Saturday, 31 May 2014

Common Club-tails on the Thames at Goring

I've been meaning to visit the Thames at Goring for a number of years, but have been unable to make the time. This year, the Mother-in-law was staying with her sister at Chinnor, so I volunteered to collect her, oh and pop into Goring on the way - well, with a slight detour anyway. Once at the site by the railway bridge, I promptly found my first exuvia. I spent about 2.5 hours looking for adults without any luck and decided to go back to bridge for lunch. I bumped into three others also searching, and while chatting one of them spotted this teneral at exactly the spot I started my search. He must have emerged while I was off searching! How disappointing. Well, I did get to see one - my first, so it wasn't a waste of time. And, I located three more exuviae too. There is a record of this species from the River Nene near Wansford from 1951, and I have been keen to understand whether the Nene ever held a breeding colony - if it can support Scarce Chaser and White-legged Damselflies, why not Club-tails? I have searched the Nene several times, without success, but this is an elusive species where hundreds can emerge and only a few adults ever seen, so it may still be here undiscovered.