Thursday, 31 July 2014

Not Much Action . . .

Paid a visit to Thornley Woods Pond yesterday hoping to be entertained by some hawker activity, as regular readers will know this is the best site in the borough for getting up close and personal with Southern Hawkers, often great entertainment with 4 or 5 males on territory and females trying to oviposit before they get captured by the randy males again.
Not great for photographing the males unless you have the equipment to capture them in flight, but the ovipositing females are usually a lot easier. I had the KK with me but knowing its limitations I was really only interested in watching the action.
And I was also interested to see if there was any increase in activity from Common Hawkers, which had also put on good shows here last summer, though no females were seen.
So what a disappointment it turned out. A gusty wind and sporadic sunshine didn't help matters but the first (and only) southern hawker male came on site at a quarter to twelve, fully 55 minutes after I'd arrived, and 15 before I was due to leave. He was non-stop searching for a female, skirting the pond time and again, buzzing me on occasions and giving superb binocular views of his green and blue colouration as he hovered frequently for decent periods of time. But after about 10 minutes he disappeared again in tandem with the sun.

Five Common Darter were also on the pond, a dozen or so Azure damsels, a couple of Emeralds and a Large Red, all males bar one azure female in a mating wheel.

One of five Common Darter males at TW Pond

It's actually usually better later in the season for the hawkers, in fact last year I remember it was September after the school hols (see Late Show, Great Show 14/09/2013), so plenty of time to catch up.


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