There is apparently some unsettled weather forecast for the weekend so it makes sense to get some Odo-hunting in while conditions are favourable. Today, though, might be considered a little warm for some hitting the low 30s Centigrade. Nonetheless, it was a good opportunity to try the Pego-Oliva marsh at this time of year.
When we arrived there was only one other car present, which left shortly after we parked. There were, however, a couple of slightly distressing signs advertising “Barques” (boats) for rent. As a very biased nature lover, I would hate to see this splendid stretch of habitat invaded by tourists splashing about in boats. Being out of the main season, all was peaceful today, though.
It was a little quieter than I might have expected. This could be because we are now beyond the end of the flight seasons of a number of its residents. We were ,for example, entertained by Green-eyed Hawkers, a.k.a. Norfolk Hawkers (Aeshna isoceles) in May and they’d be finished now. Similarly, the Small Redeyes/Small Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma viridulum).
On the damselfly front, the only species we did see was a Blue-eye/Goblet-marked Damselfly (Erythromma lindenii). Representing the big boys, there were a few Emperors still around, both Blue Emperor (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) but just one or two that we saw.
Much of the activity featured the ever-popular Broad Scarlet/Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) which, in continental Europe, it’s easy to get blasé about, being as widespread and common as they are, but one shouldn’t, they really are quite striking. Here’s both a male and female.
I’m pleased to say, keeping the Scarlets good company were several examples of one of my gaudy little personal favourites, teh deliciously pink Violet Dropwing/Violet-marked Darter (Trithemis annulata). I didn’t spot any females (which are not pink) but I did snag several cooperative males. A man can’t have too many Violet Dropwings. 🙂
Curiously few Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii), too; Francine spotted one but I can’t say that I did.
Cold beer was required.