Monday, 23 May 2011

19th May 2011

Records sent in by Paul Winter from Cadnam Common [in modern Hampshire but in VC8 for recording purposes] included territorial male Emperor Dragonflies clashing and a mature male Keeled Skimmer on territory! Both new for the year. Paul's photo can be seen at:

Friday, 13 May 2011

Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva) ♀.

A late afternoon visit, in sun, to Conigre Mead nature reserve, Melksham produced 4 male and 2 female Scarce Chasers. All tenerals, these were my first for the year. It will be interesting to see if the work on the Sainsbury's extension will affect their recent local colonisation of the Bristol Avon through Melksham. But I fear that the proposed route of the Wilts & Berks Canal restoration will have a more profound impact...
Also present were a few teneral White-legged Damselflies, a few Azure Damsels and many roosting Banded Demoiselles.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

White-legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes)Teneral ♂.

Another new species for the year! I found 3 females, freshly emerged, and this teneral male at Tockenham Reservoir near Wootton Bassett. Still water is an unusual habitat for this species but they may have come from the small feeder stream running into the lake.

Friday 6th May 2011.

During my lunch break today I visited a stretch of the River Marden, a tributary of the Bristol Avon. Rob Turner, while bird ringing here last year, saw a Golden-ringed Dragonfly! I thought that if that species was here then it was a good bet that Beautiful Demoiselle ought to be too - and so it proved to be. I found 5 males and 9 females, all immature in herbage adjacent to the river. This stretch is near the Calne Sewage Treatment Works and, despite that, is a very picturesque location!
So I was pleased to add a new dot to the Wiltshire map - and possibly the first sighting of this species this year.

Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo).Immature ♂.

One of 5 males found at this new Wiltshire location.

Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo). Immature ♀.

One of 9 females found at the new location.

River Marden.

River Marden., originally uploaded by od0man.

The new site location for Beautiful Demoiselle - adjacent to the Calne Sewage Treatment Works!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Green Lane Wood, Nr. Trowbridge

While searching for Longhorn Beetles at the above wood, my friend Dave Brotheridge, found a teneral male Scarce Chaser in one of the rides. This is the first reported sighting of this species for the year and, as with most insects this Spring, much earlier than normal! The Bristol Avon is not too far away and the wood is used every year as a maturation site.
I'm sure other species, such as Beautiful Demoiselle, are already on the wing too. It just needs someone to visit the known sites to confirm this...

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) ♂.

The first Wiltshire Banded Demoiselle of the year [unless you know different!]. I discovered this and a few more while carrying out an odonata survey of the Waterhay area of the Cotswold Water Park. Including the young Thames.
Also seen were hundreds of thousands of Common Blue Damsels; Blue-tailed, Large Red, Azure and Red-eyed Damselflies. Plus several 4-spot Chasers.

Tuesday 3rd May, 2011.

Clattinger Farm - Cotswold Water Park
I visited the above area of the CWP today to see if I could see some of the Downy Emerald mass emergence reported on the BDS 'Hot News' page. I wasn't disappointed! I was able to see and photograph my first Wiltshire female Downy:o)) I saw at least 3 at Clattinger and 5 at Swillbrook. Also present were thousands of Common Blue, Azure Blue and hundreds of Red-eyed Damselflies. Plus several 4-spot Chasers and a single teneral Broad-bodied Chaser.
There were also thousands of Green-winged Orchids in flower in one of the meadows at Clattinger - a wonderful sight!!

Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) immature♀.

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) ♂.

Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas) ♂.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

1st May. Swillbrook Lakes, CWP.

Andy Cornell sent me [among other pics] a photo of a 4-spot Chaser seen at the above on Sunday. The first for the year. Thanks Andy:o)

Monday, 2 May 2011

Large Red Damselfly (Pyhrrosoma nymphula) ♂.

One of the mature Large Red Damsels I saw along with the Broad-bodied Chasers on the 28th April.