Here at The Lodge nature reserve we have spent the last three weekends at our “dragonfly watch” Date with Nature. After being thwarted by a very wet and slow start on the first weekend, with few visitors and even fewer dragonflies, the weather improved hugely and we have had great views of these beautiful insects!
The best day was last Sunday when we had the knowledge and help of the Buckinghamshire dragonfly recorder who recorded seven species of damselfly and five species of dragonfly. We saw at least four individual emperors, one of which was egg-laying so we know they are breeding here at The Lodge. There was a brown hawker and a common darter and a large flight of migrant hawkers, which was the first day we had seen these here.
In the garden pond a family also found large numbers of exuviae (larval skin) and they were identified as common darter and southern hawker, so although we did not see southern hawker flying that day, we could confirm that they were breeding.
The red-eyed, the small red-eyed and the azure damselflies were all seen mating and the common blue, the large red, the blue-tailed and banded demoiselle damselflies were also seen flitting across the pond and landing on the lily pads. To top off our dragonfly watch we also had excellent views of a feeding hummingbird hawkmoth.
Our weekends of dragonfly watching at The Lodge have come to an end for this year, although August is still a great time to visit and watch these insects. But never fear, we are at Fowlmere nature reserve on 6th and 7th August so come along to help us see which dragonflies and damselflies can be seen here too.