Following my earlier post with a photo of a possible female Variable Damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum) at Castle Water on Sunday, I found both male (top photo) and female (bottom photo) this afternoon at Iden Moat - at least 5 in all. (Click photos to enlarge.) This confirms the Castle Water female with its distinctive back stripes and 2nd and 8th abdominal segments, very like the one shown here. Males, with thinner abdomen, have broken stripes on the back and the typical ‘wine-glass’ marking on the 2nd segment. Considering these are already adults, it’s a very early emergence, though I’ve since heard that one was seen at Stodmarsh, Kent, on the 25th. These are beautiful damselflies, as the name pulchellum suggests, but they’re not that variable! Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for April 28th, 2009
Red-eyed Damselflies are now emerging at Castle Water. The exuvia of this species are distinctive, the size difference between this and other coenagrionid species alone make them stand out. The second picture below shows the comparison between Red-eyed and Blue-tailed Damselfly exuvia. Another feature is the banding found on the apical half of the caudal lamellae, the third picture shows this, the median node is also obvious in this picture.
An early morning visit to a very misty Quarry today found around 100 Whimbrel leaving the roost, and little else (or at least little that I could see). The poor visibility made counting more difficult than normal, exacerbated by the fact that it also delayed the exodus, resulting in the bulk of the birds leaving in an impatient rush. Later on, I made a start on this years breeding birds, mainly surveying singing passerines between Rye Harbour Village and the path which crosses from the Beach Reserve to the Wood. A fine selection included Sedge Warbler and Reed Warbler, Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat, Cetti’s Warbler and the still present Grasshopper Warbler near Corner Pools, which gave excelent views, while a Turtle Dove (below) also showed well at Narrow Pits. Also present today, at least 15 Avocet and a Little Ringed Plover were on Harbour Farm.