Just a quick post to say that even though the summer has momentarily disappeared dragonfly records are still coming in. Gareth Thomas enjoyed (!) an overcast, cool and windy day at Cramer Gutter and was rewarded with the first and only Keeled Skimmer records for 2017 so far. Thanks to all those who are still braving the elements!
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I have been sent a lovely sequence of shots illustrating a Common Hawker emerging from Pole Cottage Pools on the Long Mynd. I tried to select a few pics but they were all great…so here they are (and remember you can click on each image to enlarge it).
David Goodwin has been enjoying sunshine and dragonflies at Wildmoor Pool surrounded by Common and Brown Hawkers, Emperors, Golden-ringed Dragonflies, Common Blue Damsels and Black Darters. As we so often see and photograph the males, David has sent in 2 lovely close ups of female Black Darters- the diagnostic black triangle clearly visible on top of the thorax.
Finally Common Darter records are coming in though still no sign of any at Whixall Moss. Jan Shields took these photographs which nicely illustrate the difference in abdomen shape between the parallel sided Common Darter (left) and waisted and club-shaped abdomen of the Ruddy Darter (right). Jan also sent in the lovely shot of a close up Southern Hawker with diagnostic broad antehumeral stripes (bottom left). Stephen Barlow reports a good number of species on the wing at Whixall though White-faced Darters have pretty much finished for this year. Stephen also sent in a Common Hawker doing ‘normal things’ -so I thought I’d redress the balance after my previous posting!
Some extraordinary behaviour was recently observed at Pole Cottage Pools on the Long Mynd. A Common Hawker approached an ovipositing female Emperor before moving 15-20 feet away and starting to thrash around in the water for 5 seconds. Steve Cham has kindly had a close look at the photos and says the male approaching the Emperor was a case of mistaken identity and the thrashing in the water was due to a strand of pond weed stuck around the neck of the hawker-just visible in the pics. Some amazing photos thankyou!
Stephen Barlow has reported in from Whixall Moss saying Common Hawkers have been about for the last 2 weeks though their typical relentless flight has to date prevented a photo! Surprisingly the odd White-faced Darter can still be seen though no Common Darters. Despite seeing exuviae myself I have no 2017 Shropshire records of Common Darter either …yet. Tantalizingly Stephen also saw a Migrant Hawker the other day…though just over the border in Wales.
Sue Loose saw a good number of species on the Montgomery Canal near Aston recently including Four-spotted Chasers, Brown Hawker, Southern Hawker, Banded Demoiselles, Azure Damselflies, Blue-tailed Damselflies and Red-eyed Damselflies….lots apparently occupying every lily pad available! Don’t forget we still haven’t recorded Small Red-eyed Damselfly in Shropshire so if you see red eyes take a good look and make sure you’re not missing the first county record!
Returning from leave I’ve received lots of records and photographs and here are just a few. A fabulous White-legged damselfly taken by David Williams on Kenley Common (left) and the aptly named Beautiful Demoiselle photographed by Ron Parnell on the River Onny where Banded Demoiselles were also on the wing.