Scarce Indeed at Latchmore

Thursday 18th June

There is no conceivable explanation for the lack of dragonflies today. Beautiful, warm sunshine, a steady summer breeze. Even the main stream was disappointing; ust a couple of lonely male Beautiful Demoiselles and a couple of Azure. No Golden-ringed; no Emperor holding territory over the pool.

The first flushes didn’t show any Scarce Blue-tailed; nor the next. The concrete circle didn’t have any flying and the heather and grasses were populated mostly by Small Red.

Small Red Damselfly - immature female
Small Red Damselfly – immature female

We did eventually find a male each, and, after a fingertip search, Doug located a mating pair.

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies - pair in cop
Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies – pair in cop

As you can see from these shots, the damsels are susceptible to mite infestation here. Some may choose to attempt to photoshop out such parasites, but it’s all part of nature, which isn’t always perfect.

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

Also notable were the low numbers of Keeled Skimmers. Normally the heath is decorated with tenerals while mature males parade over water, but only the odd single male showed and another was protecting his mate as she oviposited.

Keeled Skimmer- male in-flight
Keeled Skimmer- male in-flight

Occasionally we’d come across a fresh Common Darter, or the odd Broad-bodied Chaser. Even the Four-spotted were in short supply. After three hours we felt we’d had our fill, so decided to move on to Linwood where we at least should have some activity over-water? The walk in via the fern-strewn corner provided half-a-dozen hawking Emperors for our viewing pleasure, but the pond had only the one male and a pair of Broad-bodied Chasers.

We decided to end the day at Burbush, which usually provides something, but besides a few Common Blue and Large Red, even the damsels were lacking. Not an Emerald to be found. Just a couple of Common Darters and Broad-bodied Chasers resting up in the heath.

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

On a day like today we should’ve had plenty more to keep us occupied, and, despite feeling a tad down at the lack of opportunities, I’m grateful for he shots I came home with.

One Reply to “Scarce Indeed at Latchmore”

  1. Hello Paul
    Good to make contact.
    Despite your lack of species on Thursday, the images on your Blog are pretty good especially the Keeled Skimmer.
    I returned from Swanage yesterday with a decent image of a Keeled Skimmer but using 300mm + 1.4x I managed to ‘crop’ the tip of its abdomen, shame that.
    I’ll be looking regularly for your suggestions on best places to visit in the hope of capturing a dragonfly image or two.

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