Saturday, 30 June 2012

Red-veined Darters return to Northants

The weather forecast on TV explained that the sand being deposited on our cars is from the Sahara,which is often a good sign that migrant dragonflies are around. So I have been on the look out for any to appear - some have already shown up in neighbouring Warwickshire. On Friday, during a routine visit to Finedon Pocket Park, I spotted a very yellow Darter with grey eyes and black legs - classic colouration of a female Red-veined Darter. Today, I visited a site that has been under watch for a while for just this event and, although quite windy, saw three bright red male Red-veined Darter (see photos above). These are the first sightings since those in 2009 at Upton (these are not at Upton though). Also present were 30+ Black-tailed Skimmer, ovipositing Emperor, Four-spotted Chaser, and the usual Damselflies.

Keep a watch out across the County as I am sure other RVDs will appear. The gravel around the newer lakes at Stanwick Lakes offer potential as do any shallow ponds with bare surrounds. Upton may again yield more.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

White-legged Damselflies


Immature female

I saw my first White-legged Damselflies today, on the River Ise between Finedon and Wellingborough. This is quite late for me as they normally emerge at the end of May / early June. Again, the weather is at fault. Of the estimated 75 presen there were very few blue males which does suggest that they have emerged late nd have been slow to mature because. Still, they are quit noticeable as the females are a very creamy white. There were many recently emerged adults too. Also present were Large Reds, Azure, Common Blue, Blue-tails and Banded Demoiselle.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Recent Sightings

The weather has calmed down a bit recently (we are so obsessed with the weather us dragonfly spotters aren't we!), allowing a few trips out. On 19 June at Ditchford I saw the year's Brown Hawker take its maiden flight, along with Emperors, Four-spotted Chaser and the usual damelflies. At Yardley Chase, on my return from a Business trip to MK, I captured this Downy Emerald among about 10 buzzing around the pond. This is my first in flight shot of the year. The second shot shows a pair of mating Blue-tailed Damselflies at Ditchford. The female is of the rufescens-obsoleta colour form.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

New sightings

Terry Wood reports the first Southern Hawker at Glapthorn Cow pastures NR and Doug Goddard reports Beautiful Demoiselle at Yardley Chase - some distance from its nearest (known) colony.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Broad-bodied Chasers at Finedon Pocket Park

I took a chance at lunchtime today and headed to Finedon Pocket Park and was rewarded by a break in the clouds that let warm sunshine through for an hour or two. About 10 mins after I got there, this male Broad-bodied Chaser appeared and began to fly around the pond margins, resting at a few regular spots. This is my first BBC of the year. Also present were Azure, Blue-tailed and Large Red Damselflies.

White-legged Damselflies

White-legged Damselfly

Chris reports the first White-legged Damselfies on the River Nene at Upton Mill on 10 June.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Black-tailed Skimmers, Scarce Chasers & Banded Demoiselle at Stanwick Lakes

Female Banded Demoiselle

Black-tailed Skimmer

Emerging Black-tailed Skimmer

Female Scarce Chaser

We took a walk around Stanwick Lakes on Sunday afternoon, where there were 100s of Common Blues, Blue-tailed & Red-eyed Damselflies including many recent emergents. I managed to disturb a few recently emerged Black-tailed Skimmers too, including the one above that hadn't fully completed emergence. Interestingly, this one had left the water, climbed up the bank, traversed the footpath and found this very precareious dead stem to emerge onto. This was a walk of some 10m and would have meant the larva walked straight passed many suitable emergence supports. Around the Nene by the footbridge, were ~1000 Banded Demoiselle, probably the highest numbers I have seen all year. I also disturbed this recently emerged female Scarce Chaser. I discovered the colony here a couple of years ago, but this is the first proof that they are breeding at Stanwick Lakes.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Variable Damselflies

Azure Damselfly

Male Variable Damselfly

Variable Damselfly tandem pair

I made a visit to Maxey Pits this morning in search of Variable Damselflies. Amoung the many Azures present, there were about 20 Variables including mating pairs and ovipositing pairs. The weather cycled from warm sunshine to deep clouds, which made activity vgery sporadic. Other species seen: Red-eye, Large Red, Blue-tail, Common Blue, Four-spotted Chaser and Hairy Dragonfly.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012


Graham Bentley reports two Emperor exiviae and a flying adult near Yarwell on 3 June.