Sunday 27th May
We have a rule to ignore the New Forest on Bank Holiday weekends for obvious reasons, like traffic and tourists, Having been robbed of Saturday, which turned out great despite forecasts to the opposite, we decided to have a look at Latchmore.
Not in the best of shape after a party evening the night before, the going was tough in the heat and humidity., however I was glad we found a place to park despite inconsiderate parking from day trippers.
Amazed at how wet the ground was. Heavy rainfall the night before perhaps? After the sun we’ve had the flushes, which should have dried out by now, offered extra obstacles before the mire.
On the walk in we had Large Red, Azure, Beautiful Demoiselle and Broad-bodied Chaser, however as soon as we reached the mire we had our first Scarce Blue-tailed, a female and couple of males were holding territory in a flush.
Despite a good two hours scouring the scrub for feeders we only managed a few other damselflies other than Large Red, a teneral female Southern being the first.
The second highlight was a flighty teneral Small Red.
We did disturb a resting male Golden-ringed who flew south at speed before moving on to Gypsy Hollies where we encountered our first Keeled Skimmer.
The stream south had the best showing of Southern so far.
Enjoying a small pool were a couple more male Scarce Blue-tailed.
A fruitful day then.
Monday 28th May
Another glorious day with ‘potential’ light rain showers. Yeah, right – very hot and very humid again at Town Common. I figured if Small Red and Black Darter are out then Common Emerald might well be too.
It wasn’t long before I found the first of four teneral Small Red.
Shortly afterwards I found my first teneral Common Emerald.
Over the water a bevy of frenetic Four-spotted were wearing themselves out while a male Hairy patrolled the reeds. Meanwhile in the heather a few more fresh Common Emerald.
The humidity had soaked the pair of us through to the bone so we took a circuit where we encountered a swarm of Scarce Chaser.
Quite why they chose this particular pocket of heath I have no idea, but to see so many sharing the same space away from their natural breeding ground of the river was a delight.
After I final foray for the elusive Black Darter we decided to call it a day as we were both uncomfortable from the heat. Still, six species to add to the season’s list on a weekend we weren’t going to bother with?
Phenomenal frankly. Rule suitably broken.