Sunday, 5 July 2015

Catherton Common - Keeled Skimmer

A Shropshire Birder Odonata 'request tour' saw me retracing old steps on the quest for three of South Shropshire's finest members of the order! If all went to plan, Ian Grant and Martin Whalley would be very content indeed with three Shropshire lifers but insects can be fickle creatures, especially with rain forecast after lunch!

Cramer Gutter was the first call for what should normally be a easy find in early July - Keeled Skimmer. A nice obliging male was in fact the first thing we saw! Instantly recognisable with no black at the tip of the abdomen and in the usual perched posture with wings angled forward!

Edging a bit closer......

Different angles.....

The orange wing spot and blue-grey eyes showing nicely....

Females were a much trickier proposition, we only saw two during the session here and they were pretty unapproachable!

Another male showing well!

Once the sun started shining they became more mobile and a conservative estimate over a 50m stretch was roughly 15 males. Several Large Red Damselfly and Small pearl-bordered Fritillary were in evidence but attention now turned to species no 2!!

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