Friday 7th July 2017 - THIRD  MEDMERRY SURVEY OF 2017 - EARLY DRAGONFLIES


It was a pleasantly warm afternoon with a rather stronger breeze than we would have liked when 14 members met to look for dragonflies and damselflies at Medmerry. At first there were not many to be seen which was strange as in previous years we had seen many Azure and Common blue damselflies at the beginning of the survey site.  The first to be seen was a lovely male Emperor dragonfly and soon several Common blue damselflies were also spotted.  From then on the numbers of individuals and species increased.  It was good to have many pairs of eyes to spot the animals as the conditions were quite tricky due to the breeze constantly swaying the leaves and making it difficult to see them.  There were not many butterflies in evidence either, maybe due to the breeze.
 
By the end we had amassed a total of 8 species as follows:  Emperor dragonfly, Common blue damselfly, Blue-tailed damselfly, Black-tailed skimmer, Four-spotted chaser, Common darter, Small red-eyed damselfly and Azure damselfly.
 
It was fascinating to watch the Emperors ovipositing (7 in all) .
 
Skylarks were singing overhead as usual and other birds noted included Yellowhammer, Coot, Goldfinch, Great tit, Black-headed gulls, Mediterranean gull, Swift, Swallow, Sand martin, Linnet, Dabchick and Reed warblers were singing in the reeds.
 
Butterflies seen included Meadow brown, many Small skippers, 6-spot burnet moths and at least 1 Gatekeeper.  On the ragwort there were many Cinnabar moth caterpillars and a small toadlet was admired making its way across the dry mud. Two deer were also spotted and several Red-tailed bumblebees.

Use link below to see a slow motion video of the two emperors. (Ignore the final frame!)
 
Philippa Arnott

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-d5BiPzfRIo4Rby9VEIxIPO2WC4bjS1n
 


Four spotted chaser

An intent group!

Common blue damselfly

Azure damselfly

Chichester, West Sussex

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