Monday, 8 July 2013

New Forest

With it being warm and sunny we figured on heading down to the New Forest to do dragonflies. With Murray in the Wimbledon final we figured the roads would be a bit quieter than usual. This proved to be the case until we got beyond Winchester, and the M27/A31 was pretty bad all day. We had planned on doing the northern part of the forest first, but decided to get off the road and headed south.
Hatchet Pond is always a problem for us as it is supposed to be a good site for Scarce Blue Tailed Damsel and we never find them here (or for that matter elsewhere in the forest). This year looked promising, warm, and only a slight breeze so we headed off to the feeder stream. Lots of Blue Tails, Southern Damsels and Keeled Skimmers of course with one or two Common Blue Damsels and Emperors. Also Four Spotted Chasers and a single Black Tailed Skimmer. We saw one Dark Green Fritillary and Silver Studded Blues were all over. Despite a long search of the stream and ditches we failed yet again to locate the Scarce Blue Tails.
On to Crockford Bridge and the temperature was climbing. Beautiful Demoiselles, Broad Bodied Chasers and two Golden Ring Dragonflies added to the list. No sign of Small Red Damsels this year. We were told that there was a Lesser Butterfly Orchid on the heath, but despite a sustained search we did not locate it-apparently it was looking good last week but maybe it had gone over. Most of the Heath Spotted had, though one still looked fine.

We later visited the very busy sites of Mill Lawn Brook and Latchmore Brook, both recommended Scarce Blue Tail sites. The former was still ok for the regular odontae but the latter turned out to be rather dry and a complete disappointment.
Not a bad day, despite failing in our annual search but the sun and heat proved a bit much and I ended up being badly burnt, something that rarely happens to me. Colin also had a problem in finding a very soft bit of bog and going in to his knee. No damage done luckily.

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