Wednesday, June 12, 2013

June 12, 2013: Erv's Field Notes #58

So far this season Odonate activity has been relatively quiet.  Black Saddlebags (this photo) were quite common at Pond L and Jensen Pond, plus a few elsewhere.  Several tandem (male abdominal appendages claps female behind the eyes, as a precursor to or after mating and may be maintained during egg laying) pairs were also observed.  Common Green Darners and Twelve-spotted Skimmers were present, but not as numerous.  Fewer still were Eastern Forktails at Jensen Pond (both male and immature females).  Erv Klaas found a teneril (recently emerged) male Double-striped Bluet along the north lake's north shore. 6/11/13 (Wolf. Oesterreich)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 3-5 PM. Sunny, wind from the west. Temperature, high 80s.

I went dragonfly hunting today. Dragonfly activity has been slow this spring due to the cold and wet weather and high water. I saw a few Common Green Darners early in May but the numbers have not been high. This species is known to be migratory so the ones I saw are probably early arrivals from the south. As the water gets warmer local species will begin to emerge. Maybe today is the beginning.

I walked along the north shore this afternoon. The water level is still high and most of the rip rap is still covered. I saw one little brown damselfly in the vegetation near shore. I could not identify it with binoculars so I took several photographs with my 300 mm lens. This was a challenge because the wind was moving the grass quite a bit. When I got home and downloaded the photos I was surprised to see that several of them were in focus. I identified the species as an immature male Double-striped Bluet. It must have just emerged today because the parts of the body that are normally bright blue were a light tan in color. The tan will turn blue within a day or two. The black double stripe on the thorax was unmistakable as the identifying characteristic.

I then walked up the trail to Jensen’s Pond and found lots of odonate activity. I identified Common Green Darners, Black Saddlebags, 12-Spotted Skimmers, and one Blue Dasher. Eastern Forktail damselflies were flitting around in the vegetation near shore. One small fast flyer may have been a Common Baskettail but I didn’t get a good look at it. Darners, Saddlebags and Skimmers were all breeding and laying eggs. As I walked back on the upland trail, I saw a Variegated Meadowhawk, another migratory species. Dragonfly hunting was good today.

Erv Klaas

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