Friday 21st June
Finally a turn-around in the weather! On the first sunny day for a while I headed over to Town Common in the hope of finding a few heath specialists.
Taking the back path for a change my first welcome sighting of the day was the stunning Silver-studded Blue butterfly. There were a few chasing around the path margins in the cool morning sun.
My next sighting was as glorious as it was unexpected – a male Brown Hawker ‘hawking’ the corner thicket. No chance of a photo with this fellow, but a delight to watch as he took his morning feed.
Next was another unexpected individual – an immature female White-legged damselfly, the first I had seen here. They’re present on the Stour, Moors and Avon rivers which are close, so not entirely a rare sighting.
Despite the rains the ponds were very shallow; down to the bed in places. A little too cool and early for over-water action so I searched the heath for my next quarry, the always welcome Common Emerald.
I took a walk around the back paths to a favourite little pond which usually provides, and sure enough there was the unmistakable flutter of a teneral Black Darter.
At the next pond a teneral Common Darter rose and flew out of reach before I could ready the camera – the fourth new species this season. At another favourite spot I found another Black Darter, a male this time.
After a walk around the lower reaches of the site I stopped a while to watch the play of Silver-studded Blues and a lone female Scarce Chaser at a particularly fabulous bank of heather.
After this moment of mindfulness I decided to have one more look around the first pond, capturing a few more of those Common Emeralds before calling it a day.