Friday, 26 August 2011

Barbrook Dragons!

Every summer I like to visit a small area of moorland just off the A621 Baslow road to look for a few of my favourite dragonflies, namely Black Darter and Golden-ringed Dragonfly. The area that I call Barbrook Bridge is located by the junction of the A621 and a minor road leading to Cubar in North East Derbyshire, grid refernce SK278741.

Bar Brook Bridge

As you can see, the site is an area of moorland with the Bar Brook running through the middle of it. Just under the bridge there is a small, slow flowing pool, which then runs into a a shallow, much faster flowing stream. My visit today started at the bridge where the Black Darters as usually to be found. I say usually, because unfortuntaely I didn't find any today! What I did find, however, was this amazing spider.

Spider species

Moving further down the river I walked through the vegetation when I suddenly disturbed a large dragonfly species. It flew a short distance, before landing on the ground. I crept up and saw a beautiful Golden-ringed Dragonfly probing the ground with its rear end. I realised that this was a female egg laying or ovipositing! As I watched it I noticed that it had got its wings caught in the water, so I reached down and it crawled out of the water and sat on my hand vibrating its wings to dry off and warm up, before flying off again, when it was lost from view. What an experience!

       Golden-ringed Dragonfly

After this amazing encounter I walked up to a smaller pool where I managed to find a Common Darter, 2 male Emerald Damselflies and half a dozen "blue" Damselflies.

Common Darter

Emerald Damselfly

Apart from the dragons several other birds and insects were also  present in the area. Butterflies were Small Copper, Small Heath, Meadow Brown and my first Wall Brown of the year. 

Wall Brown

Birds present were Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Goldfinch and Blue Tit.

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