Thursday, 20 August 2009
Yesterday I was able to regain access [at long last] to one of the most important odonata sites in Wiltshire. It is a private site that is also a SSSI and is our only acid bog habitat [that includes standing water]. My main concern was to establish that Small Red Damselfly was still present - which I am pleased to say is there in reasonable numbers [100+]. Mating was noted including pairs in cop and in tandem. Keeled Skimmers were also there in good numbers [30+] again with mating behaviour noted. Other species present included a patrolling male Golden-ringed Dragonfly which caught a Wasp then used one of my tripod legs as a perch while he consumed his snack with a sting in the tail!
Migrant and Southern Hawkers, Emperor, Common Darter; plus Common Emerald, Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Large Red Damselflies completed the line-up.
I was slightly disappointed that I couldn't find any Black Darters as they were there [albeit in small numbers] during my last late summer visit several years ago.
I still hold out hope and perhaps they are just late emerging at this site.
Now I have re-established contact I will be revisiting next year in Spring to [hopefully] confirm the continued presence of Downy Emerald and late summer to see if Black Darter is back. Common Hawker also seems to have disappeared but was only ever included from one sighting.
I also visited the WWT's site of Landford Bog but there was no open water and the only odonata was a single teneral male Common Darter!
Sunday, 16 August 2009
I managed a brief visit to the above late this afternoon during a small glimmer of sunshine. Haven't managed much fieldwork lately what with helping my eldest daughter decorate and set up her new [first]salon in Swindon town centre and helping my other daughter prepare for her move to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music!
Anyway, I am pleased to be able to report that Small Red-eyed Damselflies [Erythromma viridulum]are back at Coate!! I was able to find at least 4 on the model boating lake in blustery, cool and partly overcast conditions. If I can manage a return visit in better contidions hopefully there will be more. This is particularly pleasing as there appears to be none at the 'hospital pond' this year. Perhaps they emerged, found little or no weed to use and moved over to nearby Coate Water?
Also present were several Common Emerald Damselflies [Lestes sponsa] and a few Common Blue-tailed, Red-eyed and Blue-tailed Damselflies. Dragonflies were represented by a single Common Darter!
The other good news is that the land next to Coate Water has been saved from development [at least for the time being....]
Monday, 10 August 2009
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Not posted for a while - a combination of being away on holiday [to Corfu] and rubbish weather when able to go out!
I was very pleased to receive a report [with photos] from a new recorder, Barry Watts. He lives in Frome and visited Stourhead for the first time on Sunday. As well as some Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies he saw the first reported Migrant Hawker and Common Darters for Wilts for the year. As well as this there was an ovipositing Brown Hawker, some Broad-bodied Chasers and an ancient female 4-spot Chaser [looking her age!]
On the same day I had the first Southern hawker in my garden for some time - a pristine male in his prime.