Crockford Stream

Friday 20th June
After the disappointment of wasted time Thursday I needed to redress the balance. No walking uneven ground to dead-ends, no traipsing boring gravel tracks for no reward…just a Friday afternoon’s pleasure contained within the basin of Crockford Bottom.

I had barely reached the stream before encountering the first Golden-ringed, followed shortly after by another. The Bog Myrtle was festooned with Southern Damselflies and the occasional Beautiful Demoiselle, Large and Small Red and Blue-tailed. The southern clearing produced Keeled Skimmers, Common Darters and Broad-bodied Chasers.

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

Conspicuous by their absence were Four-spotted Chasers and Emperors. Not one stopped by to join the fun. I took a short walk upstream to the sheltered bush favoured by the Southern Damselflies.

Southern Damselflies - pair in cop
Southern Damselflies – pair in cop

Back at the main basin I took up camp at my usual grandstand seat and watched the main feature; popcorn substituted by an apple and fizzy drink replaced with water. Soon I was alerted to the sound of a female Golden-ringed ovipositing in the darkest corners of the bank.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - female ovipositing
Golden-ringed Dragonfly – female ovipositing

I had found several more males on my walk upstream, and took a few half-hearted shots of them perched on the usual ‘busy’ stick or worse. The resident male at my feet provided a splendid show, circling me and bouncing back and forth along a short stretch of territory and just the once opted for the perfect perch.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - male
Golden-ringed Dragonfly – male

Crockford has still to reach it’s peak for numbers, especially Keeled Skimmers which are usually so populous as to become annoying – not because they’re so familiar, more because they have a habit of pushing any Golden-ringed off his perch before you click the shutter!

They were mostly behaving themselves today though, and deserved a snapshot too.

Keeled Skimmer - male
Keeled Skimmer – male

Monday 23rd June

I called in again on my way back from an unsuccessful foray around Keyhaven, but numbers were significantly down compared to the previous Friday. Only a few GR males patrolling small territories upstream.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - male
Golden-ringed Dragonfly – male

The clearing on the way out provided a male Broad-bodied Chaser this time, already showing signs of wear.

Broad-bodied Chaser - male
Broad-bodied Chaser – male

It’s always unforgivable not to call in when passing, but to get the best out of Crockford you need to spend a good few hours.

You never know what might turn up…
Coming up next- Highlights of Latchmore Brook from three recent revisits.