This afternoon became warm and sunny after the dull drizzle this morning.
I had a half hour to spare so I popped into the Community Woodland at Ashington to look for dragonflies, in particular I was hoping to see ruddy darter, a relatively new species this far north and one I had not seen before.
Along the ride to the pond were 20+ Meadow Browns and a couple of Small Skippers. Down at the pond it was very sheltered and red hot in the sun. On my way in through the trees a few Common Darters were buzzing around and sunning themselves on the foliage. Once I got to the pond edge, at exactly the same spot as I saw the Four spotted Chaser in June, a small bright red dragon caught my eye. It looked very bright and I could get down to 3 or 4 feet from it, quite easily. It flew off but returned to its favourite spot, allowing me to get these photos ( click on them, I'm pleased with the results).
I suspected that it was a Ruddy Darter but when I got home I emailed a couple of friends who know about these things more than me. I was pleased to see that the replies so far are unanimous, agreeing with my initial id - a male Ruddy Darter - a lifer.
Also here were 6+ Emerald Damsels including a mating pair and a few Blue tailed Damsels.
I only spent about 15 minutes at the spot. Cant be bad eh..
Above - Male Ruddy Darter. Click for a larger image.
Above - Common Darter. Immature male I think? It was hooking its abdomen as if it had been mating....Ian's comment on this post explains that this ia a female Ruddy too...