Thursday, 21 May 2015

Rest Azured . . . it's just negative news

The cold spring up north is causing a bit of consternation, or were we just spoiled last year when the mild spring had everything out early. Certainly the cold nights and mornings (and days like today) are doing nothing to encourage the emergence of the early dragons; to date I've seen no other reports in the northeast apart from the few azures at Far Pasture. 

Yesterday another visit to Thornley Woods Pond was as depressing as the last. A man with two mutts was just leaving as I arrived, wet dogs and churned up muddy water at one end of the pond were the tell-tale signs of what had just happened (grrrrr!).  
At the other end an oily film stretched across the surface. Only signs of life were a few toadpoles and a stickleback. No sign of damselflies or emergence once again, it just looks grim there at the moment.
More negative news from Shibdon George as he has yet to see any damsels at Shibdon Pond either.

As I didn't spend a lot of time at Thornley I nipped down to Far Pasture in the late morning sunshine to see if there was anything new there, but again the roadside undergrowth held maybe 8 or 9 immature azures, much the same as my previous visit. But at least they posed for a few pictures :

Immature male azure

managed to snap this one just as he was about to alight

Close-up shows the distinctive U shape at the base of the abdomen

Two more - focussed on the front one . . .

. . . focussed on the back one
And a 'peeper'

So not much variety, the forecast is for improving temperatures at the weekend but its a prolonged spell we need to get things going. Kids holidays again so should get an opportunity to visit Gibside next week and do the rounds of the ponds there. Fingers crossed.    



  1. Alan I spent all day yesterday around the areas you mention and a couple of other spots looking for both dragons and butterflies. I did not see one damsel or dragon anywhere and only a few butterflies. As you know, I take my camera to work most days to get shots from around the pond we have and again I have not seen one damsel or dragon yet. I can count on one hand how many butterflies I have seen. Like you, I wish it would warm up.

  2. That about sums it up Ron, hopefully there'll be a sudden burst (of sorts) in the next week or so :-/ Cheers