Cadnam Common Suffers Serious Drought

It’s been the best part of two months since I last visited my favourite little pond, and with good reason. The long, hot dry spell we had in July was obviously going to reduce water levels substantially, and seeing similar ponds recently the odd rain showers have done nothing to bring the levels back up.

What is usually a reeded island surrounded by water is now no more than a couple of muddy pools along the Northern edge; the deepest section of the pond. It’s now entirely possible to enter the island without the use of wellies and a sense of adventure.

Nevertheless there is water still underneath and the island is refuge to the colony of Black Darters and the majority of the Common Emerald Damselflies.

Black Darter - male
Black Darter – male
Emerald Damselfly - female
Emerald Damselfly – female

Another downside to the lack of water is the stench of accumalted excrement from cattle who , along with the resident ponies, use this as a watering hole. Patrolling the muddy pools were a couple of Black-tailed Skimmers, a few Common Blue, single and tandem pairs of Emerald and a male Southern Hawker which at least provided some sport.

Southern Hawker - male
Southern Hawker – male

Even the gorse thicket was found wanting. I had at least expected to find a profusion of Common Darters, but even these were in short supply with most being along the Northern fern bank.

Common Darter - female
Common Darter – female

A lack of subjects completely in line with the lack of water. I’ve never seen it this low, but the deepest sections should maintain a refuge for underwater life. Another circuit through the thicket, down to the bridge and around the pond provided only this Black-tailed Skimmer perched, typically, at ground level.

Black-tailed Skimmer - male
Black-tailed Skimmer – male