Thursday, 29 June 2017


A nice morning today,saw me heading to Dragonfly patch number 2 to see if any new emergence's were on the wing and sure enough,as always,it was a productive visit.Some decent numbers of species were counted and a good diversity as yesterday's visit to Crowle had been,which is always encouraging to see and this included 1 first for the year.The following records are what was recorded during my three hours on site:

Emerald Damselfly - 8
Red-eyed Damselfly - 1
Common-blue Damselfly - 283
Azure Damselfly - 149
Blue-tailed Damselfly - 340

Hairy Dragonfly - 4
Emperor - 2 (First Of The Year)
Southern Hawker - 2
Brown Hawker - 11
Four-spot Chaser - 27
Black-tailed Skimmer - 4
Common Darter - 7
Ruddy Darter - 1

Hide And Seek,Male Ruddy Darter.

Almost There,A Half Hidden Male Ruddy Darter.

Male Common Darter.

Male Common Darter.

Male Common Darter,Showing The Distinctive Pale Edges To The Legs And Reduced Black On The Frons .

Male Black-tailed Skimmer,One Of The Most Difficult Species To Photograph.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Summer Specialities On The Wing.......Sunday 25th June 2017.

A decent forecast today,albeit a tad cloudy in the morning,saw Stu and myself heading for the Odonata heaven that is Crowle Moor.We managed some great sightings through our seven hours on site and these included a number of new species for the year and a respectable 13 species recorded in the notebook,the following species and numbers are what we observed on our visit:

Emerald Damselfly - 15(1 Thorne Moors) - 1st Of The Year
Large-red Damselfly - 30
Azure Damselfly - 22
Common-blue Damselfly - 9
Blue-tailed Damselfly - 7

Brown Hawker - 3(1 Thorne Moors) - 1st Of The Year
Southern Hawker - 3(1 Thorne Moors) - 1st Of The Year
Common Hawker - 11(2 Thorne Moors)
Common Darter - 1(1st Of The Year)
Ruddy Darter - 1(1st Of The Year)
Black Darter - 17(1st Of The Year)

Female Southern Hawker,Thorne Moors.

Female Southern Hawker,Thorne Moors.

Female Southern Hawker,Thorne Moors.

Female Southern Hawker,Thorne Moors,Showing The Distinct Golf Tee On S2.

Female Southern Hawker,Thorne Moors,Showing The Paired Spots At The Abdomen Tip.

Female Emerald Damselfly,Crowle Moor.

Female Black Darter,Crowle Moor.

Female Black Darter,Crowle Moor.

Female Ruddy Darter,Crowle Moor NNR.

Female Common-blue Damselfly,Crowle Moor,A Lovely marked And Coloured Individual.

Male Emerald Damselfly,Crowle Moor.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Stunning Jewel's.....Forge Valley,North Yorkshire,11.06.2017.

After having a successful morning's birding at nearby Wykeham Forest today,i decided to pay Forge Valley a visit and try and find our most stunning of Damselflies the Beautiful Demoiselle.
 At first when i arrived it was partial cloud and i didn't hold much hope,but then the sun broke through and i saw my first of 5 males going about their business along their chosen patch of river.
 On first views whenever i see this species,they just take your breath away and have to rank as the UK's most stunning insect.
 I managed to find one male which kept returning to the same perch,in between bouts of displaying and catching midges and he showed admirably,allowing me to take a few decent images and trying not to fall in the river at the same time.
 After enjoying this cracking male i walked along the river a little further and managed to find a single female.This female was pretty jumpy and i only really managed to get a few record shots of her,but beggars can't be choosers with this being the first female i have seen here.
 It was a great privilege to see this lovely species again today,with their elegant,fluttering flight over a great little area and a very productive river and i no doubt will be back again next year to see these beauties.
Male Beautiful Demoiselle.

Male Beautiful Demoiselle,What A Stunning Insect!.

Female Beautiful Demoiselle,Still An Impressive Insect,Even When Compared To Males.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Crowle Moor NNR Count,Sunday 04.06.2017.

At the prospect of a decent days forecast i set out to survey this brilliant Odonata site today in the hope of some good numbers to enter in the notebook and after a good five hours on site i got a pretty good return for my efforts with my earliest Common hawker ever and some surprisingly good diversity,with the only disappointment being the relatively low numbers of Four-spot Chasers.
 There are acres and acres of suitable habitat here,with more and more being created and i can't even survey some of the better areas,so who knows what huge numbers are present,interesting all the same.
 The following are the numbers of insects counted and species involved,with a few photos for posterity:

Large-red Damselfly - 505
Azure Damselfly - 68(My highest count here)
Common-blue Damselfly - 10
Blue-tailed Damselfly - 19

Four-spot Chaser - 188
Common Hawker - 1,my earliest ever record anywhere.
Male Large-red Damselfly.

Male Large-red Damselfly.

Male Large-red Damselfly.

Female Large-red Damselfly of the form 'Typica'.

Messingham Return,Saturday 3rd June 2017.

Today i planned to return to MSQ weather permitting after last weekends visit and survey the dragon numbers around the reserve and to be fair i was pretty pleased with the Damselfly counts,but again Hairy numbers were pretty poor.The following is a summary of numbers and species involved:

Azure Damselfly - 533
Blue-tailed Damselfly - 468
Common-blue Damselfly - 396
Red-eyed Damselfly - 3
Large-red Damselfly - 2

Hairy Dragonfly - 8
Four-spot Chaser - 19
Black-tailed Skimmer - 6
Male Common-blue Damselfly.

Male Common-blue Damselfly.

Male Azure Damselfly.

Immature Male Red-eyed Damselfly.

Female Hairy Dragonfly.

Four-spot Chaser.

Four-spot Chaser.

Mating Blue-tailed Damselflies.

Immature male Black-tailed Skimmer.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR.....Sunday 28th May 2017.

An organised visit today along with fellow Dragonfly enthusiast Stu Roebuck to see what we could find around this fantastic little reserve,saw some decent numbers of Dragonflies and Damsels being recorded at last after a couple of weekends of cool conditions.
 As on all visits at this time of year,the predominant species was Azure Damselfly which seems to go from strength to strength around the reserve,but also some good numbers of Blue-tailed Damselfly and Common-blue Damselfly.
 Double figure counts of both Hairy Dragonfly and Four-spot Chaser today were encouraging after such a crap start to the flight season,but unfortunately areas of suitable habitat for the former are becoming overgrown,something that may need addressing and probably goes in someway to explain lower counts these days.
 A single Black-tailed Skimmer was also nice to see and an interesting observation showed just how good this site is for Odonata,as that master of the air a Hobby,was watched catching Four-spot Chasers later in the day.
 The following are some of the species numbers encountered,but a proper count will be carried out at the coming weekend,weather permitting.

Hairy Dragonfly - 18.
Four-spot Chaser - 34.
Black-tailed Skimmer - 1 female.
Red-eyed Damselfly - 15
Four-spot Chaser newly emerged from its nymph,as you can see it hanging from the exuviae.

Adult Four-spot Chaser,This Is What The Above Insect Looks Like When Fully Mature.

Four-spot Chaser.

Mating Azure Damselflies,The Reserves Most Abundant Species.

Immature Male Red-eyed Damselfly.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Crowle/Thorne Moors,Sunday 09.04.2017.

A visit today in hope of seeing some emergent Large-red Damsel's certainly paid dividends,after a recent report from Crowle late last week on the BDS website.
 On arrival at the site i had already walked along much suitable habitat and drawn a blank,but after the sun had gained some height and the air temp soared i walked along the edge of Will Pitts Scrape on Thorne Moors and managed to find at least 29 individuals.
 To say i was chuffed was an understatement,as these are the earliest Large-red's i have ever seen in 15 years recording Odonata.
 The majority of individuals were teneral's,but i did come across a few mature insects.
 Crowle Moor held even more,with a respectable 54 individuals being found,of course in the ensuing weeks this will multiply into thousands and i will certainly be back,clicker's at the ready.
 A great visit and great to get back in the swing of recording this fantastic family of predatory insects.
Female Large-red Damselfly Of The Form 'Typica',Thorne Moors NNR.

Female Large-red Damselfly Of The Form 'Typica',Thorne Moors NNR.