Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Mid-May Update.

Since my last post things odonatological have moved apace!Broad-bodied Chasers are being seen around the county now with Gareth Harris finding one emerging and two exuviae, in the rain, at Oakfrith Wood pond by Urchfont on the 10th.On the 13th, Colin Pinchen found 6 BBC's at Stanton Park pond complex just north of Swindon. On the 14th I found my first BBC's - at Lower Moor Farm; the male was very skittish but the female allowed close approach for a full frame shot! On the same day Phil Smith discovered 3 Scarce Chasers [plus a dead one in a spider's web!] at the Caen Hill flight of locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Devizes. This species hasn't been seen there since their initial discovery in 2008! No exuviae have been found so it's still uncertain as to whether they breed there or are using the lock turning ponds as maturation sites [the River Avon being not too far away....]Here is one of Phil's super shots; more can be seen on his Flickr photostream. In the south, Lorraine Blakey watched an emerging Large Red Damselfly in her new garden pond. She got shots of it broaching the surface but then had to go to work... Then later she visited Langford Lakes where she recorded Red-eyed, Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Banded Demoiselles; plus a fairly mature Broad-bodied Chaser. On the same day Gareth saw a patrolling male Hairy Dragonfly and an ovipositing female at Swillbrook...and I still haven't seen an adult in Wilts! On the 17th Alison Maddock watched a male Beautiful Demoiselle in her Bratton garden which had obviously traveled there from the nearby Stradbrook. Also garden watching another male in their garden was Damian Pinguey in his Chippenham garden! I visited the Caen Hill locks also on the 17th to see if I could find any of the Scarce Chasers. I managed to see one but never got a shot before it disappeared over the trees lining the canal! Also there were hundreds of Red-eyed Damselflies and a smattering of Blue-tailed and Azures. But the surprise was a freshly emerged Black-tailed Skimmer in a patch of nettles! Joint first for the year, as Colin also saw a teneral at Lower Moor on the same day! Finally, and right up to date, Colin emailed me while I was compiling this post, to inform me he has just seen a male Emperor dragonfly at Somerford Common near Minety - the first reported to me for the year!


  1. Another interesting summary Steve.The photo of the Scarce Chaser is a gem.What a fantastic looking df particularly at that stage.

    1. Thanks Peter. Yes Phil made a great shot there! I need to get back there or further down onto the Bristol Avon around Trowbridge when the weather perks up to try and get some similar shots! This is a species where I prefer the colours of the immature/female to the mature male....