Posts Tagged ‘Common Blue Damselfly’

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After a morning meeting in Blackheath I head off to Greenwich Peninsular Ecology Park to search for dragonflies and to see the Common Terns which nest here.

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As I approach the moat I can hear Reed Warbler singing in the reed-bed. The first damselflies seen are Red-eyed, easily identified by their prominent red eyes which can often be seen with the naked eye.

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There are also Blue damselflies present. The majority seem to be Azure damselfly but I am sure that I have seen one Common Blue Damselfly (confirmed when I got home as I have a picture of one).

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

I cannot find any Blue-tailed damselflies on the moat, although I understand that they have been reported this week. Moving inside the reserve I make my way to the hides to look at the nesting Common Terns. This is the only local nesting colony and I count 4 or 5 nests with birds still sitting on eggs and 3 groups of young, who are already quite a size.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern chick

Common Tern chick

A Grey Wagtail flies onto one of the Tern rafts and Goldfinches are calling from the trees.

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

As I am leaving the Ecology Park, I catch a brief glimpse of a bird flying into the trees. I don’t see much of it except a white rump and a black tail. I think it must be a Bullfinch, a species I have not recorded locally before. But despite searching for it I am unable to re-locate it.

Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Bullfinch [sp] (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)

Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)
Unidentified Blue butterfly species (Holly or Common)

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)

Bookham Common is a National Trust site in north Surrey that I have been meaning to visit for sometime. Firstly because it is one of the nearest sites to central London to have a number of special butterfly species (Purple Emperor; White Admiral; Brown Hairstreak and Brown Argus) but also because of its easy accessibility having a train station adjacent to the common. So I took the opportunity to visit today. In all honesty it was probably 2-3 weeks too late for the best of the butterflies but I thought it would be worth a look around.

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The morning was bright and cool as I arrived at the common, which is a mixture of pasture meadow and woodland with a series of pools in the middle. The temperature and the increasing cloud cover during the morning made for a lack of activity but I did see 6 species of butterfly, the most numerous being speckled Wood and Gatekeeper.

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood

Of the special species my best chance was always going to be Brown Hairstreak as this is still on the wing well into August and I did see one confirmed female and two possible males but all were fly-by views and so I didn’t get to see the characteristic markings on the male to confirm identity.

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Photo by Mike Darlow from UK (brown hairstreak Uploaded by Amada44) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

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female showing characteristic orange bars in wing
Photo by Aah-Yeah (Flickr: Brown Hairstreak Nierenfleck Zipfelfalter) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

On and around the ponds there were a large number of Common Blue damselflies; some Common Darters; blue -tailed damselflies; an Emperor dragonfly and a Ruddy Darter.

Common darter

Common darter

Common Darter

Common Darter

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

It is certainly an interesting site and I will certainly be planning a return visit in July next yea to look for the other special species.

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Gait Barrows National Nature Reserve is situated in Northern Lancashire and has been designated for its wide variety of limestone based habitats. We were fortunate to have this as our ‘back garden’ for our first week of our trip to Lancashire and Cumbria this year.

View over Haweswater. Our cottage was in the building on the hill

View over Haweswater. Our cottage was in the building on the hill

It was fantastic to sit out on the patio and look out over Haweswater, which dominates the western end of the reserve.

Ringlet

Ringlet

Common BLue Damselfly

Common BLue Damselfly

Meadow Brown

Meadow Brown

Its specialties are its plant and invertibrate life, and it is home to two rare butterflies, the Duke of Burgundy Fratillary and the High Brown Fratillary. Unfortunately we were too late for the flight season of the former and too early for that of the later

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Despite a brief shower when we got back from the Tarn the weather improved again and so I decided to go off to visit another of our local dragonfly spots – Greenwich Pennisular Ecology Park. This is a really good spot to see Red-eyed Damselfly, a local species found only in Southern England.

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On arrival at the park, i first checked out the ‘moat which seperates the park from the surrounding land. This is usually a good spot for dragonflies who perch on the lilys and the vegetation. I was not disappinted as I had soon seen 4 species of damselfly – Red-Eyed; Blue-Tailed; Common Blue and Azure.

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Red-Eyed Damselfly

Blue-Tailed Damselfly

Blue-Tailed Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

On entering the park I went to check up on the nesting Common Terns. There appear to be 3 nests and one had 2 chicks in it and I was fortunate to see one adult return with fish and feed it to the youngster.

Common Tern

Common Tern

Common Tern feeding chick

Common Tern feeding chick

Common tern feeding chick

Common tern feeding chick

Overall a very good day

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

Went down into Kent today to spend a day nature-watching with Keith and Brian. My first stop on the way to our meeting place was the Mill Pond at Dartford which can be observed from Platform 4 at Dartford Station whilst I changed trains. I was pleased to see a Little Grebe on the pond along with the Mallard. Our destination once we had met up was the Isle of Grain on Kent’s north coast and which forms the southern shore of the Thames estuary. Our first stop was the RSPB reserve at Cliffe.

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At our first stop we saw two Black-winged Stilts, a bird usually associated with Southern Europe rather than North kent.

Black-winged Stilt
Black-winged Stilt
Photo by Leo (https://www.flickr.com/photos/0ystercatcher/)

We were also fortunate to see the local Eurasian Spoonbill, a young bird, which has been present for a couple of months. Further on we located a juvenile Little Gull on a shingle bank. Apart from these rarities there were over 100 Avocets plus chicks present and over 200 Shelduck

Avocet

Avocet

One of the highlights was a Nightingale which gave us great views (for a bird that is most often heard but not seen) as it appeared to be sunning itself on a tree trunk.

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We also recorded 7 species of Butterfly and 3 of Dragonfly, although 2 Aeshna dragonflies were seen but could not be identified to species.

Peacock which refused to open its wings

Peacock which refused to open its wings

Blue Tailed Damselfly

Blue Tailed Damselfly

Common Blue damselfly

Common Blue damselfly

Later we moved onto another RSPB reserve at Northwood Hill, where the highlight was a sighting of the now increasingly rare Eurasian turtle Dove. It sat in a tree as it called and we were able to watch it for a good period of time.

072053-IMG_2908 Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur)
Eurasian Turtle Dove
Photo by Tony Morris (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tonymorris/)

A great days birdwatching with great views of good birds. Thanks to Keith and Brian for their company.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Eurasian Spoonbill [sp] (Platalea leucorodia)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Little Gull (Hydrocoloeus minutus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Turtle Dove [sp] (Streptopelia turtur)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Cuckoo [sp] (Cuculus canorus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Nightingale [sp] (Luscinia megarhynchos)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Meadow Pipit [sp] (Anthus pratensis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogeia napi)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)

Spent the morning at Sutcliffe Park

Was pretty quiet bird-wise although I managed to get some photos of adult and Juvenile Little Grebe

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There were definitely fewer butterflies today with no Gatekeepers or Meadow Brown which were the most numerous species earlier in the summer. There were 6 Common Blues and a Holly Blue plus the usual Whites. There were 4 species of Dragonfly with at least 2 Migrant Hawkers present together with Common Blue Damselfly, Common Darter and an Emperor Dragonfly patrolling the Lake

Migrant Hawker

Migrant Hawker

Common Blue Damselfly

Common Blue Damselfly

Back at home a Sparrowhawk flew through the Garden but didn’t hang around and there were 2 Jackdaws (the second day running after a three month absence).

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

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The Common Blue Damselfly, as its name suggests is probably the Commonest, and certainly the most widespread, of the similar ‘blue’ damselflies that can be found in the UK. They are all similar in appearance with only subtle variations in pattern and arrangement of black and Blue bands differentiating the species.