Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Exuvia find reveals Southern Hawker is on the wing

You don't have to see a dragonfly on the wing to know they have emerged. An exuvia found at Tophill Low NR, East Yorkshire, by Doug Fairweather on Friday evening (3rd June) set a new earliest date for Southern Hawker, beating the previous record of 11th June 2006. A follow up visit on Saturday produced another 16 exuvae, and one pre-flight emergent.

Before the weather ended the day dragonfly counting, several Four-spotted Chasers of the form praenublia were noted, along with a single Broad-bodied Chaser and the expected damselflies.

Despite the warm days, the evenings are rather cold and the moth trapping is still pretty average for the time of the year. An Elephant Hawkmoth was in the traps along with the many Treble Lines (photo below) and Heart and Darts.

Birding wise, the day was pretty quiet. The Osprey flying over the car park was just a little too high for a decent photograph. Only the 4th I've seen in 11 years at Tophill... nice when surprises happen!

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