Posts Tagged ‘Azure Damselfly’

A bright sunny day and a chance to do the weekly butterfly and dragonfly survey on my home patch. It has been a somewhat slow start to the year with sporadic butterflies and just two records so far of Large Red Damselfly (two weeks ago – which was an early date for this site) and nothing since. As I made my way down to the Tarn I found a female Brimstone and then by the pool a Holly Blue.

Holly Blue

 

Approx 6-8 Large Red Damselflies were on the pool and 2 pairs were busily laying eggs. A single Azure damselfly was also present.

Large Red Damselfly

Azure damselfly

 

 

 

 

 

This was to be the highlight as the remainder of the walk only yielded a single Green-veined White and a second Brimstone.

Green-veined White (1st brood Female)

The nesting season for birds is well underway and today there were young Coots, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese and Mallard around the Tarn.

Coot and young

Greylag Geese and young

Canada Goose and young

Mallard and young

 

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

 

 

 

Strumpshaw Fen

Strumpshaw Fen

The final day of our trip to Norfolk and our final destination is Strumpshaw fen RSPB reserve. I am still hoping to get that elusive photograph of Swallowtail Butterfly and this reserve is one of their strongholds in the UK.

Strumpshaw Fen

Strumpshaw Fen

As we made our way along the trail, I did get to take some photographs of a butterfly species that I haven’t managed to capture before, but it was not Swallowtail. Instead it was a lovely White Admiral which briefly posed for us before flying off

White Admiral

White Admiral

White Admiral

White Admiral

Other highlights included Norfolk Hawker dragonfly and an Emperor Dragonfly as well as a number of different species of butterfly

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoiseshell

Small Tortoieshell

Small Tortoieshell

 

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

We eventually made it to the hide and decided to settle ourselves down as an Otter had been seen earlier using the waterway which passes in front. we di see Grey Heron and Little Egret but alas no sighting of Otter.

Little Egret

Little Egret

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

And what you may ask about the Swallowtail’s – yes we saw a number. No I didnt get to photograph them. Oh well there is always next year!

 

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Bearded Reedling [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)

Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
White Admiral (Limenitis camilla)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Norfolk Hawker (Anaciaeschan isosceles)
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)

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After a morning meeting in Blackheath I head off to Greenwich Peninsular Ecology Park to search for dragonflies and to see the Common Terns which nest here.

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As I approach the moat I can hear Reed Warbler singing in the reed-bed. The first damselflies seen are Red-eyed, easily identified by their prominent red eyes which can often be seen with the naked eye.

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There are also Blue damselflies present. The majority seem to be Azure damselfly but I am sure that I have seen one Common Blue Damselfly (confirmed when I got home as I have a picture of one).

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

I cannot find any Blue-tailed damselflies on the moat, although I understand that they have been reported this week. Moving inside the reserve I make my way to the hides to look at the nesting Common Terns. This is the only local nesting colony and I count 4 or 5 nests with birds still sitting on eggs and 3 groups of young, who are already quite a size.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern chick

Common Tern chick

A Grey Wagtail flies onto one of the Tern rafts and Goldfinches are calling from the trees.

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

As I am leaving the Ecology Park, I catch a brief glimpse of a bird flying into the trees. I don’t see much of it except a white rump and a black tail. I think it must be a Bullfinch, a species I have not recorded locally before. But despite searching for it I am unable to re-locate it.

Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)

Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)
Unidentified Blue butterfly species (Holly or Common)

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)

Final stop on Catch up Thursday is my home patch, the Tarn.

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There is not as much activity at the pond as earlier in the week, but Azure Damselfly and Large Red Damselfly are still present.

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By the side of the Tarn I find 3 Comma butterflies in the vegetation and as I am standing photographing them a Red Admiral flies past.

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There are a few damselflies on the Tarn and I identify a male Common Blue and a male Blue-tailed damselfly. A large party of Canada geese appear from the golf course. In all there are 4 adults and 15 young ones in the party. It is interesting to see the different stages of development in the young – some are beginning to look like Canada Geese but other shows no signs of the distinctive markings.

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There are also a number of mallard broods around the Tarn

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At the end of 3 surveys in one day I feel rather like our resident Terrapin and am looking forward to sitting down and having a rest. But its been a great day with some fabulous sightings.

Its such hard work being a Terrapin!

Its such hard work being a Terrapin!

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Large Skipper [sp] (Ochlodes venatus)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)

A warm sunny afternoon and a good excuse to quit work for a while and go and walk around the Tarn in search of Dragonflies and Butterflies. My first stop is the pond and its clear that the Azure damselflies are very active. There are also some Large Red Damselflies and a single Blue-Tailed female (I had a single male last time – so maybe they will meet up).

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Onto the Tarn where there were 2 Broad-Bodied Chasers patrolling. In the vegetation I found a Green-Veined White butterfly (first of the year for the site). In the flower Garden at the eastern end I spotted a Comma butterfly (another year first for the site).

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The young Greylag Geese are growing fast and the oldest group now resemble their parents. There was also a group of mallard chicks on the Tarn plus some young Coot.

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Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)

A lovely afternoon and so I decided to take a walk around the Tarn.

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Stopping first at the small pool there is lots of activity with Azure damselflies and a few Large Red damselflies.

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

Azure damselfly

Azure damselfly

Azure damselfly

Azure damselfly

Moving on to the main lake I can see a large dragonfly patrolling the central area. I wonder if it is an Emperor Dragonfly (annual at this site) but there is something about it which does seem right. Moving up the side I find a Broad-Bodied Chaser perched on sticks in the water.This is a first site record for me.

Black-Tailed Skimmer

Broad-Bodied Chaser

Black-tailed Skimmer

Broad-Bodied Chaser

At the eastern end I do find an Emperor patrolling, ever active – so unable to get any photos.

In contrast to the dragonflies, the butterflies have been disappointing with only a single unidentified Brown and a single speckled Wood to this point.

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Returning to the small pool, I stop by the adjacent wildflower garden and my eyes are immediately drawn to a orange brown butterfly on a plant head. I take some record photos as I am really not sure of its ID. I think it might be a Skipper but which one I am not sure. (On returning home I consult my guides and plump for Large Skipper, which is confirmed by posting picture on UK Butterflies facebook site). Its a first record for me on the site and my first Large Skipper locally.

Large Skipper

Large Skipper

Birdwise, there is a new coot family of 3 chicks and the Greylag geese are growing up fast.

Coot with Young

Coot with Young

Greylag Goose

Greylag Goose

Our resident terrapin was also present sunning himself on his usual sun-bed!

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Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)
Large Skipper [sp] (Ochlodes venatus)

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) 1

Despite a brief shower when we got back from the Tarn the weather improved again and so I decided to go off to visit another of our local dragonfly spots – Greenwich Pennisular Ecology Park. This is a really good spot to see Red-eyed Damselfly, a local species found only in Southern England.

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On arrival at the park, i first checked out the ‘moat which seperates the park from the surrounding land. This is usually a good spot for dragonflies who perch on the lilys and the vegetation. I was not disappinted as I had soon seen 4 species of damselfly – Red-Eyed; Blue-Tailed; Common Blue and Azure.

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Blue-Tailed Damselfly

Blue-Tailed Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

On entering the park I went to check up on the nesting Common Terns. There appear to be 3 nests and one had 2 chicks in it and I was fortunate to see one adult return with fish and feed it to the youngster.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern feeding chick

Common Tern feeding chick

Common tern feeding chick

Common tern feeding chick

Overall a very good day

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

Yeaterday I went on a walk organised by the London Natural History Society along the River Crane starting from Whitton and finishing at Crane Island Local Nature Reserve.

River Crane

River Crane

River Crane

River Crane

The focus of the walk was insects although all aspects of natural history were noted.

Among the highlights of the day were a good number of Banded Demoiselle, which was the most numerous of 4 species of damselfly seen

Male Banded Demoiselle

Male Banded Demoiselle

Male Banded Demoiselle

Male Banded Demoiselle

Female Banded Demiselle

Female Banded Demiselle

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly


A first sighting for me was the Tree Bumblebee which was found in good numbers along the river

Tree Bumblebee

Tree Bumblebee

Among other insects were spiders, beetles, flies and ladybirds

Harlequin Ladybirds

Harlequin Ladybirds

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There were also some interesting birds including this sighting of a young Nuthatch examining the outside world.

Young Nuthatch

Young Nuthatch

Thanks to Ian who lead the walk and to the other members for their help with indentification of beetles, spiders and other insects. A very good day.

Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Small Red Damselfly (Ceriagrion tenellum)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

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The Azure Damselfly is one of the commonest blue damselflies in United Kingdom, being found in all parts except the North of Scotland. It can easily be confused with other similar blue-black damselflies. The species characteristic is a black flat bottomed ‘U’ shape on the otherwise blue segment (S2) immediately behind the thorax.

A walk around the Tarn this afternoon as I hadn’t done a butterfly count there for over a week and I wanted to get one more done before the Big Butterfly Count ends on Sunday.

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The butterfly list was short with mostly Small Whites plus a couple of Large Whites and a single Gatekeeper. There was no sign of the patrolling Emperor Dragonfly although there were a few Blue-tailed and Azure Damselflies.

Gatekeeper Butterfly

Gatekeeper Butterfly

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

However Birds were to top the bill on this visit. As I returned to the entrance I saw a bird fly away across the lake towards the area of the sluice gate and immediately located it that area – A Grey Wagtail (my second in two days). This is the first record for this year of a species that is seen annually on the Tarn most commonly during the Autumn.

Our resident Amphibian on his usual sunning perch

Our resident Amphibian on his usual sunning perch

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)