Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Beautiful Demoiselle

Chris reports the first Beautiful Demoiselles on the River Tove a Greens Norton.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Finedon Pocket Park

I've been visiting the Pocket Park at Finedon every week since the beginning of the season (and for several weeks before hand). In March, the pond dried out during the drought, and then filled to overflowing during the April & May rains. My fears were that the dry pond had lead to the demise of the larvae especially as all my visits including the last visited on 24 May and saw no activity. Today, I visited again expecting to see nothing but was stunned by the change. The water was buzzing with ovipositing Azure Damselflies, probably 40+ individuals. One Four-spotted Chaser was perched watching its territory until a female came along and they promptly mated and ovipositing ensued. Searching around the pond, I found Common Blues, Blue-tails and Large Reds as well as a single male Hairy Dragonfly hunting along the hedges - a first for this site. So, my concerns were unfounded and the drying of the pond, other than delaying activity, appears to have had no long term affect on the odonata at this site.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

White-faced Darters (NOT in Northants)

I took a break from recording in Northants and visited Chartley Moss in Staffordshire today (26 May) to see the White-faced Darter. This site is an amazing floating bog, where the sphagnum moss sits atop 10m deep water - quite scary when you feel the ground wobble under foot. The visit was well timed to see them emerging, and we counted over 40 immatures and emerging adults. A few mature adults were seen too, but not too many. Of the three photos above, the top and bottom show immature males - the yellow changes to red when they reach maturity, and the middle shows a female. A great day out and a new species for me. This trip was organised by Natural England and is well worth booking on for next year (its ony 1hr 45mins drive away).

Scarce Chasers at Waddenhoe

Scarce Chaser

Female Banded Demoiselle eating a Mayfly.

Male Banded Demoiselle

At lunchtime on 25 May, I visited The Nene at Waddenhoe. It was quite breezy but this didn't stop 100+ Banded Demoiselle fluttering along the margins of the river. A male Hairy was patrolling the river and a female had just completed her emergence. The highlight was seeing up to 40 Scarce Chaser take their maiden flight and promptly land low down on the grasses in the field. There were many recently hatched Mayfly around too, providing good food for the Banded Demoiselles.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Three New species

Broad-bodied Chaser

Downy Emerald

Doug had a good day today at Yardley Chase, with two emerging Downy Emeralds, some Four-spotted Chasers and a Broad-bodied Chaser. (Photos above courtesy of Doug).

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Azure Damselflies at Wilsons Pits

Wilsons Pits, near Rushden is well known for its large numers of Azure Damselflies durimg May, today I managed 5, not nearly as many as expected and another sign that the poor weather is impacting on numbers - whether there will be a catch up in a week or so remains to be seen. The shots above show two immature males.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Large Reds on the River Ise

Popped down to the River Ise at Finedon this lunchtime to see if there were any Banded Demoiselle around. There weren't, but I did see 5 Large Reds, including one emerging. The recent heavy rains have caused the river to swell and have badly damaged the vegetation along the margins here, fortunately prior to the beginning of the main emergence period here (the river is always later than other areas).

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Banded Demoiselle

Richard G. has reported this year's first Banded Demoiselle on the Nene at Wadenhoe (13 May).

Monday, 14 May 2012

Azure Damselflies Appearing

At Wicksteed Park fishing lake, Darryl reports seeing immature Blue-tailed Damselfly, Azure Damselflies and Red-eyed Damselflies.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Hairy Dragonfly Emerging at Ditchford

Managed to catch this Hairy Dragonfly at the hanging stage at Ditchford this morning. There were also many Red-eyed Damselflies emerging too. Looks like this things may be starting to move a bot quicker as the weather warms up.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Still slow out there

I had great hopes for today, with glorious warm sunshine, however it was not to be. Activity was very low and the hoped-for mass Hairy Dragonfly emergence failed to materialise. Still, I managed to see y first Large Reds of the year, but only after some considerable searching. The cold April and May is still having an influence on adult numbers, presumably because the water hasn't wrmed enough to stimulate emergence to any great extent.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

More Activity

Immature Red-eyed Damselfly

Immature Common Blue Damselfly

At Ditchford this lunchtime, I saw emerging Common Blues, Red-eyed and Blue-tailed Damselflies along with a single Hairy. It looks like all is go now after the poor spring weather of recent weeks.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Common Blues emerging

6 May saw three more Hairys emerging at Ditchford along with 2 Common Blues.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Hairy Dragonflies at Ditchford

A break from decorating my daughter's bedroom allowed me 30mins at Ditchford from 1330hrs. I hunted hard and eventually found two emerging Hairy Dragonflies. The temperature was 9-10 degrees C, and felt cold. The Hairys had emerged successfully, however this female appears to have collected some debris on her wings. I hope this doesn't hinder her flight.