Sunday June 3rd
We arranged to meet Steve Birt at Latchmore Brook in the New Forest. With mainly sun and occasional cloud, conditions were perfect.
Sue spotted the first fresh teneral female on the way in; the fragile lift and shade of pink was unmistakable besides the vibrant blues & greens of the adult males patrolling the flush.
Although not the best photo I’ve included it in post to show the differences from teneral to immature, an example of which you can find below.
The Keeled Skimmer were a lot more lively today, with several males and the occasional pairing decorating the flushes. On arrival at my favourite spot the ground had dried out considerably in a week despite the frequent showers, however the heather was yet to bloom and bring forth the bonanza of feeder insects to tempt the damselflies away from water.
A good few more Small Red than last week with a good showing of Large Red. No Southern around here either, but once again Sue’s eager eyes picked up the orange flash of an immature aurantiaca.
The only one found, and unfortunately with a deformed wing, however a delight to find and certainly the highlight for Steve being his first experience of the species. Thankfully it wasn’t long before we found a resting male.
We walked upstream encountering the Southern and Small Red in abundance before returning to the back flush to marvel at the show put on by even more Southern, Scarce Blue-tailed and Keeled Skimmer.
While attempting to find a way back across the flush I came across a teneral female Keeled perched irresistibly on the fern. She only gave me chance for a quick shot.
Safely back across and searching the edge of the flushes I found a fresh teneral male, still to gain his technicolor adult colouring and starkly contrasted against the striking youthful looks of the female.
A beauty nevertheless, and the perfect round off to the day.
Wednesday 6th June
Returning to Latchmore mid-week I had the feeling I might’ve started the day a little too early as the flushes were bereft of Scarce -Blue-tailed, as was the feeding area despite an extended search. Only a few Large and Small Red in attendance.
I didn’t see any Scarce Blue-tailed until I reached the back channel where I explored even more and sat watching the action for a while. Sometimes it’s good just to breathe it all in. A young female Beautiful landed on the fern, breaking me out of my reverie.
Photo opportunities were few & far between today and I hadn’t had a chance to use the macro, so I reluctantly returned along the stream where at least an Emperor offered me another chance to sit bank-side – only this time with the camera in hand.