Tuesday, 7 June 2016

A walk along the Ise

With my car in the garage for new brake disks, I took the opportunity to walk on the public footpath alongside the Weetabix factory up the River Ise towards the A14 flyover.. Fortunately, the Council have trimmed back the grass and nettles so I didn't get stung too much. I disturbed a resident Little Egret just before I got my first sighting of a couple of White-legged Damselflies, in all I saw about 20 which all looked recently emerged. None were showing signs of blueness so it was hard to separate males from females. Numbers of Banded Demoiselles were low and adults were quite hard to find, as were Large Red Damselflies. I met a work colleague, Brendan who told me he'd seen a large blue dragonfly further up in Southfields Farm Marsh. Hoping for a Scarce Chaser I hurried along, and found a beautiful semi-mature male Broad-bodied Chaser at territory over a muddy pond. While not quite as exciting as a Scarce Chaser on the Ise (I am still expecting this within the next few years), it's always great to find a new BbC site.

On the walk back, I spotted an unusual dragonfly flying around the recently mown path, expecting a Hairy, I was surprised to find it was a Black-tailed Skimmer. I recall from visits about 7-8 years ago, a thriving colony in the wildlife ponds at Wicksteed park, so I presume it came from there which is only a short distance away. I shall have to return there to re-survey this year. This is one of the things I find exciting - dragonflies are predictable in their habitats, but occasionally throw up a wobbly by appearing in totally unsuitable sites, particularly during their maturation phase. The sightings of Scarce Chaser at Fermyn Woods and more recently at Fineshade Wood (by Barrie Gilpin) are cases in point.

Make Broad-bodied Chaser

White-legged Damselfly

Bottom end of a female Banded Demoiselle

Front end of a female Banded Demoiselle