Monday, 19 June 2017

Sussex Common Clubtail

Having made the trip up to Goring on Thames to see the Clubtails emerging (see blog), the pressure was off and I had lost track of my target of finding one in Sussex. Seeing the blogs from Matt and Bob Eade last night reminded me that the males would now be returning to the rivers to establish their territories and to look for females. It was time for me to make a return visit to some of the likely locations.

I would like to be able to say exactly where I found them but I am faced with the usual problem. If I give too much information the area will be trampled and the population will be put at risk. All I will say is that in Sussex the Common Clubtails can be found on stretches of the Rivers Arun and Rother. If you do a bit of basic research you will find the best areas to look. Better still, see if any of the other rivers are holding a population. Can they still be found on the Cuckmere? Now is the time to look.

It was hot out there today and after nearly three hours standing in the sun I was ready to go home. I had seen a lot of Clubtails but I didn't have a good picture. They were very mobile and when they did put down it was in the branches or reeds overhanging the water on the opposite bank. I just couldn't get a decent record shot, even with the big lens.

Still, I was happy, I had seen it and a Sussex tick on the Clubtail was one of my key targets for the year. I packed all my gear then decided to have one final look before I left. Panic, there was one on my side of the river, could I get the camera out before it took off.

Not only did I get the camera out but it returned three times to the same area. Happy days.

I still had to use the telephoto. A shame really, just a little bit closer and I could have got it on the macro.

Hard work but a great find. I also saw a Golden-ringed but it was motoring down the river at speed and I had no chance of a picture.

Here are a few other record shots taken over the past week or so. Nothing very exciting. It is strange how you always end up with the same set of photographs. I have followed Emperors, Hawkers, Hairy dragonflies, Downy Emeralds, and others but early in the season it is difficult to find them grounded.

Red-eyed Damselfly

Banded Demoiselle (Male)

Banded Demoiselle (Female)

Female Black-tailed Skimmer

Broad-bodied Chaser

Probably a Common Blue

Definitely a Common Blue

Four-Spotted Chaser

Four-spotted Chaser

Large Red

Mayfly -  One of 51 species in Britain 

Good record shots but it wasn't worth the blog until the Common Clubtail turned up.

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