Saturday, 28 May 2016

White-faced Darter

Today Jayne and I spent two hours in the sunshine on the Natural England Chartley Moss reserve in Staffordshire, looking for a very rare dragonfly called the White-faced Darter (see link here for details of this species). We were there as part of a guided tour with a Natural England site manager, and the British Dragonfly Society's conservation officer, as this is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), with access allowed on just one day a year.

The walk started at 2pm, and the first sighting was a Barn Owl (!) flying through the fields by the entrance to the site. It even sat and posed for a photo.

Barn Owl

We were soon out on the bog, where we spotted a male Brimstone butterfly and a male Green Hairstreak. We walked across to the two pools where the darters are seen, and spent about one and half hours watching and photographing them. Here are my best efforts.


Teneral (newly emerged dragonfly)

Male showing white face

As well as the White-faced Darters, we also saw Four-spotted Chasers, a Large Red Damselfly and a couple of blue damselflies, which were unfortunately, too far out to identify to species. A couple of Common Lizards were also spotted.

Common Lizard

Bird wise, it was quite quiet, but we did see a male Mallard, and heard Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and Blackcap singing.

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