Sunday, 18 June 2017

Norfolk Hawkers at Amwell

This weekend has been a real scorcher, and its been a real effort to get out and about, even in the mornings, so I haven't achieved a great deal.
I did get down to Amwell yesterday for a while but a couple of hours in the blazing sun was enough for me. I was hoping to get down last weekend as the rarer Dragonflies had been showing really well, but the Elegant Tern was a bit more important, but they were still being reported during the week.
I got there reasonably early and for a while at least the heat was tolerable. Barry and Phil were the only ones present so naturally we talked about the tern.
There wasn't much of note on the bird front. One Little Ringed Plover is still around, there is a family of Egyptian Geese again, and Swallows were collecting mud so presumably nest building is still taking place. One Ring Necked Parakeet flew over, but raptors were in short supply-I saw a couple of Buzzards and one Sparrowhawk.
I called in at Tumbling Bay for a while. The Norfolk Hawkers proved surprisingly easy with two or three patrolling the narrow section leading to the southern arm. The big problem was the dominant Emperors that kept driving them off, but i got a few decent images of one perched.

The usual Red Eyed, Azure and Common Blue damsels were around.
I spent a good 90 minutes on Hollycoss trying to find the Scarce Chasers. Like the Norfolks, they were initially seen two years ago and both were expected to emerge this year, which we presume they did-the first successful breeding in Hertfordshire.
Plenty of Four Spotted Chasers and the belligerent Emperors, more damsels including Large Red, Blue Tail and Banded Demoiselles. I found at least one Black Tailed Skimmer and a rather early Brown Hawker, and out on the water a few Broad Bodied Chasers were seen. I was joined briefly by Barry and Phil, and when they had departed, Tony Hukin turned up.
We tried hard but apart from a very brief flyby of a large male blue Skimmer (seemingly too 'clean' for Black Tailed Skimmer and too big for a Broad Bodied) we never conclusively found a Scarce Chaser. We had a few Butterflies though, Meadow Browns, Ringlets and a Red Admiral, but best of all a fly through Silver Washed Fritillary. By about 1130 the heat was getting intolerable so I left Tony to it and headed home. I later learned that a male Scarce Chaser was seen in the afternoon.

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