Monday, 17 July 2017

Ovipositing Brown Hawkers

Now is a great time to see Brown Hawkers ovipositing. They favour submerged logs and branches, and will occasionally use wet mud. Eggs are inserted into wet or moist areas where it is easier to get the ovipositor into the substrate. 

Scarce Chasers are still present on the Nene, where James Underwood reports them from near Oundle. Be quick though as their season is coming to a close. At Barnwell Country Park, James watched the large colony of Small Red-eyed Damselflies on Mill Lake and also saw Brown Hawkers, Emperors and Black-tailed Skimmers

Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters are starting to appear and I saw 5 Migrants at Finedon today, hunting around the open glades along the footpath towards the pond. Gravel pits such as Summer Leys and Dicthford should start to show as well.

Common Blue Damselfly

Broad-bodied Chaser, Old Sulehay

Ruddy Darter

Brown Hawker ovipositing

Common Darter

Ovipositng Emperor

Mating pair of Emerald Damselflies

Ovipositing Brown Hawker

Friday, 7 July 2017

Ovipositing Broad-bodied Chasers and others

I am making regular visits to Finedon now as we approach the Willow Emerald emergence date, although predicting the date is not easy. I did see a couple of Emeralds with light pterostigma (a characteristic of Willows) which did get me quite excited, although I didn't get a clear enough view of them in the trees and anyway, immature Emeralds all have light pterostigma. There were plenty of "normal" Emeralds around with several pairs ovipositing into plants growing around the pond margins.

Several Broad-bodied Chasers were ovipositing, and I managed to merge a sequence to show how the female progresses to lay her eggs. While this was happening, a Four-spotted Chaser buzzed her and was promptly seen off by her attendant male. A couple of Emperors were also egg laying as were many Azures.

At Hanging Houghton, there were only a few Beautiful Demoiselles around, but the two females present were egg-laying, while a pair of Bandeds and a Beautifuls flitted above.

James Underwood reports seeing Brown Hawkers and Southern Hawkers hunting the rides in Brookfield Plantation. Red-eyed and Large Red Damselflies were still on view at a flooded quarry near Gretton while both species of Darter near to Harringworth Lodge Lake. 

Male Emerald Damselfly

Ovipositing Emperor

Merged sequence of a Broad-bodied Chaser ovipositing

Male Four-spotted Chaser harassing the Broad-bodied Chaser

Female Beautiful Demoiselle

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Small Red-eyed Damselflies

I went to the pond at the Weldon Woodland Park, near Corby to see the Small Red-eyes today and was amazed at how many there were. I estimated 150+, with many perching on the hornwort very close to the bank. Even more amazing was to watch several emerge from within the hornwort and take their maiden flight. This is a known characteristic of this species but seldom seen. 

Scarce Chasers are still present on the Nene from Wadenhoe, Oundle and Stanwick Lakes, although I didn't see any by the lock at Irthlingborough.   

Next week's weather looks better for Dragonfly watching so I hope for some more interesting sightings!.

Male Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Male Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Male Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Male Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Emerging Small Red-eyed Damselfly (note the exuviae on the stick)

Emerging Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Banded Demoiselle, River Nene at Wadenoe