Dragonfly Pond by Vince Lea

SONY DSCBack in July I noticed we had quite a few dragonflies around the new Dairy pond at the CRT’s Pierrepont Farm in Surrey, so on my last visit I took my field guide and had a go at identifying the species present, this group has some tricky challenges in identification. Weather conditions were ideal, calm and sunny but cool at first, allowing detailed views of stationary damselflies around the pond, getting very warm and sunny by the middle of the day which encouraged the larger dragonfly species to become very active. The only other water at the farm is the River Wey, a quite different habitat, and I checked what species were visible from the bridge there as well. Given that the pond is only a couple of years old, it was great to see so many species and individuals present taking advantage of this new feature. There were four species of damselfy and four species of dragonfly, while the river had an almost completely different selection, with one damselfly and three dragonflies. Only one species was present at both the pond and the river, proving that the pond is providing a feature which was lacking in the past.

Both the Red-eyed Damsels and Ruddy Darters were egg-laying in the dairy pond. It is quite probable that the other species around the pond would have been breeding there too, but this wasn’t confirmed on the day. In the past, larvae of Blue-tailed Damselflies have been found in the pond so they are breeding there. Although all of the species recorded at the pond are pretty common, it is a great example of how quickly they have found this new opportunity. Coming down from Cambridgeshire, I was more pleased to see the Beautiful Demoiselle and Golden-ringed Hawker species, both of which are found in fast flowing, acidic clean water, a habitat we are lacking in East Anglia, and both species are rare here. Both are particularly beautiful species – the demoiselle is a deep metallic blue with solid blue wings; we have a related species (Beautiful Demoiselle) which likes slower flowing streams, and has strong blue patches on the wings rather than completely blue wings. The golden-ringed, our largest species of dragonfly, is a black species boldly marked with, as it’s name suggests, bright yellow bands.

Species recorded

Dairy Pond

Blue-tailed Damselfly c
Azure Damselfly c
Common Blue Damselfly o
Large Red-eyed Damselfly c
Emperor Dragonfly 1
Common Darter o
Ruddy Darter c
Southern Hawker o
River Wey

Beautiful Demoiseselle 1
Golden-ringed Dragonfly 1
Brown Hawker c
Southern Hawker o

1 = just one seen.
o = occasionally seen
c = common

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One thought on “Dragonfly Pond by Vince Lea

  1. Pingback: Dragonfly Pond by Vince Lea | thecrtblog

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