Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Blue Tails, Black Heads but no Red Eyes,

Late this afternoon I decided to pop down to the pines to have a look at the pond.

A look in the bay first revealed just a few Black-headed Gulls. This one was very "posy" so I couldn't resist yet another picture of a Black-headed Gull, just beginning to moult to winter plumage. Not much too add except I like the picture.

The pond in the Pine Gardens is a reasonable size. it's got a lot of water lilies and last year I photographed an Emperor Dragonfly laying eggs. As the crow flies it's about 3.75n miles (6Km) from the pond at Walmer Castle.

It had occurred to me that I ought to look to see it there were any Small Red-eyed Damselflies there. It's very similarly situated to the Walmer pond and certainly large enough, with lots of lily leaves for them to rest on. I found a few Damselflies on the reeds round the edge.
These all turned out to be Blue-tailed Damselflies (Ischnura elegans), a widespread species, that even inhabits the ponds in my garden.

The ones resting on the lily leaves were the same, but I will have another look in case they'd already "roosted" for the night when I arrived at 6.15 pm. The small coloured cells on he outer edge of each wing is called the pterostigma, and in this species it is bi-coloured, unlike most of the others.

I somehow expect that it want be too long before this pond does have Small Red-eyed Damselflies as residents. When I asked a friend why he though they weren't there he said it was probably just because they hadn't arrived yet, there doesn't seem anything in the ponds structure or vegetation that would prevent them colonising.

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