Posts Tagged ‘emperor dragonfly’

Heysham nature reserve in Lancashire is a small piece of land bounded by the Sea, the port of Heysham and Heysham power station. It consists of two linked pieces of grassland and is very good for invertebrates.

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There were a large number of butterflies, unfortunately all of of common species. We did not see any Grayling, a speciality of the reserve.

Speckled wood

Speckled wood

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper

I also found this moth basking in the sun.

Shaded Broad-Bar Moth

Shaded Broad-Bar Moth

At the pool in the western section we got some excellent views of both Emperor dragonfly and Brown Hawker laying eggs.

Emperor Dragonfly

Emperor Dragonfly

Brown Hawker

Brown Hawker

A number of common birds were also present but I did get ths picture of a Goldfinch, looking very smart in his multicolour plumage

Goldfinch

Goldfinch

Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina)
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)
Large Skipper [sp] (Ochlodes venatus)

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

After a morning working at home I went for a walk around Eltham Palace Gardens.

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Although the palace itself was very busy the more remote corners of the gardens are largely unvisited and so was a good place to do today’s butterfly count. There were large numbers of Gatekeepers and Meadow Browns plus Holly Blue, Large and Small White.

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper

Meadow Brown
Meadow Brown
Photo by Tim Ebbs (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebbsphotography/)

An Emperor Dragonfly was also present and it was great to see the Bees busily at work on the plants

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27 bird species were seen on the patch this month. This brings the years total to 48 and increases the total by 1 with the first sighting for the year of Kestrel, not a common visitor to the patch.

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Things have continued to be generally quiet as the birds get on with the job of raising their young. The coots seem to have done well with their broods and both the Canada and Greylag Geese have raised large broods (6 and 10 respectively)

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I am not sure about the Swifts and whether they have breed. The sightings dropped off after the 1st when 4 were seen. 2 were seen on the 11th but this was the only other sighting this month which suggests they moved on or were unsuccessful.

The new butterfly species recorded this month were a male Brimstone on a single occasion and a Ringlet seen on two consecutive days.

The 4 species of dragonfly were a real bonus especially the Male Emperor who appears to have set up a territory on the Tarn.

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Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Muscovy Duck (Cairina moschata)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
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)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)
Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

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

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)

The hottest day of the year and most sensible birds where keeping in the shade as much as possible, so although a reasonable number of species in the garden and on the Tarn, the numbers were lower than usual. However what we lacked in Birds we made up for in insects. 4 Butterfly species around the tarn made it my best day of the summer so far for butterflies. In addition another sighting of Emperor dragonfly, this time a male hawking over the water.

Emperor Dragonfly
Emperor Dragonfly
photo by Gerodia (http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerodia/)

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Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
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)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)
Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)