Dragonfly Week

Dragonfly week runs from the 17th July to the 25th July get out there and enjoy I did venturing down to the local ponds where I saw Four Spotted Chasers, Brown Hawkers, Emperor Dragonflies, Broad Bodied Chaser, Common Darters, Common Blue Damselflies, Azure Damselflies, Blue tailed Damselflies and Emerald Damselflies.

Here’s a short video of that time spent at my local area ponds PRESS

Broad Bodied Chaser
Common Darter

Target Tour

The planned itinerary for today was to hit three species, one a butterfly species (Marbled White, easy but nice), two a dragonfly species (Black tailed Skimmer, for the Yorkshire list and decent photos), and three a bird (Black browed Albatross, lifer).

Started at Kiplingcotes CP on the way thru to the coast to find Marbled White Butterflies, been here the previous year so I knew the layout. Marbled White were everywhere number one in the bag, I enjoyed a good 90mins here picking up other things on the wing namely, Brimstone, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Green veined White, Large Skipper, Large White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Heath, Small Skipper and Small Tortoiseshell (12 species of Butterfly). I found only one moth species, that being a Six spot Burnet Moth. Bird species I noted were Crow, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon, Wren and Yellowhammer.

I was then off to my next stop with the butterfly species under the belt it was now the turn of the Dragonfly. Seamer Tip Pools near to Scarborough was to be the hunting ground, a place I haven’t had the pleasure of, by all accounts a good site for various Dragonfly species. On arrival I started off around the small pool and was struggling to find the target species, I had picked up Brown Hawker, Four Spotted Chaser, Common Darter and Ruddy Darter along with various Damselfly species (Azure, Common Blue, Blue tailed). I was beginning to wonder if I would be able to find this next target species, when all of a sudden I caught sight of a blue body low over the water, was it a Broad Bodied Chaser? no it wasn’t this defiantly had a black tip to the body. I watched it settle out of sight, so I made my way over slowly and found it settled on the ground, a Male Black tailed Skimmer, that will do nicely. I stayed with it for about 20mins watching it, flying off and settling back to the same place, a great opportunity on which I ended up taking plenty of photos.

After this great encounter I decided on looking around the larger pool where I found quite a few Black tailed Skimmers, mainly lining the pathways, there was also a few Damselfly species, mainly ones I had seen around the small pool.

So two target species in the bag now for number three which was to be out at Bempton Cliffs, this one could be difficult Black browed Albatross (BBA) here I come. On arrival at Bempton I quickly checked out the notice board the BBA hadn’t been seen since 12:45, it was now 16:00 hrs.. blast. Anyway I gave it a good 2 1\2 hrs but the BBA didn’t show but there plenty of seabirds to see and take photos of these being Gannets, Puffins, Razorbills, Guillemots, Herring Gulls, Kittiwake, Linnet, Tree Sparrow to name a few.

My day was over it ended with seeing lots of nature but alas only two of the three targets species being seen, until next time.

Butterfly Species :- Brimstone, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Green veined White, Large Skipper, Large White, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Heath, Small Skipper, Small Tortoiseshell, (12)

Dragonflies :- Azure Damselfly, Black tailed Skimmer, Blue tailed Damselfly, Brown Hawker, Common Blue Damselfly, Common Darter, Four Spotted Chaser, Ruddy Darter (8)

Birds :- Crow, Chaffinch, Coot, Fulmar, Gannet, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, Herring Gull, House Martin, Jackdaw, Kittiwake, Linnet, Mallard, Puffin, Razorbill, Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon, Swallow, Swift, Tree Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellowhammer (22)

Video of the Day can be seen HERE

Click on Images to make Large

Marbled White
Black tailed Skimmer

New Moth

Another sunny day and another visit down to the ponds, I was wondering as I entered the area whether Emerald Damselflies would be out as they now appearing in Yorkshire. I stuck to my usual route working my way thru the bramble patch down to the first pond, in doing so I picked up on the usual blue damselflies, Common Blue, Blue tailed and Azure no Reds this time. Some hoverflies were hanging out on the bramble leaves, Eupeodes sp. Eristalis sp, lots of Marmalade Hoverflies about (Episyrphus balteatus) so wondering if we’ve had a few migrants come in. Nothing stirring at the first pond so made my way to the lower larger one where again were usual Blue Damselflies along with a couple of Four Spotted Chasers and Emperor Dragonflies, nowt new on the Odanata front.

I decided on walking around the pond and disturbed a Straw Dot Moth and then a slightly larger moth which turned out to be a Blackneck Moth, a Lifer a new Moth Species, both difficult to get photos of, also of note were a lot of Common Red Soldier Beetles around the pond, with also a fly threw Brimstone Butterfly

Down again o the lower pond but along the other path where Small Heath, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood and Small Skipper Butterflies were seen. More hoverflies around this area too with Chrysotoxum festivum and Scaeva pyrastri being of note, a few Bee species, of which I find difficult to ID, and then a very different damselfly flight but one of which I know Emerald Damselfly, female, which ended up resting on a grass stem nearby and then I soon picked out another, good to see these so can’t have been long on the wing and a nice one to finish my visit on, until next time.

Birds Noted :- Blackcap, Buzzard, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Magpie, Moorhen, Song Thrush, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon

Butterflies :- Brimstone, Ringlet, Small Heath, Small Skipper

Dragonflies :- Azure Damselfly, Blue tailed Damselfly, Emerald Damselfly, Emperor Dragonfly, Four Spotted Chaser

Emerald Damselfly

Blackneck Moth

Warton Crag

I found myself over in Cumbria (Kendall) on a business trip so on the way back home I decided on a quick visit at Warton Cragg in the vain hope of some Butterflies. Arriving at 2pm and parking at the Old Brewery car park I made my way up the steep incline out of the car park and onto the top of Warton Crag.

There didn’t appear to be much activity under the cool cloudy conditions today, thankfully it was dry. Proceeding along the crag I eventually kicked up a Grayling Butterfly, this being the only butterfly I saw along the crag.

Making my way back down I bumped into another guy so pointed out to him the Grayling and then moved onto a grassy area were they were Meadow Brown, Ringlet, a Red Admiral which ended up in a nearby tree. Wasn’t long before the guy caught me back up, as I was taking photos of a nicely placed Meadow Brown, I mentioned what I’d seen of which he went off looking for the Red Admiral. It wasn’t long before he shouted me over has he’d found a pair of Northern Brown Argus, what a bonus. After that I decided it was time for home, the weather wasn’t looking any better.

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Meadow Brown
Northern Brown Argus

Ponds Visit

Back at the local ponds maybe to catch up on some new Odanata species or catch a photo of the Emperor Dragonfly. I had a quick look around the bottom small pond first seeing a couple of Four Spotted Chasers along with a few Azure Damselflies. Made my way then up to the larger pond where more Four Spotted Chasers were about along with a couple of Emperor Dragonflies were cruising the pond. Damselflies at the large pond were Large Red, Blue tailed and Common Blue Damselflies.

Butterflies about were Large Skipper (first of the year)., Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Speckled Wood and Small Heath

Other highlights were a Brown China mark Moth and a Thick thighed Flower Beetle

Click Image to Make Larger

Four Spotted Chaser

Eastrington Ponds and NCW

I was back at Eastrington Ponds MAP after the rain the day before, things looked better on the weather front today. Having not been around Eastrington Ponds before it took me a while to find my bearings and fathom out the better places to look. I soon found out that that peripheral ponds along the North edge were now over-grown and inaccessible. So I ventured in to the large fields were there is a permissive path, finding here Azure Damselflies, Common Blue Damselfies, Scorpion Flies, many Volucella pellucens Hoverflies, a few Butterflies my first of the year of Meadow Brown and Large Skippers.

I then decided on going around the lager Pond to the East Side but found a smaller pool to the south of this where there were many Azure, Common Blue and Large Red Damselflies. Around the larger pool or should I say the small meadow near to it I found many other Damselflies but also a Female Broad Bodied Chaser, great to see.

Also here was Cinnabar Moth and Clouded Border Moth along with a Speckled Wood Butterfly

Bird species seen at Eastrington were Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Crow, Chiffchaff, Coot, Great Crested Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, House Martin, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Robin, Swallow, Swift, Wren

After Eastrington my next site was also a new one Saltmarshe Delphe for the Red eyed Damselfly the site took some finding but again I found this to be inaccessible, birds seen were Mute Swan, Grey Heron and Cuckoo

After Saltmarshe Delphe my next plan was to Newport Ponds where I found these to be inaccessible due to them being locked up. Perhaps there is away around these sites, I don’t know but if anybody does please drop me a line.

So I decided since I was only ten minutes away from North cave Wetlands that’s where I would end my day, the decision paid off.

Walking down Dryham Lane I picked up on various Damselflies namely Azure, Common Blue and Blue tailed they were in abundance, I also found a Large Skipper Butterfly along with my first of the year Ringlet Butterfly. I made my way then towards the Carp Lake where I started talking to a couple who were taking photos of a caterpillar, a Puss Moth Caterpillar, what a beauty this one were the caterpillar is better looking than the Moth. Whilst we were taking and got on to Hairy Dragonflies one actually landed in the same bush as the caterpillar, boom as if by magic, the couple left and I then started to take photos of Four Spotted Chasers and I found a Anasimyia contracta Hoverfly.

I then decided to walk down to the Dragonfly Ponds seeing various Damselflies on route, on arrival a Corn Bunting was singing from a top of a nearby bush, haven’t seen one of these for a number of years. Only dragonfly at the Ponds was a Four Spotted Chaser.

I finished back up at the benches near the main Lake where I was put onto a Common Scoter, another one I hadn’t seen for a while, I then walked down to the new workings where I was hoping to find a few more butterflies and dragonflies, alas nothing, I did see a male Marsh Harrier.

By now it was getting late, it had been a long but successful day, I headed off back to the B&B and something to eat at the nearby pub and a pint of course.

Birds seen at NCW : Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Buzzard, Crow, Cettis Warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common Scoter, Common Tern, Coot, Corn Bunting, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, House Martin, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Little egret, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Robin, Sand Martin, Shelduck, Skylark, Sparrowhawk, Swallow, Tufted Duck, Whitethroat, Woodpigeon, Wren

Butterflies Seen at NCW ; Large Skipper, Ringlet

Dragonflies seen at NCW ; Azure Damselfly, Blue tailed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Four spotted Chaser, Hairy Dragonfly

Moths Seen at NCW ; Cinnabar Moth

Video of the day here PRESS

More photos at my Flickr Site PRESS

Hairy Dragonfly
Puss Moth Caterpillar
Female Broad Bodied Chaser

Ponds Visit

I was having a few days out looking for Odanata species at a few sites around Yorkshire and my starting site was to be my local ponds. Arriving on site I was soon picking up on a few Damselflies namely Large Red and Azure Damselflies which today seem to be the most common. Soon getting my eye in I finally picked out a few Common Blue Damselflies along with the Blue tailed Damselflies. Out over the ponds were about eight Four Spotted Chasers (the most I’ve seen here) along with a pair of Emperor Dragonflies.

On the butterfly were a few Small Heath and a Speckled Wood, birds of note was a single Grey Wagtail which landed near the lower pond and with Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Wren and a fly thru Common Buzzard.

Moths of note were a few Cinnabar Moths along with a single Brown China Mark

My next planned visit was to Eastrington Ponds but unfortunately was a wash out due to the rain. Details of Eastrington HERE

My Bed and Breakfast for the couple of nights that I was in the area was at Field View. A great Bed and Breakfast, clean and tidy, shower was great (walk in), breakfast was well cooked and hot, beds were comfy a ten out of 10 for me, will be back no hesitation.

Video of the day can be seen HERE, hunting Dragonflies Day 1

Azure Damselfly

Ponds Visit

Down again to the local Ponds and once again to look for Odonata species. Making my way thru to the ponds I picked up on a few Large Red Damselflies on the brambles along with a good amount of Azure Damaselflies. Looking around the ponds I couldn’t pick up on any larger species, I was hoping for a couple of Chaser species.

I sat around the larger pond looking and waiting when all of a sudden two Four Spotted Chasers came into view but alas never settling. I made my way back stopping off at one of the smaller ponds and alas there were two Four Spotted Chaser, one obviously ovipositing. I settled in and waited for them to settle and perch up on the reeds before taking any pictures.

Other highlights were Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and a good group of House Martin. Butterflies about were Common Blue and Small Heath

Four Spotted Chaser
Four Spotted Chaser

Pond Visit

A quick visit to the ponds now things were warming up on the look out for the Odonata species and I wasn’t disappointed picking up on my first for the year Azure and Large Red Damselflies alas no larger ones as yet. Also about were Peacock, Small Heath and my first Common Blue Butterfly of the year.

Common Blue Butterfly ♂

Bullcliffe NR

Dingy Skipper Butterfly took some finding but they eventually came out, after about an hour of me being on site, Small Heath Butterfly were very much in evidence along with Green veined White. Mother Shipton Moth along with Common Carpet Moths were in good numbers and the Thick thighed Flower Beetles seem to be having a good year. As the day went on more butterflies were evident and it took a while before the Brimstones’ were out, no Common Blues as of yet but a fly by Holly Blue was nice.

Lots of Cranefly on the wing mianly Tipula vernalis but a Spotted Cranefly was a nice find and my first Hairy Shieldbug of the year which did take some finding.

Birds of note were Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap

Video Vlog can be seen here PRESS

Thick thighed Flower Beetle
Mother Shipton Moth