Saturday 26th July 2014.
Male Common Darter.
Male Ruddy Darter.
I spent a cracking three hours at Woolmer Pond this afternoon with Scruff, catching up with many year ticks of Butterflies and Dragonflies. A lovely hot summer afternoon, with occasional cloud cover brought out these insects en force and there was even some birds to look at this afternoon too. I took over 200 photos this afternoon and some, I must admit, I was very pleased with. The red flags were down today and so I took a walk through the Forest and out onto the heath looking east, before walking back through the Forest and walking clockwise around the Pond itself.
Female Black Darter.
Male Black Darter.
Despite the heatwave we are experiencing, there was still plenty of water on the Pond itself, which attracted a family flock of Canada Geese and the occasional Mallard on the water. Unfortunately, there were no waders seen or heard here today. Woolmer Pond is certainly a good spot for waders as previous history has shown. Overhead, the odd Swallow would dart through and on the way back to the car, a small flock of Sand Martin flew over to feed.
Male Brown Argus.
Butterflies were everywhere with Gatekeepers and Large Whites easily being the most numerous. Smaller numbers of Meadow Brown and Common Blue were present and also seen were Brimstone, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Copper (2), Grayling (2 on the heath) and a superb couple of male Brown Argus, a species I have not seen for a few years. These were on the footpath through the Forest.
Dragonflies and Damselflies were also abundant as I year ticked Emerald Damselfly, Ruddy Darter, Common Darter, Brown Hawker and Black Darter. Azure, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies were everywhere. I spotted just the one Banded Demoiselle (first I have ever seen here), Four-spotted Chaser and Large Red Damselfly, but no Small Red Damselflies in the woodland. Just fantastic to walk among these gems. Emperor Dragonflies were in good numbers too.
Brown Hawker. A very difficult dragonfly to photograph.
I did find a couple of interesting looking moths on the heath behind Woolmer Forest, which I have put on the Hants Moths Facebook page. Today’s bird sightings included a family flock of Stonechats near the Cottage, and even a few more on the east side of the Pond with Linnets and a Willow Warbler. The woods were quiet though there was a family party of Coal Tits with a single Goldcrest among them. No Hobbies were seen, which was very disappointing, especially with so many Dragonflies to feast on. A couple of soaring Common Buzzards were calling to one another over the Forest.
I found this Narrow-winged Pug in the heather behind the Forest. Another 'lifer' for me.
A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, catching up with some superb insects at this prime site. I couldn’t help mentioning the new perimeter fence that has been put up recently. Though it does look a little ‘sterile’, especially with all the grass and weed taken out, I am sure they will grow back again.
Another 'lifer'. Agriphila inquinatella, which was found along the footpath through the Forest.