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!!?