Friday, 31 August 2012

Migrant Hawkers at Ditchford

Ditchford was buzzing with Migrant Hawkers this lunchtime, although the frequent clouds obliterating the sun reduced the photo opportunities. Anyway, I managed to get a couple of decent in-flight shots. Many pairs were mating, but frustratingly out of reach.

A surprise visitor put in an appearance -  a female Southern Hawker! This species does not breed at Ditchford as the water is too deep, although adults occassionally appear as they are great wanderers. Also seen were several Common Blue Damselflies, Brown Hawkers (including an ovipositing female), Blue-tailed Damselflies and many Common Darters.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Small Red-eyed Damselflies

Male Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Tandem pair


I made a call at Higham Ferrers pits this afternoon with temperatures hovering between 29-30 degrees C - a real scortcher! There was plenty of activity from the Small Red-eyes, but not much else. Although Dragonflies like the sun, they can overheat and temperatures this high can reduce activity.

I saw a total of 70+ Small Red-eyes with around 20 pairs ovipositing into the hornwort. They were all a fair way out so I had to wade through the duck weed with my camera perched on its monopod. This was quite scary as one mis-foot and down I would have gone with my camera (probably uninsured as this would be considered a hazardous adventure). Well worth it though!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Migrant Hawkers & Common Darters

Female Migrant Hawker

Male Migrant Hawker

Common Darter

Common Darter

The walk to the pond at Finedon is along a disused railway line, and is lined with trees and hedges with several open areas that trap sunlight and warmth. Within these areas I watched as around 40 Migrant Hawkers buzzed hunting for food. Luckily a male and a female landed in a suitable position for a few shots. There were also plenty of immature Common Darters flitting around and resting on branches and twigs. At the pond, Ruddy Darters, Emerald Damselflies and Brown Hawkers were ovipositing in good numbers.