Friday, 1 September 2017

Crowle Darter's etc.,Crowle Moor NNR,26.08.2017.

With a good forecast this morning,i met up with Dave to get around the usual areas i count when i visit,primarily to see what numbers of Darters where present today and anything else would be a bonus.
 There were good numbers of Common Darter,which is always encouraging and the Black Darters were still in relatively good numbers.Common Hawker seems to be the only 'Large' Dragonfly which is fairing well at the sites i visit,but it may just be weather related this year and i'm not getting out on the peak activity days.
 The following is a summary of species encountered and the associated numbers observed:

Emerald Damselfly - 25

Common Hawker - 13,including 1 mating pair,observed near to the public car park.

Southern Hawker - 3,numbers way down on last year.

Brown Hawker - 1

Migrant Hawker - 3

Ruddy Darter - 3,another species which does not seem to be fairing too well at the sites i have visited this year.

Common Darter - 201,a pretty good count.

Black Darter - 308

Adult Male Black Darter.

Record Shot Of The Mating Pair Of Common Hawker's,That Where High In A Sycamore Near To The Reserve Car Park.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Crowle Moor NNR.....Tuesday 01.08.2017.

A visit to this fantastic NNR today in not great conditions to be fair,with sunny periods and a breezy south westerly wind,resulted in some fairly good numbers of some species,particularly Emerald Damselfly and Black Darter,but low numbers of the Aeshnids,which was a little disappointing.
 The following is what i encountered and the numbers of species involved:

Emerald Damselfly - 222
Large-red Damselfly - 1
Blue-tailed Damselfly - 8

Common Hawker - 4
Southern Hawker - 3
Migrant Hawker - 1(My First Record Of The Season)

Black-tailed Skimmer - 1 male

Ruddy Darter - 14
Common Darter - 21
Black Darter - 345

Male Ruddy Darter.

Male Black Darter.

Immature Female Black Darter.

Immature Male Black Darter.

Male Emerald Damselfly.

Immature Male Southern Hawker.

Immature Male Southern Hawker.

Immature Female Common Hawker.

Immature Female Common Hawker.

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.