Tuesday, July 29, 2008

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...

7 comments:

oldcrow61 said...

Wow, fabulous photos. That Ruddy Darter is a beauty.

Tricia said...

Only 15 mins Steward? Wow. Fantastic pics no wonder you're pleased with them - I certainly would be.

Tricia said...

Sorry - typo should be Stewart

Blyth Birder said...

Enjoying that new camera are we :)

abbey meadows said...

I see red darters in the dunes at Hadston links at the slacks but I don't know for sure what they are. The body is red like the pics above but the head appears green. Great post Stew.

Ian said...

Great photos of the darters - by the way, I think that the photo captioned "Common Darter. Immature male I think?" is actually a female Ruddy Darter. The widely-spaced appendages at the end of the abdomen indicate that it's female, and the completely black legs should indicate that it's a Ruddy Darter. The females don't have the shaped abdomens of the males. Living near Cambridge we get a lot of them, in some places more common than the Common. Still, I'd like to see a White-faced someday!

Boulmer Birder said...

Thanks Ian, I just assumed that the shape and size indicated Common. I'll ammend the post, Cheers.