Sunday, 22 May 2016

Four-spots, Scarce Chasers and Downys

I received an email from Roland Bogush, via Flickr, with a request to confirm an ID of a dragonfly seen at Fermyn Woods Country Park. The said dragonfly was a recently emerged Scarce Chaser. Roland couldn't find it's exuvia, so couldn't confirm if it had emerged there or had flown from elsewhere. The nearest river is Harper's Brook, but I am not sure this stretch of the river is entirely suitable. If the Chaser did emerge from Fermyn Woods, it will be the first breeding in a non-riverine habitat that I have come across since this species first appeared in the county. This prompted me to visit my usual favourite Scarce Chaser site at Lilford. It was hard work, but I found 3 emerged adults, alongside several Banded Demoiselle. Numbers of Scarce Chaser should build nicely over the next few weeks. I'll try Waddenhoe next.

I dashed from Lilford to Yardley Chase in the hope of finding Downy Emeralds. My timing was great, because I found 9 around one pond well synchronised. In amoung them were a good number of Four-spotted Chasers, but because of my Scarce Chaser hunt I arrived too late and most had already flown. Azures and Large Reds were present in good numbers.

Lastly, finishing off a good day, I popped to Kinewell Lake in Ringstead to check on the Heronry. With nothing much happening, I searched around and was amazed to find hundreds of Common Blue Damselfly exuvia and several belonging to Red-eyed Damselflies in the fishing bay I was occupying. Now multiply that up and numbers must have been in the thousands around the whole lake. I walked alog the river at Willy Wat marina and here found hundreds on Common Blues, Red-eyes and Banded Demoiselle in the grasses by the River Nene. No Scarce Chasers though.

Female Downy Emerald

Female Downy Emerald

Male Scarce Chaser
Four-spotted Chaser