Posts Tagged ‘Large Red 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)

 

 

 

DSCN7655a

The weekly butterfly and dragonfly survey on my local patch. The weather is not ideal as there is a good breeze blowing but the weather forecast doesn’t look much better tomorrow.

On the walk down to the small pond there is not much activity but there are a few Large Red Damselflies on the pond and the vegetation surrounding it.

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

A pair of Blackbirds are gathering nesting material from the edge of the pond.

DSCN7640a

Whilst photographing Large Red’s a  blue butterfly briefly alights on the bush and its brown underwing identifies it as my year’s first Common Blue butterfly for the site.

Common Blue

A female Brimstone passes by as I approach the lake. Contrary to what I wrote last week, a pair of Canada Geese have bred although it is surprising to see that they only have one gosling.

DSCN7656a

Our mixed Canada/Greylag pair have also bred (4th year) and have a small family.

DSCN7657a

The main Greylag nursery still numbers 8 and they are beginning to look like much more like their parents.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

Butterfly-wise it is pretty quiet. I locate another Common Blue and 2 Speckled Woods

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

But there is quiet a lot of Bee activity and Red-tailed and White-tailed workers are busily collect nectar.

Red-tailed Bumblebee

Red-tailed Bumblebee

Returning to the small pond, I am photographing Large Red’s again when a blue damselfly puts in a brief appearance before disappearing round a bush. Location and date suggest Azure Damselfly but I cant rule out Common Blue Damselfly (ironically not the commonest blue damselfly on the site). I spent some time trying to re-locate it but without success. Hopefully this is the first of many and they will be more evident next week.

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

DSCN7456

Back to the weekly butterfly and dragonfly survey of the patch. Its a beautiful day and so am hopeful for plenty to record.

DSCN7464a

My first stop is the Damselfly pool. Its a good start as there are 6 Large Red Damselflies including a tandem pair. This really is excellent as I had been worried that the water quality issues might have killed off all the nymphs. Large Red are the earliest species to emerge on this site and so I am hopeful that the other Damselfly species (4 recorded last year) will also be OK.

Large Red Damselfly

Large Red Damselfly

Moving on the lake edges are thick with vegetation. Large White; Orange-Tip and Brimstone are all present in good numbers, but no blue butterflies. At the western end I also found a Comma butterfly.

Comma Butterfly

Comma Butterfly

DSCN7464a

There is still much breeding activity going on with Moorhen and Coot still on nests.

Moorhen

Moorhen

The Greylag geese still have 7 young, now growing fast and there are 5 Mallard young. But no evidence that any Canada Geese have bred this year.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

Mallard

Mallard

DSCN7468a

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
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)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Comma Butterfly (Polygonia c-album)

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

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).

DSCN3226a

DSCN3234a

DSCN3238a

DSCN3244a

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).

DSCN3230a

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.

DSCN3233

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.

DSCN2955a

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.

DSCN2834a

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!

DSCN2975a

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

I had set today aside to do some Butterfly and Dragonfly recording in Surrey, but on waking up and finding it pouring with rain I soon changed my plans. The rain continued and got heavier. Then around lunchtime it stopped and Sue and I decided to go and see what we could find around the Tarn.

DSCN2855

On our arrival we were greeted by a single male Azure damselfly and a Speckled Wood butterfly. A promising start. It been a week of families around the patch this week with counts of up to 11 Carrion Crows and 5 Magpies in the garden. The Tarn was also a place of families with Greylag Goose (2x3young), Mallard (2 broods of 7 and 5) and Coot (1 brood of 2)

Greylag Goose and Young

Greylag Goose and Young

Mallard and Young

Mallard and Young

On the far side of the Tarn we found another Speckled Wood as we retraced our way back around the Southern shore to the entrance.

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

We checked the wildflower garden and the small pond but there was no further sightings, then Sue called to me from the back of the pool where she had found a pair of Large Red Damselfly (a first site record for me) resting on vegetation.

DSCN2864a

DSCN2862a

DSCN2859a

A good end to our walk. I am really glad it rained!