A change of day off, and some dry weather gave me the opportunity to get out and do some dragonfly recording. Though dry, the weather was windy, blowing a stiff south-westerly, which kept dragons away from the water. This also made it a little difficult to get reasonable photographs, as everything was constantly moving. The area in the lee of the trees along the railway giving the best opportunities for photography.
The eastern pond on the Washlands was the most productive, with 3 Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator being the first I’ve recorded this year. There were still good numbers of Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum present, though their flight season is quickly coming to an end. Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella are overshadowed by the former species, though can be found in small numbers including this pair in tandem.
Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata were present in double figures, along with good numbers of Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, some recently emerged, and Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum. Red-eyed Damselfly Erthromma najas were noted in single figures in surrounding vegetation, none of them wanting to venture out over the water due to the wind. There were no sign of any Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula or Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense, their season almost, if not, over at this lowland site.
There were plenty of other invertebrates to photograph and identify, something I’m currently on the steep learning curve with, so please feel free to guide and correct me if needed. We are all familiar with flies around the house and our obsession with wanting to swat them, or get the fly spray out. There are however some stunning species to look at and a few of those encountered are illustrated below.
It’s not been a good year so far for Butterflies, due to the weather, and this proved to be the case today. A single Speckled Wood Pararge aegeria along with two firsts for the year, Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus and Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina being the only species encountered.
On the beetle front, Golden-bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle Agapanthia villosoviridescens was observed along with Wasp Beetle Clytra arietis, neither of which wanted to hang around long enough for a photo.