Pit Stop

There’s no doubt May has been a marvelous month – certainly the most consistent sunshine we’ve had for a long while, which means there’s been little time to keep the blog updated as frequently.

Thursday 17th May

Troublefield had certainly woken up since my last visit with a bevvy of Demoiselles.

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) - female
Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) – female

I was hoping for a Scarce Chaser or two but the presence of a female Broad-bodied added some variety along with Plenty of Azure and Large Red. Most of the Demoiselles were found in the middle meadow, which was mainly down to wind direction.

Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) - female
Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) – female

The north-west corner proved to be the choice spot today with enough Demoiselle action to pick & choose.

Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) - male
Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) – male

Once I’d had my fill I headed over to Ramsdown where I did see a Scarce and, more interestingly, my first Emperor of the season. Four-spotted were busy on the pond along with Large Red and Azure, frequently in tandem.

As I was in the area I thought I’d try my luck at Canford Magna. Alas no White-legged but a few Banded Demoiselles and the marvelous sight of dancing Mayfly.

Saturday 19th May

Although being one of my go-to sites, Bramshill still has the ability to frustrate. Saturday proved to be one of these days with little opportunity, albeit satisfying to observe.

Downy were present in good numbers during the walk. Along the main track a muddy puddle played host to a male Broad-bodied Chaser while the green pond had a patrolling Downy and male Hairy which I attempted to get busy with and a fresh Emperor rising to the trees.

Over in the sunny corner of Long Lake a teneral female Downy gave me my first real opportunity of the day.

Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) - teneral female
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) – teneral female

Back at the muddy puddle the male Broad-bodied gave me my last.

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) - male
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) – male

Monday 21st May

I returned for another go on Monday with varying success. A little more action on the water and my first Black-tailed Skimmer of the day disappearing out of reach.

A few more Emperor sightings with a fresh female disturbed at the green pond and a couple of males feeding along the tracks. Four-spotted were once again the dominant species.

Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) - teneral male
Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) – teneral male

There were a few Downy patrolling out of reach at Long Lake while in the corner a mating pair of Red-eyed balanced on the bulrush.

Red-eyed Damselflies (Erythromma najas) - pair in-cop
Red-eyed Damselflies (Erythromma najas) – pair in-cop

Then the clouds appeared along with a slight shower and that was the end of the sun except for a hazy glimmer two hours later where I found a Downy patrolling in the gloom of an inlet.

Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) - male
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) – male

Also sharing the same space briefly was a male Hairy which, although not perfect, provided the most memorable shot of the day.

Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) - male
Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) – male

Now the Emperor are out that may be my last chance to achieve better this season. That’ll do for now.