Moths, Dragons and Damsels

Saturday, July 21st 2018

Moths are not a favourite of some people, but they are a delightful group of creatures.  Amazingly they sat still for photos, instead of disappearing.

Barred Straw is often one that takes flight.  The larvae feed on bedstraws, of which there are plenty across the reserve.

Barred Straw

Some moths never vary in colour or pattern, but Common Rustic does.   This one had me searching through the book initially. 

Common Rustic

Who could not love this furry fellow - Iron Prominent?

Iron Prominent

Mother of Pearl is a beautiful moth.  Its larvae feed in a rolled up leaf of Nettle. 

Mother of Pearl

We have had several notable 'Dragon and Damsel' walks with Keith and June.  One had temperatures of 11 degrees, another the wind was blowing so strongly we were almost blown over and yet another was very, very wet!  Today was not ideal but it was warm, dry and no wind, the only thing lacking was sunshine.  However we were able to see a surprising amount.

The orchard is an excellent place for dragons and damsels to hunt.  The first caught was an Emerald Damselfly, which Keith showed to everyone, informing them of the colour changes that take place between emerging and maturity.

looking at a damselfly

The wetland provided us with sightings of Common and Azure Damselflies and a Black Darter.  Unfortunately the only photo I managed to take was in the hand, this being the correct way to release them. 

Black Darter

In the Scrapes a large dragonfly was spotted.  It was hunting around the small pond so those with nets set out to see if it could be caught.  Nets nil, dragonfly one!

Nets nil, dragonfly one

We followed it through various parts of the Scrapes to no avail, but it was probably the Golden-ringed Dragonfly that I had spotted earlier in the day.  So often these insects come to have a good look at you, decide you are too big to tackle and fly off, leaving you with not even a splodge!  This one sat absolutely still on Purple Loosestrife.  It was definitely being in the right place at the right time.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Keith and June gave much information about the various dragons and damsels we saw.  Everyone enjoyed the walk and the discussions.  Many thanks to Keith and June for leading this walk.


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