With the predicted weather forecast for not much sun this morning and light winds but rain moving in around lunchtime, I opted for an early morning session at a private site south of Reculver. I arrived at 6am where it was already quite warm and the sun was trying to get through. Apart from a brief visit back home about 9am for some breakfast, I returned and spent until midday here. Like yesterdays forecast, They seemed to have got it wrong as it was quite sunny all morning and with light winds, very pleasant indeed. I had two missions today, try to find and photograph either a male Red veined Darter or a male Scarce Emerald Damselfly. As I walked through the long grass, I must have seen thousands of Blue tailed Damselflies. I don't think I have ever seen so many and with about 90% seen mating, that maybe explains how common they are here! There were good numbers of Azure and Common Blue Damselfly and as the morning warmed up, c10 Black tailed Skimmer were out over the water along with c15 Four spotted Chaser, 2 Broad bodied Chaser and 5 Emperor Dragonfly. It was nice to see my first Ruddy Darters of the year, c10 were seen and I took a number of photos which I will publish in due course. Common Darters seemed to be everywhere with many taking their first flights and quite a few seen still clinging on to their exuviae. Despite searching, I never did find any Red veined Darters but suspect they will be about in the next few weeks here. I managed to find 4 Common Emerald Damselfly and after a long search, I finally found another male Emerald to scrutinise. A careful scan through the binoculars and camera revealed the blue reaching down S1 and only half of S2 and a check of the inner anal appendages which were broad and incurved like the end of a hockey stick. I finally had found my male Scarce Emerald Damselfly, great stuff. Photos proved a little tricky to get as it was always wary but I ended up with some very pleasing efforts of this species which as the name suggests, is nationally very Scarce and hard to see.
Scarce Emerald Damselfly (male)
After finding a female here last year which I was convinced had emerged here, it seems there is a small colony in east Kent. Only a few maybe but fingers crossed it may grow. The only problem being no one manages the site at all and as the years pass, trees and large shrubs may well take over the areas they are in and that may be that. Feeling very pleased, I moved on where not long after another male Scarce Emerald Damselfly was seen, 2 male Scarce Emerald Damselflies, not bad at all. I spent the last bit of the session watching over the water where Black tailed Skimmers, Four spotted Chasers and Emperor Dragonflies were all flying around. No sign of any Lesser Emperors but as one appeared here last year, I will keep checking along with the Southern Emerald Damselfly which was also seen last year here. A cracking session, lots of dragonflies to see and photograph, perfect. No visit tomorrow I doubt as its Fathers Day and i'm sure I will be out and about with the family. Hopefully a visit out in the week weather permitting.
Scarce Emerald Damselfly (male)