The Arrival of Spring

Wednesday 13th May

Now wasn’t Wednesday pleasant? My plan was to spend a few hours just chilling out at Troublefield; basking in the sunshine while Demoiselles and Butterflies decorating the skies.

But first I fancied scouting out a new area near Christchurch and having a quick jaunt around Ramsdown. Nothing doing, so back to my plan…which had already taken a diversion with a call from Doug asking if I was about. I was, so we arranged to meet at the meadow.

Not nearly as prolific as Monday, so I busied myself with a Beautiful Demoiselle while I waited.

Beautiful Demoiselle - immature male
Beautiful Demoiselle – immature male

A mating pair of Brown Argus provided the next challenge.

Brown Argus - mating pair
Brown Argus – mating pair

Pinning down Demoiselles while they’re fresh can be an enjoyable challenge, and getting them to remain still should they choose a perfect perch can be as frustrating. This male Banded chose to remain long enough to provide one of the better opportunities of the day.

Banded Demoiselle - immature male
Banded Demoiselle – immature male

Doug arrived shortly afterwards and we flushed through the undergrowth looking for something different. Thankfully we were rewarded with a female Broad-bodied Chaser.

Broad-bodied Chaser - immature female
Broad-bodied Chaser – immature female

















That proved to be it for larger species, so we moved on to Dunyeats Nature Reserve. Barely through the gate we had a female Hairy ovipositing among the reeds, while a Downy Emerald disappeared across the heath.

By far the most prolific were the Chasers, with at least half-a-dozen ‘blue’ males battling across the water and several fresh Four-spotted decorating the heath.

Four-spotted Chaser - immature female
Four-spotted Chaser – immature female

Damsels were represented by Large Red, Azure and a few Common Blue, which provided another new species for the season, while back in the reeds Doug noticed an emerging Four-spotted Chaser.

Four-spotted Chaser - emergent female
Four-spotted Chaser – emergent female

















A pleasant two hours sadly curtailed by the increasing cloud cover, but our first activity over water meant that Spring had finally arrived. Just in time for the following day’s washout!