Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Not Gone Yet . . .

Warm and sunny (if a little windy) this morning, I read on Twitter that dragonflies are still showing in Northumberland, so finish my morning tasks and head down to Far Pasture to see if I can locate my latest ever dragonfly, today (the 10th) being a whole 6 days further into autumn than my previous record of the 4th set in 2010.

Nothing along the roadside fences opposite the woodyard, but just past the bend an inspection of the corral gate gave me the new record, with two male darters on the sunny side (though the sun was no longer showing) :

One very dark male darter

One very pale male darter

These were the only shots I managed, I thought they may be a bit docile with the sun tucked in but tried to get too close too quickly and they both flitted away. Never mind.
I next had a look at the Forbidden Pond, as I alluded to last time, it's been dug out and a lining put down, and the recent rains have started to fill it up already :

The new Forbidden Pond; be interesting to watch it develop

I would hope that's not the completed job, but it's a case of wait and see as to whether it's going to be landscaped properly and planted out. The bad news is that it appears to have had the bottom scraped out of it (to deepen) which means the dredged mud taken away will contain all the wee beasties (including dragonfly) eggs and larvae laid over the summer, a wasted season :-(
It doesn't look like there's going to be much of a scrape either, with deep-sloping edges extending up the banks.

On the plus-side it shouldn't dry out easily again, they've put the perching rock back in (front left) and while I was taking the photos a tandem pair of darters looked ready to oviposit until a sudden gust took them away before they started :-/

On the main pond they've been cutting back the vegetation so you can see the left hand pond again, water levels are very high again after the rains so only assorted wildfowl were showing, and a tandem pair of darters with two singles were noted.

The sun wasn't showing much in the early afternoon and the only other dragonfly sighting was another tandem pair zipping across the field, so unfortunately no further photo opportunities apart from this big black fly of which there were a few on the wing :

Another one to look up, very distinctive but not in me book 

Nice to see around a dozen darters still out then, and with no overnight frosts forecast in the near future they may hang around for a while yet, but whether I get another chance to see them even later in the season is another matter, can't see me getting out before the weekend at least.



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