Monday, 23 July 2012

Rodley, Leeds

Sunday afternoon we visited Rodley Nature Reserve where there are half a dozen pools designed to attract damselflies and dragonflies. When we arrived it was breezy and no sun so not the best conditions but soon the sun appeared as did Brown Hawkers and Banded Damoiselles
This female was just catching the sunlight in an otherwise shaded area

The reserve run by volunteers is open Wed, Sat and Sun and the dragonfly ponds attract a huge number of visitors

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Great Park

With the threat of a thin slice of sunshine this afternoon I visited Newcastle Great Park  ponds to check out dragonfly.
The water levels have just about dropped to normal levels and there are still plenty of Azure and Blue-tailed damselfly and I saw my first Emerald in this location.
The only representatives of the dragonfly family were a couple of Common darters and a Four-spotted chaser

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Foulshaw Moss

Monday afternoon presented the opportunity to visit Foulshaw Moss. I had seen a brief reference to it on Cumbria Wildlife publication regarding dragonflies but was not sure what to expect.
The weather was warm but dull and rain spots but arriving at the pond gave me hope,

what a cracking spot with loads of damselfy over the pond and in the vegetation around the margins. Soon there was Four-spotted Chaser and a blue bodied Hawker. In my haste to get to the pond I had ignored the information board - just typical.

However I  was advised by another visitor that there was another pond at the other end of the boardwalk, and now the sun was trying to break through.
So we set off along the boardwalk and could not believe the numbers of Common Lizard trying to absorb what heat there was. Every few steps there was another and another.

At the end of the walk was the highest viewing platform I've seen looking over a vast area of recently cleared raised mire

Just below was this teneral Emperor dragonfly.

Then the rain came so we set off back the way we had come.
More lizards then as though it were a gift this corker landed at our feet

 for 30 seconds and then was off. Didn't know what it was at the time but after a bit of research we had seen a female White-faced Darter. I later found out that this site was one of the re-introduction sites for this darter
Back at the pond teneral Black Darters were on the wing. The white pterostigma being a common sign of being recently emerged. They will later turn black

Three of these Migrant Hawkers (I believe) buzzed about our heads before one came to rest briefly on the back of a rickety shed

Emerald damselfly were in abundance. This being a male

and I believe this to be a female

All of these in poor weather conditions. What would it be like after a couple of sunny days?
Magic, just magic.
and on other matters here are some of the remarkable sightings of a couple of days

not by me I should add, otherwise I would still be there.

Just one word of caution. For anyone driving to  Foulshaw Moss I recommend approaching it along the A590 from the east. A local I spoke to described attempting from the west as a death trap. I tried, took one look at the traffic speed, in both directions, and carried on till I could turn around.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Leighton Moss

A few nights at Arnside, Cumbria  gave us the opportunity to visit a few wildlife locations and first up was Leighton Moss on Sunday.
I had hoped to target Dragonflies but whilst it was warm,  there was no sun, we did however watch a few Four-spotted Chasers over the water, but we had to make do with Marsh Harriers. In less than a couple of hours we had at least eight sightings. Up to five had fledged so far this season.
At the Morecambe hide there were still at least 30 Avocets including young. There has been in  excess of 70 on the saltmarshes. A single summer plumage  Spotted Redshank showed briefly along with a Little Egret. There were reports of a  Spoonbill in the area which I think I saw flying over whilst driving but couldn't stop to confirm it.

It seems a strange place to find Red Deer but they are there, with young,  right in the middle of the reed beds.