Thursday, 6 August 2015

Linacre Dragons

August is a great time to see lots of different insects at Linacre, and yesterday's visit, which took place from midday to 3pm, was a great example with 3 Damselfly species (including 2 new "Linacre ticks"), 1 Dragonfly species, 4 species of butterfly and a new species of fly!

The first species of damselfly  I saw today was Common Blue Damselfly. This is the commonest damselfly at Linacre (in my experience anyway). I saw 3 male Common Blues in the ringing area, and then at least half a dozen more as I walked around the three reservoirs, which included one being chased by a Grey Wagtail! Today's visit was especially good though, because I managed to find several pairs "in cop", i.e. mating, and I got a photo!! This pair, and friend, were perched up on a branch sticking out of the water on the top reservoir.

Common Blue Damselfly

The next species, and the first "Linacre tick" was Blue-tailed Damselfly. One male was spotted and photographed  in vegetation by the top reservoir.

Blue-tailed Damselfly

The final damselfly species seen today, the second "Linacre tick", was Banded Demoiselle. I was very surprised to record this species, as it wasn't one I'd expect here at all, but a single male was seen flying around the river that enters the top reservoir. Unfortunately, I didn't get a photo as it didn't hang around and I got sidetracked by a very large fly that I'd never seen before!

The fly in question is called a Giant Tachinid Fly or Tachina grossa. 

Giant Tachinid Fly

As the name implies, this fly is big, at nearly 2cm long, and is quite impressive. I managed to see 2 today, which is a new species for me and for Linacre. More information about this species can be found here.

The dragonfly species was a Brown Hawker. This is a species I see every year, but its very difficult to photograph, as it rarely sits still. Unfortunately today's sighting was just like this, with 1 seen twice, but not photographed!

Butterflies seen were: Peacock (1), Meadow Brown (7), Gatekeeper (6) and  Large White (1).

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