Friday, 28 May 2010

Two new dragons for the year.

Damian Pinguey phoned me this morning to say he'd just seen a very teneral male Emperor hunting in Mortimers Wood, Pewsham, Chippenham. He later phoned to say he'd also been to Chippenham Pond where he observed 3 Black-tailed Skimmers emerge.
Tonight I've received an email from Mike Hamzij to say that Scarce Chaser is just starting to emerge on the Avon at Whaddon, Trowbridge. Another new one for the year. Also there were some Red-eyed Damselflies. Mike's fabulous pic attached.

Roves Farm. 27th May 2010.

I paid a visit late afternoon to check on developments since my last visit. There was a drop more water after the rain and lots of damselflies roosting in the luxuriant pond side vegetation. This included Azure, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies.
The Broad-bodied Chasers had coloured up and there were 3 males patrolling when the sun came out, plus one female ovipositing.
Finally there were at least 6 teneral Black-tailed Skimmers hiding amongst the grasses and rushes, my first of the year. Shouldn't be long before Emperors are in evidence too...

Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum).

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa).

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum).

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella).

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella).

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

25th May 2010.

I received a report from Mike Hamzij of both White-legged Damselfly and Beautiful Demoiselle on the Bristol Avon at Whaddon. Both first sightings for the year.
Also Banded, Blue-tailed and Azure - but no Scarce Chasers yet!

24th May 2010

I visited Landford Heath SSSI on Monday to see if Downy Emeralds were out yet - and they were, 4 of them! Plus two on a neighbouring farmers pond. I managed to obtain some very poor in-flight shots. It was so hot [29degC] that they hardly paused to hover in small bays as they usually do!
Also present were three teneral Keeled Skimmers, first for the year and possibly now the only site for them in Wiltshire. I will check out Shearwater in a few weeks to see if they are hanging on there.
also present at Landford were: Broad-bodied Chaser; Large Red, Azure, Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselflies.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Sightings for 9th May (Belated)

Just received a report from Steve Davies of a male Downy Emerald at Swillbrook Lakes on Sunday 9th May. It was sheltering from the cold wind and overcast on the security fencing between the reserve and the Lower Mill developement. He managed a superb shot of it too!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

River Cole

I visited the R. Cole near Coleshill today with the hope of seeing the first White-legged Damselfly of the year. Not to be I'm afraid, but I did see my first Banded Demoiselles; two males sheltering out of the cold wind behind a hedge. The weekend weather is supposed to be hot so it may be worth a return visit on Sunday...

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens).

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Rove's Farm is depressa-ing [groan!]

Sorry about the bad joke;o) I visited Rove's Farm at Sevenhampton lunchtime today on a hunch that Broad-bodied Chaser should be out there now. I'm pleased to say I was proved correct. I found 3 in total plus two 4-spot Chasers. Blue-tailed and Common Blue damsels completed the picture. I was also hoping for Banded Demoiselle on the adjacent River Cole - but not to be, not yet.
Terry Dabner also sent me a record of 3 BB Chasers he saw at Somerford Common today.

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) ♀.

Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) ♀.

Sightings for Saturday 15th May 2010.

After a successful trip to Hailey Wood near Cirencester for Pearl-bordered Fritillary, I called in at the Wildlife Trust's Swillbrook Lakes reserve in the CWP. At last! my first dragonflies of the year; 5 teneral 4-spotted Chasers plus another new damselfly; several semi mature male and female Azure's. There were also plenty of Large Reds, Common Blues and Red-eyed damselflies. It seems things are starting to happen at long last!

Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata).

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella).

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Activity at Caen Hill Locks.

I grabbed a quick lunchtime visit to the Caen Hill flight of locks at Devizes to see if anything had emerged at the turning ponds. I wasn't disappointed! Although there still weren't any dragonflies I found two new damselflies for the year. Common Blue Damselfly; a single teneral male and female. Plus at least 11 recently emerged Red-eyed Damselflies one of which looked as if it had only just taken it's maiden flight. Also present was a single mature male Blue-tailed Damselfly. The shift in direction to the SE for the wind has hopefully kick-started a general emergence of species now. Let's hope for some fine, warm, weather at the weekend....!

Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas).

Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythormma najas).

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum).

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum).

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Sightings for 10th May 2010

Ian Bartlett reported yestereday sighting a Banded Demoiselle on the Kennett and Avon Canal at Whaddon near Trowbridge. This is the first sighting [reported to me at least] so far this year. But still no dragonflies - they must be out there by now, just keeping their heads down in this bitter NE wind!!?

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) ♀.

I found my first Blue-tailed Damselfly today at the Semington Bypass balancing ponds just south of Melksham. I could only find the one which was an immature female of the C-type [as described in Dijkstra and Lewington].
This brings the tally to 2 species, but still no dragonflies yet even though 4-spot and Broad-bodied Chaser and Hairy Dragonfly have been seen in other counties!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) Female

Both Damian Pinguey and Rob Turner have now joined the exclusive club of 2010 odonata reporters ;o)
Rob found 3 tenerals at Swillbrook Lakes in the CWP today and Damians sighting was at the pond in Chippenham behind the Volvo garage. [Damians great shot illustrates this post].

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) ♂.

Hot on the heels of Wayne Clinch's first county sighting for the year of an odonata in Swindon the other day, I found another Large Red Damselfly [my first for theyear]. This is the first odonata for South Wilts, VC8 as it was at the pond in Blackmoor Copse WWT reserve.

Monday, 19 April 2010

At Last!

The first odonata of the year in Wiltshire was reported today by Wayne Clinch. He found a teneral Large Red Damselfly on the North Wilts Canal at Mouldon Hill Country Park in Swindon. He also managed to photograph it for good measure!
If this warm spell continues [which it seems set to do for a few days at least] then more should be found at other sites around the county; with other species, hopefully, following hot on it's heels.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Still no dragons - yet!

Still probably a month away from the first Large red Damsels but the first insects starting to appear. As well as 3 species of Bumblebee [Buff-tailed; White-tailed and Red-tailed] the first of the Mining Bees [Andrena sp.] put in an appearance. With over 60 species in the UK most are impossible to ID from photos! Also several 7-spot Ladybirds crept out from their Winter hiding places to soak up the early Spring sunshine.

Mining Bee (Andrena Sp.).

Mining Bee (Andrena Sp.)., originally uploaded by od0man.

7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella 7-punctata).

Thursday, 7 January 2010

A New Year - and what global warming?!!

Firstly, just to recap on last year; 25 species were seen [in order of first sighting]:
Large Red Damselfly
Blue-tailed Damselfly
Common Club-tail
Beautiful Demoiselle
Scarce Chaser
Broad-bodied Chaser
Common Blue Damselfly
Azure Damselfly
4-spotted Chaser
White-legged Damselfly
Banded Demoiselle
Golden-ringed Dragonfly
Black-tailed Skimmer
Red-eyed Damselfly
Downy Emerald
Southern Hawker
Brown Hawker
Ruddy Darter
Migrant Hawker
Common Darter
Small Red-eyed Damselfly
Common Emerald Damselfly
Small Red Damselfly
Keeled Skimmer.
The interesting thing to be discovered this year is whether the weather we are currently experiencing will have any adverse effect on our odonata fauna. Most species have adapted long ago to the prolonged cold and snow we are having - it is us who have short memories and forget this used to be the 'norm' not many years ago!
It is how the more recent colonisers will respond which will be facinating to find out.
This year is the International Year of Biodiversity and I am hoping to organise some guided dragonfly walks across Wiltshire to showcase how comparatively rich we are [within a UK context] in odonata. Once I have dates/venues confirmed I will post them here. First provisional date may be May 22nd at Lower Moor Farm. I hope it will look a little different then to how it looks now [see above]!!
A Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year to you all:o))