Monday, 17 September 2012

A bit of this and that . . . .

After the excitement of last Sunday and Tuesday the rest of the week and this weekend failed to reach any great heights.
A spur of the moment visit to Far Pasture on Friday (14th) gave me an interesting sighting of a common hawker male on the pond (first I've noted here for about four years) also a male southern hawker was circumnavigating the pond, along with 6-7 common darters (1 pair ovipositing) and 3 emerald damsels.
Probably a dozen or more common darters on and around the access road (at least 10m 2f) but no ruddy darters seen today. I reeled off about 30 photos but nothing particularly exciting, the only curiosity being this specimen with a missing wing, though it didn't seem to do affect him much as I never noticed 'til I looked at the photo.

Common darter at Far Pasture
Note the left forewing is no more than a stump. Lucky escape from
one of the local swallows perhaps?

On Saturday a scooter ride with the kids around the Derwent Walk Country Park gave me an opportunistic 10 hawker sightings consisting of 1 female southern, 2 female migrants, 4 male migrants, 2 probable male migrants and a large flypast hawker which remains unidentified.
Again I tried my hand at capturing flight photos, my only near success was this one of two male migrants at Clockburn Lake outlet stream, which is also my first migrant photo of the year!

Migrant Hawker (male) at clockburn lake
The antehumeral 'pip' rather than stripe probably the easiest
ID feature to separate from common hawker.  

To show how it's done properly here are a couple of shots taken by 'Indiana' Steve early in the week at Shibdon Pond.

Migrant Hawker (male) at Shibdon Pond
Antehumeral pips much more apparent on these photos taken
by a 'proper' photographer
(S. Fryer) 

One sad fact about Saturday at the outlet stream was that there were no damsels present, the season is ended for all but a few emeralds now. Interestingly the snaps of the late Azure and Large Red damsels at Thornley Woods Pond I took on the 5th were both later than recorded in the whole of Britain last year when (according to BDS stats) the last azure was seen in Bucks.on the 1st, and the last large red was sighted in Kent on the 3rd. Remembering that last September was a complete washout though i'm not surprised.

The only other dragon to report this week was a male ruddy darter today at the walled garden pond in Gibside during a brief visit in overcast and blustery conditions.
I'll finish this round-up with another photo from Steve, this one of the male southern hawker which posed for us so well at Burdon Moor last week.

Southern Hawker (male) at Burdon Moor




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