Sunday, 7 July 2013

Difficult darters

Sunday 7th July 2013. Very warm, sunny and a stiff n/e breeze. A quick look at the new garden pond this morning on the way out to meet Tim at Thornden Woods and a female Broad-bodied Chaser flew round without stopping long. We had a short stroll to watch the Heath Fritillaries enjoying the hot sun. We saw our first Ringlets of the year, plus there were a few Large Skippers and Meadow Browns.
Next we made our way towards the Reculver area to look for dragonflies, and quite a variety were on show. Matt Hindle had phoned earlier to say there a lot on the wing this morning, including many darters that appeared recently emerged. Adult male darters aren't difficult to identify, but immatures in various stages are quite tricky. A tip I learnt from my old pal Patrick Giles when we were abroad last year looking at 'yellowish' darters was to look at the leg colour and the shape and size of the moustache as i.d tools. Hopefully the following are correctly identified: Immature male Ruddy Darter (black legs, slightly pinched and short abdomen, rather long moustache, dark veins)
Immature Common Darter (pale colouring along the legs, short moustache that doesn't droop on the frons)
Adult Red-veined Darter
There were loads of Black-tailed Skimmers, Emperors and a Four-spotted Chaser which is a rather uncommon dragonfly around Reculver.
We came across a single teneral male Emerald Damselfly being blown about by the strong wind, making photography aukward.
After all this excitement Tim decided to head home to watch the tennis, and I headed over to Chambers Wall to look for more damselflies etc. An hour or so produced only Red-eyed Damselfly and a Banded Demoiselle.
To finish the day off I had a look along Marshside and found quite a few Azure Damselflies.

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