Early Risers

This pleasant burst of prolonged sunshine is just what we need to get things started, and after the lone individual spotted at Swanwick last Friday I’m pleased to report the New Forest has climbed aboard with the usually-reliable Broomy Pond producing a few emergers on Tuesday, followed by another half dozen at Ramsdown.

A quick call in at Swanwick on Wednesday produced another half dozen spent exuvia and a fresh teneral rising into the trees at the dog pond, but no signs yet at any of the larger lakes.

This of course makes perfect sense; the smaller, shallower water bodies heat up faster than their larger and deeper cousins. This is also why you may encounter premature emergings in a captive situation; including garden ponds.

In the wild things may take a little longer, especially at higher altitudes and exposed moors. Broomy is usually the first of the New Forest ponds to produce the first Large Reds, but a truer picture can be gained when adjacent ponds also show a good emergence.

Thursday was one of those days, where I observed my first 8 tenerals rising from the pond at Cadnam Common during a brief circuit.

Numbers were doubled at Milkham Bottom, with the tenerals lifting from one side of the boggy pond to follow the breeze uphill.

Broomy was even busier. Not quite as many as expected, but persevering with a search through the heather produced at least 50, pretty much all of them rising high and drifting far across the moor.

This left few individuals to pin down, and even then they proved difficult hiding deep down in the heather.

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) – teneral male
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) – teneral male

So we’re definitely up and running. All we need know is a little variety 🙂