Wednesday, 28 September 2016

2 Willow Emeralds at Finedon

I have visited Finedon Pocket Park at least weekly since finding the Willow Emerald, without further sightings. Today, I found two! The first one appeared from the willows in the pond, and flew to rest on some nettles just outside the high-water margin. It was hassled by a Common Darter and soon flew off into the trees. The second flew into a hawthorn tree at the other end of the pond, where I lost it, frustrating but exciting that they are still here and there are more than I originally found. The first one was a male, but I couldn't see what the second was - hopefully a female. I searched the willows looking for the characteristic oviposiitng scars, but found none. I have not seen any damselflies or Emeralds here for over 1 month, so finding Willow Emeralds could be that little easier as they can't get lost among other damsels. The usual Common Darters were present, along with Migrant Hawkers, both male and ovipositing females. I tracked a female Southern Hawker until she landed on a log of wood (placed there by me earlier in the season to attract ovipositing females!) and began to egg-lay. She moved on to lay in an old submerged pallet, moss, dried mud and rocks around the water, enabling my first successful shots of this species egg-laying.

Trisha Thompson reports at least 4 Willow Emeralds at Boardwalks Nature Reserve, where the first vice county record was made just over 1 month ago.

Please visit this site at Finedon, sandwiched between the cricket ground and cemetary on Bell Hill - the back road from Finedon into Burton Latimer and look for more Willow Emeralds as I am sure there are more about.