|Kibblesworth Brickworks Pools|
The only site in gateshead for Black-tailed Skimmer
And so it proved to be, we staked out their favoured part of the pond (a shallow and narrow channel skirting an island), for a good while, but nothing bar the now numerous common darters to report, with many pairs ovipositing in the shallows here.
Along another shore of the main pond an Emperor patrolled imperiously but no other dragons present. Damsels were represented by small numbers of Common Blue, Azure and Emerald.
But it wasn’t until we were leaving the area via the secondary pond when disappointment was replaced by enchantment, as we were treated to a marvellous display of aerobatics by three male Common Hawkers.
These large and colourful beasts, more at home in the boggy, densely vegetated smaller pond, would rise as the sun came from between the clouds and skirmish at breakneck speed when their patrols led them into contact with each other. But alone, their darting patrols would be interspersed with long periods of hovering, when their fantastic colouration could be admired at close-quarters through binoculars, and the rattling of their wings could be heard clearly, the sound a bit like a Tesco carrier bag blowing round a metal pylon in a gale.
My photography skills were left a bit wanting here, but I managed to capture a couple of identifiable (though rather blurry) flypast record shots for the purpose of the Quest.
|Common Hawker male (Steven Fryer)|
Note the spotted abdomen in profile tells it apart from the pale blue Emperor
The dark thorax with two easily visible stripes will help avoid confusion
with Southern Hawker male which has two large green panels here
Species recorded : Common Hawker Aeshna juncea