Posts Tagged ‘damselflies’

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The Azure Damselfly is one of the commonest blue damselflies in United Kingdom, being found in all parts except the North of Scotland. It can easily be confused with other similar blue-black damselflies. The species characteristic is a black flat bottomed ‘U’ shape on the otherwise blue segment (S2) immediately behind the thorax.

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)

Off to Greenwich Peninsular to look for migrant birds. During the week a number had been seen on the rough land at the southern end (Plots of land awaiting development). Unfortunately no such luck today and only resident species found. However I did find a migrant Butterfly when I had a brief but clear view of a Clouded Yellow before it disappeared over a fence into a development plot at a place where I could not get a good view of the land on the other side.

Maravilha // Clouded Yellow (Colias croceus), female
Clouded Yellow
photo by Valter Jacinto (http://www.flickr.com/photos/valter/)

I moved onto the Ecology Park which was also quiet bird-wise but which had good numbers of dragonflies (7 species) and butterflies (6 species). The best of these was a sighting of Banded Demoiselle which flitted across the water in front of me but refused to settle to enable me to photograph it.

Banded Demoiselle
Banded Demoiselle
photo by Sergey Yeliseev (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

This is one of my favourite damselflies and this was a first sighting for me for both this year and for the site.
Also a number of Migrant Hawker (confusingly this breeds in Southern England and is not a migrant) were present and one male perched obligingly for me to photograph.

Migrant Hawker

Migrant Hawker

Butterflies included Small Tortoisehell and Common Blue.

Small Tortoiseshelll

Small Tortoiseshelll

Large White (Female)

Large White (Female)

Back at home a Jackdaw visited the garden which is the first sighting for about 3 months.

Although a quiet day for birds, an excellent one for dragonflies and butterflies

Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
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 Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Green-veined White [sp] (Artogea napi)
Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea)
Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)
Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

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Following on from yesterday’s excellent results I was wondering if today could match it. The morning working at home was interrupted first by the appearance of a Ringlet butterfly in the garden and then later by a hawker dragonfly. This was very active and so it was difficult to get a good view. Initially its predominantly brown body suggested Brown Hawker (A.Grandis) but this was ruled out when I could get a view through the binoculars as the wings were transparent and not brown as would be the case for a Grandis. This left two possible species (or at least the females of those species) – Southern Hawker (A.Cynaea) or Common Hawker (A.Juncea). Although distance and its activity made seeing any distinguishing features hard, location (A.Juncea is rarely recorded in this area) and habitat suggested that Southern was a more likely sighting.

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As I am recording this week for the Butterfly Conservation Count I wanted to see what was around the Tarn, so went for a walk in the afternoon. Birds were again sparse although there was a party of 12 Canada Geese which suggests that the adults have successfully raised all their young this year. I managed to find 2 juvenile Robins in the undergrowth but otherwise birds were scarce. The male Emperor Dragonfly was still patrolling his beat near the bridge and at least 6 male Azure Damselflies and a single blue-tailed damselfly were around the edges on the vegetation.

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As yesterday there were 6+ large white butterflies, but in one patch I also found 3 Small Whites and 3 Gatekeepers.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
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)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea)
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)

A pleasant morning and so decided to go for a walk in Scadbury LNR which is not far from where I live.

Scadbury Park is the remnant of one of the estates of the Walsingham family. The remains of the Tudor Manor house are still visible within the Park.

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It was the home to Sir Edmund Walsingham, who was Lieutenant of the Tower of London during the reign of Henry VIII and was responsible for the custody of Anne Boleyn and Thomas More amongst others who stayed there as guests of the King. His nephew Francis Walsingham (later First secretary and spy-master to Queen Elizabeth I) was born here. His grandson Thomas twice entertained Queen Elizabeth at Scadbury. After he died it passed through marriage to the Townsend family who held it until 1983 when it was purchased by Bromley Council. Part of the estate is managed as a farm but the woodlands were made a LNR.

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As might be expected on a summer day bird activity was quite low although there were good numbers of wrens and juvenile Great Tits. The main reason for visiting was to look for butterflies and dragonflies. In the woodland rides there were good numbers of Speckled Wood.

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At the moated house site there was a single Meadow Brown and a pair of Azure damselflies egg laying in the moat.

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Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)

Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)

At last summer seems to have arrived and off to the only RSPB reserve within the London recording area. Rainham marshes is located on the eastern edge of London beside the Thames. The land was previously a military shooting range but has been developed over the last 10 years into one of the best nature reserves in the country.

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June tends to be one of the quieter months for birds as those present are occupied in raising their young and therefore there is little movement other than in a restricted local area. My targets for today were to record Hobby within the London area and to see what dragonflies and butterflies the sun has brought out.
Like many of our birds of prey the Hobby was once a rare nesting bird in south-east England. However over the last 10 years. This situation has changed and they are now seen far more commonly in the area. I was fortunate to have three views of the bird during my visit, including one at very low level as it passed over the hide. Unfortunately, far too quickly for me to get a photograph of it.

Hobby 110519 Falco subbuteo
Photo by Dave Curtis (http://www.flickr.com/photos/davethebird/)

On the dragonfly front I was able to find Blue-tailed Damselfly and Azure Damselfly. The butterflies were slightly more disappointing and the only new species seen was Small Tortoiseshell.

Azure Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Blue Tailed Damselfly

Blue Tailed Damselfly

I was interested to hear that the situation of our ‘winged insects’ in the UK made national radio news this week and was in a number of the newspapers, as conservation organisations reported that the combination of last year’s poor summer together with the delayed spring this year have seriously affected butterfly and dragonfly populations.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
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)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus)
Small Tortoiseshell [sp] (Aglais urticae)

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)

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The Red eyed Damselfly is common in Southern England where it can be found by lakes, rivers and other bodies of water. This male was sunning himself at Greenwich pennisular ecology park earlier this month and I was very pleased to be able to get some shots of it in flight

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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.