Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Sightings for 26th May

Mike Hamzij reported the following:

"Walked from Holt to Little Chalfield today and located small colony Beautiful Demoiselle at LC ST852634. At least 10 insects with several females. Site near a stream which is slow moving.
Also there 1 teneral Scarce Chaser and several Common Blue Damselflies.
Plenty Painted Ladies around too!"

Sightings for 24th/25th May

The following was reported to me by Julian Parfitt for the 25th.
We recorded the following today at Melksham, Conigre Mead:

3 White-legged Damselfly
2 Scarce Chaser
30+ Banded Demoiselle
6+ Beautiful Demoiselle
1 Large Red Damselfly

Yesterday, River Avon at New Town:

1 Broad-Bodied Chaser
Banded & Beautiful Demoiselle

4-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata). Male.

4-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata). Male

23rd May 2009
First seen this year by Damian Pinguey at the large pond at Chippenham. Also seen there on 24th along with Broad-bodied Chaser male.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum).blue form female.

A blue form of the female Common Blue Damselfly, one of many I saw today.

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa).Male.

Out and about in the Oaksey area today where I was hoping to find Gomphus [Common Club-tail]. I was unsuccessful I'm afraid - the Swillbrook just doesn't look suitable for it so the Oaksey sighting must have come form further afield.
I did see Azure Blue, Common Blue and Large Red Damselflies there though. Also what is turning out to be a massive immigration of Painted Lady butterflies manifested locally with butterflies passing by at all locations I visited at an average rate of one every 3 minutes. Even when I pulled up outside my house one flew over the car! All were heading north.
I also visited a pond I recently discovered on the Woodland Trusts reserve of Warneage Wood at Wanborough on the outskirts of Swindon - only a 7 minute car drive from my house. It looks promising for Small Red-eyed Damselfly later in the season but at the moment holds hundreds of Large Red and Azure Blue Damsels and a beautiful male Broad-bodied Chaser. The pond was cleared out last winter so it'll be interesting to see how it develops this season - watch this space!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo)

First post for a few weeks as I've been on holiday to Lesvos, the third biggest Greek island. From what I've been told about the weather I haven't missed much!! I saw 26 species in 2 weeks on Lesvos including 10 new ones for me ['lifers' in birding parlance]. If you get the chance go and visit - it's a wonderful island for birds, insects and the flora, particularly orchids.
As I was working in Trowbridge yesterday I paid a visit to the R. Biss to see how the fairly new Beautiful Demoiselle colony was doing. I found 16 in all including tenerals and some mature males.
The only other May records I have so far are of a Club-tailed Dragonfly watched in an odonata enthusiasts garden [Jonathan Adey] in Oaksey on 10th - the Swillbrook is the most likely suspect as the Thames is some distance away.
Also Mike Hamzij reports Beautiful D's from the Avon at Whaddon on 19th and 20th plus 3 teneral Scarce Chasers there yesterday.
The forecast is good for the next few days so we may add more species to the year list - if you can, get out there looking at the weekend!