I had been hoping that I would see my first Odo of the year in the UK before we left for Spain. However, although there had been reports of sightings from several counties, and not even only the most southern ones, I managed to find nothing in Bedfordshire with winter apparently reluctant to loosen its grip. Perhaps I’d have better luck in Spain.
As we drove through central Spain through thrashing rain with the mercury hovering around the 7°C mark, albeit at 1000m altitude, things weren’t looking much more hopeful, though the species list of reported sightings had been considerably more impressive. Today, though, the last day of April, the Spanish gloom parted in the afternoon and the sun shone. As soon as that happened we went to investigate a pool only recently discovered by us in neighbouring Alcalali to see if anyone was about.
Someone was about, though not in anything approaching decent numbers. However, we did see some dragonflies – and they were dragonflies rather than damselflies – at least just a little before May. There were three individuals zooming about this one, modest pool, in the form of a male Scarlet Darter/Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), together with both sexes of Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonsolombii). The male RVD was the only one posing advantageously for pictures, though, and I could see he was maturing – not yet fully red. He clearly thought he was already mature, though since he was in tandem with the female ovipositing.
The sun was relatively short-lived and, before the afternoon was over, the clouds rolled back in again. Still, at least I’d got my year started.