Friday, 22 July 2016

Black Darter

On the way back from Holyhead we stopped off at Whixall Moss. I had never been there before and the possibility of a White-faced Darter or Spotty Davus, the welsh form of the Large Heath, made it well worth a visit. Sadly I found neither, perhaps I was just too close to the end of their flight seasons.

The closest I got to a White-faced Darter

The Moss surprised me. I have been on some of the northern sites, Meathop Moss and others. This one seemed to have more standing water but also a lot more in the way of trees and scrub. It looked as though it would be massively overgrown in a couple of years and needed some serious grazing. It would be interesting to see the management plan for maintaining the site.

One real bonus of the site was that there were no dog walkers. Possibly too remote but more likely as a result of a large number of flying insects of the biting type. In fact we only saw one other person in the three or four hours that we spent there.

No White-faced Darters but we did find plenty of other Odonata. Black Darters and Four-spotted were the most common but there were also Emperors, Hawkers, Common and Ruddy Darters, a Golden Ring, and various Blue and Emerald Damselflies.

Male Black Darter

Male Black Darter

Male Black Darter

Immature Male Black Darter

Female Black Darter

Black Darters  - The next generation on its way

It is not the easiest of places to take photographs. Invariably the spot you need to stand for the best shot is a bottomless patch of black water or a layer of very unstable sphagnum type moss. I found that I could not get close enough to use the macro lens and all these pictures were taken on the 300mm and then cropped.

A lot of the time was spent recording distant Dragonfly in the hope that when I put them on the screen at home I would find a white frons.

The only good candidate that I found kept its back to me and my distant shot was out of focus. It looked all black but Photoshop says that it has red patches. Interesting but I think I need a better sighting for a life tick.

Emperor Dragonfly

Four-spotted Chaser

Emerald Damselfly

Emerald Damselfly

The mosses appear to be a great area and I only scratched the surface in the few hours that I was there. I can't see the wife wanting to return but I will be going back and this time I will be taking the jungle strength insect repellent.

No comments:

Post a Comment