Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A Few Loose Ends . . .

Hasn't been the best of ends to the Dragonfly season, though strictly speaking it hasn't ended yet with still plenty of Common Darters and Migrant  and Southern Hawkers to be seen at my local sites.

September just seemed to fly by, and in the main I've been too involved with other things these last few weeks to get out dragonhunting proper, so here's a summary of my latest fleeting site visits and garden sightings :

Tuesday 30th September
Thornley Woods Pond - (late morning) Nothing. Neither a darter nor a hawker in sight. The sun was out for most of my visit but after half an hour I gave up. A poor year here for the usually abundant Southern Hawkers, and unlike last year I didn't note any Common Hawkers at the pond, though there were a couple in the woods earlier in the season. 
However, on the way back I did find a male Southern Hawker on the small overflow pond searching for females, though with no luck he flew off, probably to the main pond.
Far Pasture - (early afternoon) Much more activity with many darters on the roadside fences and the ovipositing pairs count was well into double figures on the pond. 3-4 male Migrant Hawkers in the area too and a single male Southern.
After the clearing of the sluice, the roadside ditch  has drained completely, wondering what effect this will have on the Ruddy Darter survival rate over the winter.
And due to lack of rainfall during the month, the Forbidden Pond is now just a couple of shallow puddles, though a few common darter pairs were still busy egg-laying. 

Nothing different on the dragonfly front to
photograph but there were four very fresh-looking
red admirals at the top of Far Pasture access road. 

Here's another in discussion with a Comma.

Monday 29th September
A tandem pair of common darters flew through the garden . . . that was a first :-)

Friday 26th September
A migrant hawker (male) landed briefly on the outside of the kids trampoline in the back garden, unfortunately flushed up when I approached it.

Thursday 25th September
Shibdon Pond - A male migrant hawker and common darter viewed from the hide on a cool day.

Tuesday 23rd September
Thornley Woods Pond - 10-12 common darters including 3 ovipositing pairs, just one male Southern Hawker on fruitless search for a female.
Far Pasture - Good numbers of common darters on the fences and a few tandem pairs on the pond which (after the sluice has been unblocked) had lost a good three feet of water.

Plenty of common darters on the roadside fences 

The more mature individual seems to be more approachable.  

Took this one because it was a nice contrast of colours.

Far Pasture Unblocked
The old water-line is clearly visible on the reedmace stems.

Now into October there won't be many more opportunities to get out, though I would expect Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters to be with us for a few more weeks yet. I won't declare the season closed just yet but don't hold your breath folks . . . .


  1. Looks like the weather might break in the next couple of days Alan. Plenty of sunshine over the last 6 weeks or so but a lack of rain also.

    1. Aye John, it was cool and misty in the valley for a lot of the time but like I said in my post, September just seemed to go by in a flash. We could do with a bit of rain but do without the drop in temperature, I've already succumbed to the autumn lurgey :-O