Friday, 5 July 2013

STOP PRESS!! New Wiltshire location for Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly!

I have just received news that Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura pumilio) has been discovered on temporary pools in the middle of Salisbury Plain Training Area [SPTA]. These were found on 29th June by Iain Perkins who is studying the biology and distribution of the rare Fairy Shrimp (Chirocephalus diaphanous) there. When I found out he was doing this I suggested that the habitat the shrimp utilises is very similar to that which is suitable to the damselfly. Iain agreed to keep his eyes open for this species...and my hunch proved correct!
Now Iain has his eye-in, the hope is that he might find Scarce Blue-tailed at other similar locations on the Plain forming some kind of meta-population perhaps. Watch this space!

Thursday, 4 July 2013

June Update Part II

Playing catch-up yet again! Hopefully just before some actual summer weather in July may give a flurry of new sightings! On 18th June Adrian Bicker [the developer of 'Living Record'] was visiting Wiltshire and managed to find Beautiful Demoiselle in a new location in VC8; on the Blackwater river in the SE of the county! This species was also seen in it's regular haunts on the Bybrook at Ford and Box by Damian Pinguey and Chris Beard respectively [at the former in very good numbers - thankfully!]
On 19th June I met up, by accident, with Colin Pinchen at Lower Moor Farm where,as well as the already emerged species, we found several freshly emerged Black-tailed Skimmers (Orthetrum cancellatum)which we got shots. Also one possibly two male Emperors (Anax imperator) [which didn't stop flying], both species were new for the year!
Red-eyed Damselflies were now about on the dipping ponds in good numbers, including several mating pairs. At least 2 of the males had a heavy burden of mites on the undersides of their abdomens; looked pretty uncomfortable!
I also visited pit 95 where I found quite a nice example of the praenubila form of the 4-spotted Chaser:
On 25th June Paul Winter discovered the first Emerald Damselflies (Lestes sponsa)of the year at Cadnam Common Pond. On the same date Colin Pinchen found the first Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)of 2013 at the WWT's Langford Lakes reserve. Emerald Damsel also turned up at Kite Pool in Savernake for Ian McColl on 30th. Finally, as well as Emerald Damsel and Brown Hawker, Gareth Harris recorded the first Common Darters (Sympetrum striolatum) at Swillbrook Lakes in CWP; 2 freshly emerged individuals _ one near it's exuvia! So despite the slow start things are starting to pick up!