Sunday, 1 May 2011

April ends with a new Odonata record

Anyone who knows anything about Odonata will know… April in VC61 means you might see a Large Red Damselfly if you are lucky. Sometimes, and bearing in mind, they are more often than not the first species to emerge, records show that it is often May before they are on the wing. Seeing more than one species of damselfly, let alone anything Chaser/Hawker wise, in April, is a huge bonus!

Doug Fairweather and I found 5 species on the wing at Tophill Low NR in East Yorkshire on April 28th 2007, but on Saturday we broke that record with an impressive 6 species, counting a total of 481 individual Odonata, though that being some way short of the April high of 532 set in 2007.

Another record fell, the first April Red-eyed Damselflies (at the time of hitting publish). Not sure what that takes off the earliest date.

Teneral Red-eyed Damselfly

The count in full: 305 Large Red Damselfly, 77 Azure Damselfly, 82 Common Blue Damselfly, 6 Blue-tailed Damselfly, 4 Red-eyed Damselfly and 7 Four-spotted Chaser.

Disappointingly, despite 8 hours on site, we failed to connect with any of the Arctic Terns which are going through all the other Yorkshire sites. A Swift over D res and a Whimbrel at WNR the best, with a Green Sandpiper and a single Common Tern noted.

Another moth species was added to the site list with several Adela reaumurella on the wing

However, the moth trapping was best described as being ‘typically April’ with little of note, other than a Waved Umber and a Green Pug in the traps.

Though I do wonder how many visitors failed to notice this dead obvious Waved Umber sat on the door of the WNR hide! Of everything on view, this was showing the best.

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