With some nice warm sunny weather and light winds forecast for today, I wanted to make a thorough search of the Nethergong site to establish how the Willow Emerald Damselfly is doing this year on site. Whilst most of my sessions tend to be early morning, it is normally around midday that all the pairing action seems to happen, so with this in mind, I was dropped off at 12:30pm where I spent a good and productive four hours wandering around most of the site. It wasn't long until I started walking along the stream and noticed good numbers of Willow Emerald Damselflies in tandem, a few mating and plenty of ovipositing noted. In a good search of the site, I managed to find an amazing 386 Willow Emerald Damselfly which is a new site record for this species by some distance. They seemed to be every where I checked and I'm sure there were quite a few that were also missed. Some of the Alders and Willows observed had good numbers ovipositing and in some cases, up to 15 pairs were seen in close proximity using the same branch. It was certainly quite a spectacle to see. A few campers passed by and where quite interested in what I was photographing. I explained about the Willow Emerald Damselfly and how being a nationally scarce damselfly, how lucky they were to be seeing them in good numbers. They spent quite a while watching them and certainly seem interested. Today was not about photographs but I took a few every now and then including a mating pair and a few resting.
Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis) - mating pair
I could have spent a few more hours photographing them easily. It was also pleasing to see at least 7 Small Red eyed Damselfly including a few mating pairs on the main lake. It was only a few weeks ago that I saw my first here so this is encouraging news. Other bits noted included c15 Emerald Damselfly, 6 Banded Demoiselle, 1 Brown Hawker, 14 Migrant Hawker, a few Blue tailed and Common Blue Damselfly and good numbers of Common and Ruddy Darter. One of those sessions where it was just good to get out and brilliant to see such good numbers of Willow Emerald Damselflies. It must be one of the best sites in the country to see this species. A few days camping over the weekend at Nethergong with friends so hopefully I can have a wander around to see what's about with the camera.
Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis) - male