Posts Tagged ‘Small Red-eyed Damselfly’

At present both the Big Butterfly count and the national Dragonfly survey are both running and so I decided to combine counts for these with my weekly counts on the local patch. It was a warm but quite windy day and so conditions were not ideal and this was reflected in the low butterfly count – just a Small White and a Speckled Wood seen. However there is always something to find and today it was two new records for me – the first of these was a female Tufted Duck and 4 young. Although the Tufted Duck are present all year round on the Tarn, this is the first time I have seen evidence of successful breeding. The youngsters are quite large now and look very healthy so hopefully, they will make it to adulthood.

The second new record was 2 Jersey Tiger Moths. This bright, colourful day flying Moth is a relative newcomer to London. In a 1903 survey, it was found only in one location in Devon and in the Channel Islands, but in recent years it has spread throughout southern England and arrived in 2004 in London where it is now regularly recorded.

Jersey Tiger Moth. Photo by AJ Cann (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ajc1/)

Jersey Tiger Moth.

Young Grey Heron on Tarn

 

After completing the weekly survey I went onto Eltham Palace to check out the moat for Dragonflies and was pleased to find a number of Small Red-Eyed Damselflies plus a single Migrant Hawker

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Bracket Fungus

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)

 

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Speckled Wood [sp] (Pararge aegeria)

Jersey Tiger Moth (Euplagia quadripunctaria)

Small Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma vindulum)
Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

I decided to make a diversion on the way back home from the town centre and have a look around the gardens of Eltham Palace. This can be a very good place for insects in the summer months despite its busyness as a tourist attraction.

DSC03400a

There were plenty of Gatekeepers on the grass meadow along with a few meadow Browns and a couple of small white butterflies. A dragonfly flew by (either Southern or Migrant Hawker) but I was not able to see it well enough to confirm its identity

Gatekeeper

Gatekeeper

Meadow Brown

Meadow Brown

In the flower margins I found a Mint Moth and a large Buff-tailed Bumblebee (might well be a Queen judging by size and amount of buff in tail).

Mint Moth

Mint Moth

Buff-tailed bumblebee

Buff-tailed bumblebee

I finished my walk by the moat, where there are some lily pads to see if there where any damselflies present. It was a surprise to find half a dozen Red-eyed damselflies, which I have not recorded her before. Later closer examination of photos showed that these were in fact Small Red-eyed damselfly, which makes this the 3rd site in Greenwich borough I have recorded for this species.

DSC03401a

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

This species is a recent newcomer to the UK being first recorded in SE England in 1999. It has now spread and is found from Devon in the west, through the midlands and up as far as Yorkshire in the north. However in recent years its spread has slowed down and it does not seem to be spreading much beyond this region.

An excellent hours diversion which just shows that you dont have to travel far to observe interesting wildlife.