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Plenty to See!

Monday, June 4th 2012

Yesterday Brian and Elizabeth attended the talk about dragonflies and damselflies.  Today they tried to put some of what they had learnt into practice.  Looking around the water's edge and on plants close by,  it was amazing how many damselflies were observed, sheltering from the cold, damp weather!

As we only have Large Red Damselflies recorded on site their identification was easy!  This one was perched on a Gorse bush.

Large Red Damselfly on a Gorse bush.

The next step was to find some of the blue damselflies and for identification purposes take a good photograph of the end of their abdomen.  A really easy task?  Well the idea was a good one, but everytime the camera got close, those huge eyes spotted it and around the stem the damselfly moved, so many blurred images!  Back to the drawing board!  With no positive identification the photograph below shows one of the blue damselflies.

A blue damselfly

Although it was cold and wet many invertebrates were recorded hiding amongst the plants, including soldier beetles, Alderfly, spiders, 7 Spot Ladybirds, Kidney Spot Ladybirds, Crane Fly, Caddis fly, sawfly larvae and an ant!  Slugs were thoroughly enjoying the dampness.  Gravel paths and Gorse prickles did not appear to give them any concern!

Whilst hunting for the invertebrate life of Foxglove, the flowers could not be missed.  On the moor, Buttercups are open and this one was sporting several rain drops!

Buttercups with raindrops

Bird's Foot Trefoil can also be seen on the moor.

Bird's Foot Trefoil

Elder was in leaf early in the year but it is only now beginning to flower.

Elderflower

At long last the Wild Garlic has burst its buds and is making a beautiful show along Risedale Beck. 

Wild Garlic along Risedale Beck

Swallows and House Martins were seen flying low over the ponds on the wetland.  A Nuthatch was spotted on the feeders in the back garden.  Great Spotted Woodpeckers were heard, along with Garden Warblers and Chaffinch.


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The Dragonflies of Strensall and Foxglove Covert
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This book has been published with the aim of enabling people visiting these, immensely important Flagship Pond Sites in North Yorkshire, to identify the dragonflies and damselflies they encounter - by reference to a simple text and photographs. Credits - Yorkshire Dragonfly Group & Freshwater Habitats Trust

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