Sunday 21st May 2017:
Today I returned to the Common for the first time after a weeks holiday and it was amazing just how much things had progressed during that time. For today's visit I started by checking the area around the Rush Pool and was greeted by the site of two ♂ Broad-bodied Chasers being territorial and chasing each other. In the grassy areas near the pool there were 2 Small Heath butterflies on the wing and a Straw Dot moth was also noted.
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa)
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)
From the Rush Pool I headed over to Hillditch Pool where the sunshine had bought out a good selection of butterflies. A ♂ Brimstone, 1 Large White, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Peacock and 6 Small Tortoiseshell were recorded. Things hadn't progressed mush on the damselfly front with only Blue-tailed Damselfly being a new addition. Many Azure and Large Red Damselflies were observed. A Cucumber Green Spider was also noted.
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) - ♀ form rufescens
Cucumber Green Spider (Araniella cucurbitina)
Wednesday 24th May 2017:
This afternoon my wife and I undertook a walk around the lower terrace of the Common to check both Rush Pool and The Bog for Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies). The hot sunny weather had certainly bought them out with 5 Broad-bodied Chaser (3♂ , 2♀) at Rush Pool and 3 Broad-bodied Chaser (1♂ , 2♀) at The Bog. The only other species of Odonata recorded within these areas was Azure Damselfly. Also of interest during this walk were 3 Cinnabar moths. and a number of Brown Silver-line moths. Garden Chafer beetle was also noted.
Cinnabar (Tyria Jacobaeae)
We then headed across to Hillditch Pool where damselflies were the order of the day. Red-eyed Damselflies were now on the wing patrolling the lily pads. and we recorded 4 in total (3♂ , 1♀). good numbers of demoiselle were observed with 9 Banded Demoiselle (7♂ , 2♀) and 4 Beautiful Demoiselle (2♂ , 2♀) recorded. Azure, Blue-tail and Large Red damselflies were all present in good numbers.
Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)
♂ Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
& ♂ Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
The visit to Hillditch seemed fairly unproductive until my wife Bev picked up on a ♂ Common Blue butterfly flitting over the bracken. My first for the site this year.
Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)