Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Small Red-eyes Out & About.

As the hot and sunny weather continues I made a first visit of the year to a garden pond in the village of Shalfleet. The owners had cleared out a lot of the water lily from their pond last year and Small Red-eyes numbers seemed to suffer in 2016.However it is clear from today's visit that the lilies have recovered and many lily pads cover the pond.Damselfly prospects look good too with a teneral recorded on the pond and later an  adult male seen on a pad near to the pond edge.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Banded at Brighstone Mill Stream.

A short outing this afternoon presented the opportunity to drop in at Brighstone Mill stream to see the Banded Demoiselles. The former mill stream was alive with male demoiselles flitting over the clear running water in brief aerial combat before returning to their waterside stations.Female demoiselles were also in evidence and in particular a mature female Beautiful Demoiselle took my eye as she consumed her prey.Banded dominate this stream but Beautiful Demoiselles are known to wander so this one could have come from afar.

 

Dragonflies Out in the Hot Weather.

There were plenty of dragonflies on show around Bouldnor Forest ponds yesterday with the weather  set fair and temperatures in the high twenties celsius. Much of the ground surrounding the shallow pond are clear of vegetation and Black-tailed Skimmers are consequently numerous.It is also time for the emergence of Common Darters and many tenerals are easily disturbed from their hiding places in the scrub. I was lucky enough to come across one or two Emerald Damselflies in the long grass and short scrub along with an immature male Common Blue Damselfly..Mature Ruddy Darters have now returned and the  blood red males can be seen near to the pond edge.
Several species of dragonfly mainly immature,frequent the paths and tracks in the forest at the moment,Inevitably most are Black-tailed Skimmers,although I did see my first Southern Hawker as it hunted for insects.When successful it would take its prey to a convenient perch, usually high up in the branches of a tree









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Friday, 16 June 2017

Southern Emerald Isle.

Despite the occasional cloudy period a visit to our Southern Emerald site today was rewarded with several mature damselflies around their shallow pools.The small collection of scrape-like pools here all look to be dry except the largest which seems to have a puddle in the centre. However this type of habitat is apparently preferred by this species.








Thursday, 15 June 2017

More Dragons on Thassos.

Although the sight of  Norfolk Hawkers on Thassos was a treat,there are also other dragonflies to be seen at this beach side pond at Chrissi Ammoudia .Perhaps the most common here at any time is the Scarlet Darter or Broad Scarlet The male is bright scarlet whereas the female is yellow-brown.Mature females can take on a blue-grey colour. Inevitably a male Emperor Dragonfly is ever present, continuously patrolling the water,   now and again stopping to rest in the margins.This led to the occasional midair sortie with the Norfolk Hawkers but they always gave way to the Emperor.
In among the reeds were teneral Common Darters mingling with good numbers of Blue-tailed Damselflies and away from all this activity in the shallower sections several Black-tailed Skimmers battled for the best locations of the open bank.















Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Early Trip to Thassos.

A holiday to the Greek Island of Thassos,just a 30 minute ferry ride from the Greek mainland in the north Aegean has become an annual event over the last few years.Instead of the usual August holiday we decided to visit in the first week of June.Less people crowding the 3 kilometre long beach and a chance perhaps of seeing a few different dragonfly species.
At a favourite spot just at the back of the beach is a reed lined pool which in the winter discharges water from the nearby mountains.Now it is a magnet for dragonflies and a notable new species for me was the Green-eyed Hawker or as it is commonly known in the UK,the Norfolk Hawker.A very handsome dragonfly with conspicuous green eyes,a mainly plain brown body and a yellow triangle on upperside  S2. This diagnostic feature gives it its scientific name Aeshna isoceles. In the southern Balkans there is a sub-species antehumeralis so named for the presence of larger yellow antehumeral streaks.








Saturday, 27 May 2017

More Southern Emeralds.

A further visit yesterday  to the site of the recently discovered Southern Emerald Damselflies was rewarded with more sightings in and around the shallow pond, pictured below.It seems to be a typical location for this species as it is prone to dry out at certain times particularly in the early summer.Among the several damselflies seen was a maturing female showing the two tone wing spots,a diagnostic feature of this species.
Rather embarrassingly it has been brought to my attention that my post of the 17th June 2016 also shows Southern Emeralds not Lestes sponsa as I originally believed.Therefore it seems that Lestes barbarus has been resident for at least two seasons.  





Friday, 26 May 2017

Ruddy Darters Make an Appearance.

During yesterdays visit to my local forest pond there were numerous teneral darters on the fringes of a shallow scrape.The new emergents in question were Ruddy Darters,easily identified by their all black legs.





Thursday, 25 May 2017

First Sighting of the Southern Emerald Damselfly.

A visit today to a local forest pond was rewarded with my first ever sighting of the impressive Southern Emerald Damselfly Lestes barbarus.Quite a few tenerals were fluttering away from the very shallow scrape-like pond and apparently this is the first record of this continental species on the Isle of Wight.




Thursday, 18 May 2017

Red-eyes Now Appearing.

Despite the promise of a sunny day the cloud returned during the morning and by the time I arrived at my chosen location it was well and truly overcast.However the damselfly species that I had come to see had decided to ignore the inclement weather and was emerging among the reeds around the pond.The Red-eyed Damselfly normally emerges during May whereas the very similar Small Red-eyed Damselfly is out towards the end of June.Both species can be found in the same habitat so when seen together careful inspection is required to tell them apart.












Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Blue-tailed Damselflies Out in Force.

The recent fine and mainly dry weather has given way to an unsettled period of rain and cloud.So yesterday a visit to a large body of water known as Dodnor Nature Reserve adjacent to the coast was marred by a brisk wind and an overcast sky.However the lakeside reeds seemed to be crowded with what must be our most common damselfly,the Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.The female has five colour forms and all were on show.Perhaps the two most colourful  are rufescens (shown below devouring a moth) and violacea,also pictured below,with violet sides to the thorax.