Sunday, 20 September 2015

Southern Hawkers showing well

My favourite site during early autumn is Fermyn Woods Country Park because the two ponds there - the Reedy Pond and the Big Pit are great places to watch Southern Hawkers. Between early September and mid October, numbers are about the best in the County. Here, the Southern Hawkers completely outnumber the other autumn species such as Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters. This afternoon (20/09), we took a walk around Fermyn which started off with good sunshine (the morning was really sunny), but soon descended into overcast conditions. I just had time to get these two in flight shots of a male on the Reedy Pond. Unfortunately, there were two fishermen on the stand on the Big Pit pond, so I wasn't able to get any shots from there but on the opposite stand I did find a female Migrant Hawker ovipositing into a piece of floating wood.

Earlier in the week, I visited the Greenway ditch at Irthlingborough and had good views of Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters including several ovipositing pairs of the latter. I haven't had too much luck with Darters this year, and haven't really achieved any successful shots of them. I also found a very old female infuscans form Blue-tailed Damselfly (thanks for the correction MT) and a single female Emerald Damselfly oviposting on the far bank. I have never noticed female Emeralds ovipositing alone before, but guess that this isn't unusual.

Last weekend, we walked around Irchester Country Park and visited the Big Foot Pond. I haven't been here for several years and it was great to see that the pond is still healthy and alive with dragons. Plenty of Common Darters were buzzing around the water and the woods were full with Migrant Hawkers and Southern Hawkers.

Watch out for Darters resting on fence posts at this time of year, absorbing as much  of the dwindling sunlight as they can.

Finally, Stuart Page reports finding two Banded Demoiselles around the Nene at Ditchford. I have not seen any for quite a while now, so this is a great late sighting.

Female Common Darter, Big Foot Pond at Irchester Country Park

Female Blue-tailed Damselfly (Infuscans colour form), Irthlingborough

Migrant Hawker, Irthlingborough

Migrant Hawker, Irthlingborough

Migrant Hawker, Irthlingborough

Southern Hawker, Reedy Pond at Fermyn Woods

Ovipositing Migrant Hawker, Big Pit Pond at Fermyn Woods