Monday, 3 June 2013

Stargate

My favourite site for the June speciality the Broad-bodied Chaser is Stargate ponds. I've had success here the last two years (since I started dragon hunting proper). Though small in numbers they're a cracking dragonfly and with one seen already (slightly earlier than normal) I'll be over there in the next week or so to get them photographed.
They are found in shallow open ponds with plenty of sunlight, and for anyone interested (Johnny?) here's a map of where best to see them :

Stargate Reserve
The road along the top is a section of the A695 between
Blaydon (right) and Ryton. The main car park and fishing ponds are shown
on the left. The shallow open pond for the chasers is marked with a red dot,
the nearest entrance is the black dot. No car park at that end but there's a quiet
road opposite the entrance to park in. Just follow the track through the gate
and it opens out in the meadow to the pond front right.


Make sure the sun is shining when you seek them out though, last year I turned up after they'd been reported the previous day, it was cloudy and I saw zilch. But then again I've always been a jinx with the weather :(
The males patrol the edges of the pond but there may be long gaps in between patrols so patience is sometimes needed. And the best way to photograph them or get a good view (with close-focus binoculars) is to stick a decent twig in the ground (at a 45ish degree angle) overhanging the pond edge where they patrol and wait for them to come to you. Works a treat.
Females are more difficult to get but will perch up away from the pond (notably in the gorse bushes a couple of years ago giving cracking views and photo opportunities.)

There are many damsels and probably four-spotted chasers here during June as well, and keep an eye out for weasels and field voles.

Happy hunting!  

1 comment:

  1. You're a star.
    Fingers crossed for some sunshine for the next couple of weeks at least.
    All depends on the sun and availability of the car for me but lets hope we both get cracking views and possibly some fine images.
    Looking at the map I've been looking in the wrong ponds in the past.
    Thanks again.
    John

    ReplyDelete