hawker

Male Red-eyed Damselfly

Found this emerging Brown Hawker this lunchtime, some two weks earlier than normal. The good (and long forgotten) hot weather in April is still having an impact. Also seen: Emperor, Hairy Dragonfly, Red-eyed Damselfly, Common Blue, hundreds of Blue-tails, and For-spotted Chaser.