Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Small Red-eyed Damselflies

Well, the last of our breeding species, the Small Red-eyed Damselfly, has now appeared, with 50-100 present at Higham Ferrers pocket park and across the A45 bridge into the reserve. This site is also great for Brown Hawkers at this time of the year, and I saw about 50! Plenty of Banded Demoiselles were on the river and a few Ruddy Darters were present too.

John Windust reports Scarce Chasers still present on Harpers Brook at Titchmarsh Nature Reserve.

Ruddy Darter

Ruddy Darter

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Small Rd-eyed Damselfly

Female Scarce Chaser, Titchmarsh Nature Reserve (John Windust)

Friday, 18 July 2014

Ditchford Lakes in 30 degree temperatures

The hottest day of the year so far made dragonfly hunting at lunchtime quite an uncomfortable affair. The high temperatures did seem to suppress activity, with fewer adults than would be expected. One male and an ovipositing Emperor were around, along with many Brown Hawkers including an ovipositing female. Most of these I disturbed from hiding in the undergrowth. Many Common Blues, Red-eyes and Blue-tails as well as a couple each of Common and Ruddy Darters and a single Four-spotted Chaser. There were plenty of Migrant Hawker exuviae and am adult taking its maiden flight. How it survived the torrential rain and thunder this morning, I'll never know.

Ruddy Darter

Red-eyed Damselfly

Ovipositing Brown Hawker

Common Blue Damselflies

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Black-tailed Skimmers

In blazing sunshine and 27 degree temperatures, I headed off the Old Sulehay quarry hunting Red-veined Darters. None were around, so I guess that is it for this species this year. There were loads of Black-tailed Skimmers around, a few Emperors including two mating pairs, a few Brown Hawkers and Broad-bodied Chasers. Activity was less than expected, because it can actually get too hot sometimes. I detoured home via Paxton Pits hoping to see the Norfolk Hawkers, but none were present on their usual lake.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Scarce Chasers

We had a team building walk around Pitsford Reservoir this afternoon, completing the full circuit of 7.5 miles in about 2.5 hours. Only saw Common Blue Damselflies. After the walk, on my way home I stopped off at Wadenhoe to catch some other species. There were still plenty of Scarce Chasers around, including two mating pairs. They were looking quite tatty which isn't surprising as they are coming to the end of their season. Also, several Brown Hawkers and hundreds of Banded Demoiselles.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Maxey Pits and elsewhere

I took the long(ish) drive to Maxey at the weekend, hoping to find some Red-veined Darters. While it was a bit windy, there were plenty of Black-tailed Skimmers along the footpath by the newer gravel workings and I came across my first two Common Darters of the year. In the fishing pits, there were still a few Variable Damselflies left, including a couple of ovipositing pairs. This is the latest they have been seen in our area. A couple of Ruddy Darters were sunning themselves on the ground. Along Maxey Cut, were many Banded Demoiselle and surprisingly 8 Brown Hawkers and two ovipositing Emperors. No Red-veined Darters though. I'll look elsewhere, although I don't know of too many sightings other than down south so there may not be a major influx this year.

John Windust has been out and about and recorded Southern Hawkers at Fermyn Woods, Ruddy Darters and several ovipositing Emperors.

Terry Wood visited Lyveden New Bield and recorded many Black-tailed Skimmers, Emperors, Four-spotted Chasers and the usual damselflies.

Ovipositing Emperors at Stanwick Lakes (John Windust)

Southern Hawker at Fermyn Woods (John Windust)

Azure Damselfly

Variable Damselfly at Maxey Pits

Ruddy Darter at Maxey Pits

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

As June gives way to July

As we enter July, we begin to lose some of the Spring species and see the Summer species become dominant. Four-spotted Chasers and Broad-bodied Chasers are starting to look tatty, especially this male from Twywell!

Darryl Sutcliffe reports the first Common Darter, near Cottesbrooke and Alison Lowe saw the first Emerald Damselfly at Sulby.

At Twywell, Ruddy Darters have begun emerge too.

Tatty male

Pristine male
Teneral male Ruddy Darter