A well-earned rest on Monday meant Tuesday was the first trip out to the New Forest, tackling two streams – Latchmore Brook and Ober Water.
First off Latchmore. This location has been useless to me for the past two years with the weather either too cool, too windy or just plain dull. At least today the sun was shining!
Just out of the car park I spotted my one and only Golden-ringed of the day hawking the hedges, but not sticking around. Further upstream Beautifuls were dancing, although nowhere near as many as there should be.
Teneral Keeled Skimmers were popping up everywhere on the heath, but my goal were the Scarce Blue-tailed.
I saw my first one here 3 years ago and haven’t found any since! Obviously not looking in the right place, but my previous two visits this season to the right place revealed nothing.
Today however there were 2 males hovering across the small pool when the sun broke through. I stayed for about an hour and didn’t see any more, but at least I now know where to go.
On the way back downstream I stopped at the boggy pond to watch the Four-spotted and Broad-bodied Chasers, joined shortly after by a Downy Emerald.
Other damsels seen at Latchmore were Southern, Azure, Large and Small Red.
Onto Ober Water and again there were a few Beautiful Demoiselles, Large Red and Azure patrolling the stream in small numbers. At the bend there were 2 or 3 male Scarce Blue-tailed and (the normal) Blue-tailed a little further on.
These were joined by a few Southerns and a reasonable selection of White-legged.
Rising from the heath were teneral Large & Small Reds and the inevitable Keeled Skimmers.
The only other large species was a male Broad-bodied Chaser near Rhinefield Bridge.
During my walk down Latchmore and Ober Water I lost my phone, probably during the fall down a boggy hole, so if anyone reading this finds an old samsung slide-action mobile on theie travels, I’d be grateful if you drop me an e-mail!
On Wednesday I headed up the A3 to Bolder Mere – a large pond close to the junction with the M27 – on the advice of Stephen and Linda from the forum. The chance sighting of a Brilliant Emerald securing a visit.
My first impressions was this is precisely the type of pond I find unenjoyable, mainly due to the lack of bank-side access. The other problem with wooded ponds in urban recreational areas is the flotsam polluting the sheltered corners and inlets – a foul-smelling danger for paddling even in wellies.
I did see one Emerald patrolling the entrance to one of these corners, but I’m pretty sure it was a Downy. Other odos of note were a few Four-spotted Chasers, some Black-tailed Skimmers and a wealth of damsels, Red-eyed in particular rather plentiful.
Along the far bank is an open area with better access and lots of foliage where odos hide. A particularly productive spot with more of the same plus a female Emperor which disappeared out of sight. Several more Red-eyed Damsels though and some Blue-tailed.
Anxious to do a full circuit, and eager to get to Thursley, I didn’t give the spot enough time to reveal it’s full benefits, but the disappearance of the sun called time.
At Thursley the Moat pond had a few Downy’s and some damsels, but even in the brief sunny spells activity was muted.
My favourite spot is far too boggy to explore to its full potential, so I did a figure-of-eight circuit of the boardwalks, noticing that even the FSC’s were not going to play in this gloom, despite the temperatures being reasonable.
Frustrated by the lack of odo activity, I decided to just sit and watch the pond from the boardwalk, and remained there for 3 whole hours watching the Hobby’s hunting the odd brave Four-spot.
Captivating and inspirational, and ending up being the highlight of my day. The full series can be viewed here:-
I’m still rushing around when I should just stay put, a lesson I need to drum further into my mind. Unfortunately I still haven’t learned the lesson, but more on that next week…