Today (Saturday 20th October) Sue & I took another trip to the pond on a reasonably pleasant afternoon. Naturally the forecast promised more than reality, but at least there was no wind!
As we got out of the car we were greeted by several Common Darters flying across the large puddle opposite. Most were in tandem and ovipositing in the shallows. I presume this puddle was favourable as an egg-laying site as it would’ve warmed up quicker than any deeper or larger bodies of water.
All this odonata activity along with a couple of Red Admirals flying by looked to be a good omen – at least it wouldn’t be a wasted day.
There was more ‘puddle’ activity further on. Although this puddle is shown as a small pond on maps, surprising considering most years it is usually dry.
At the main pond all hopes of a hawker were dashed, and only a few Common Darters showed themselves. Quite a few in cop, regardless of their age.
At the western ‘puddle’ I fished out a rather damp female Common Darter and allowed her to warm on my hand before popping her in a gorse bush to dry off.
After an hour Paul Winters arrived with news that Migrants were still in attendance at Badminston. albeit in low numbers. I thought I saw one Black Darter rise and fall on the island, although I couldn’t locate it with bins to be sure. Definitely no Emeralds, or indeed any other damsels.
The sun failed to burn through the weak cloud, a remnant of the morning mist, and by 3.00pm even the Common Darters had given up.
As if by reward on our way out a Southern Hawker appeared from nowhere to do a few circuits of the (whole) pond. Maybe hungry or looking for a female he was a welcome sight to end the day.
Unfortunately he didn’t stay around for a more pleasing shot, but at least he gave comfort to our late season addiction.