BIRDING THE LUNE ESTUARY THE FOREST OF BOWLAND AND BEYOND....................................................................................................GREY HERON PETE WOODRUFF

Sunday, 7 August 2022

A Little Nostalgia....With Big Surprises.

A walk east along the route known as Millennium Park, a footpath along the old railway line running alongside the River Lune to Caton, brought about some memories for me, and a surprise....Well three actually! 

Mediterranean Gull. Pete Woodruff. 

At the start of my walk by Sainsbury's, an adult Mediterranean Gull was roosting in the muddy shingle on the River Lune. The store stands on the land where the old Green Ayre railway station and locomotive shed stood, where at the tender age of 16 - not long after T.rex became extinct - I stepped onto the ladder taking me towards the dream of becoming an engine driver when the traction was steam powered....Halcyon days. 

Banded Demoiselle. Pete Woodruff.

About a mile further along the path, a surprise came as a Banded Demoiselle on a Sycamore, the sighting came as my second of the species by the River Lune, the first equally surprising was at Bull Beck 16 June. 

Leucozona glaucia Pete Woodruff.

Lots of insects on the path side vegetation, included this hoverfly, which I noted for its blue'ish bands. I also counted 25 Large White, 3 Small White, 3 Green-veined White, 2 Red Admiral, and a Holly Blue.

Emerald Damselfly Pair. Pete Woodruff.

Now came the biggest and best surprise....Primarily, the purpose of the walk was to find the Emerald Damselfly which I succeeded in doing. Terrible image, but an excellent record of a pair in tandem. Then to follow as a close second best, a female Southern Hawker, followed later by a female Emperor Dragonfly oviposting on three ocassions.

Blue-tailed Damselfly. Pete Woodruff.
Also seen, a female Blue-tailed Damselfly form rufescens-obsoleta, 3 Brown Hawker, 6 Common Blue Damselfly, and 4 Common Darter including a pair in tandem.

Returning to Lancaster via the canal, 6 Emperor Dragonfly included a female ovipositing on the opposite side of the canal. Not the most glamorous section of the canal with debris floating, but a good record video. Also 2 Common Darter seen.

Emerald Damselfly.

Emerald Damselfly Male. Marc Heath.

With the exception of the rare Red-eyed Damselfly, the Emerald Damselfly is the least widespread of Lancashire's breeding damselflies, where it is strictly a still and shallow-water species, with extensive emergent and marginal vegetation. 

The Emerald Damselfly is absent from much of the Fylde and North Lancashire, and essentially absent from the whole of Bowland. When you can find the report of a peak count like 310 Emerald Damselflies on in-bye field ponds near Belmont in August 2012, I feel blessed to have seen one at all in our area....The Damselflies of Lancashire and North Merseyside. Steve White and Philip Smith 2015 

Thanks to Howard for his header image of the current local star bird at Conder Green.  


Marc Heath said...

A very nice odonata feel to your post Pete and with some good results too. Take care.

Ian Mitchell said...

What a list of Odonata you did well.
Lovely pictures especially the header.

Didn't know there were so many dragonflies etc. locally.
At the moment it is in danger of becoming Dragons2Blog.

Great to see all forms of wildlife, cheers.


Pete Woodruff said...

Marc/Ian....Thank you. Dragons2blog....Mmmmm!

Richard Pegler said...

An excellent odonata haul there, Pete. Sadly, I've not done well on that subject this year.

Howard's Temminck's Stint shot is a cracker!

Best wishes - - - Richard

Pete Woodruff said...

Richard....Still time to connect Richard, and the weather is very favourable at the moment.


shelleynaturalist said...

Hi Pete Yes, those new ponds off Caton Road is the only site locally I can remember seeing Emerald Damselfly.

Pete Woodruff said...

Join the club....Thanks Steve.