Sympetrum vulgatum (female) - a big emergence of Sympetrum was underway at Bjäred våtmark, the first site on our itinerary.
First up was a rare visit to the man-made wetland near Bjäred. Number 1 and I did a circuit picking up a few good birds, including green sandpiper (2) and a pair of honey buzzards. But it was dragonflies we concentrated on, picking up Anax imperator (a recent colonist to southern Sweden), Libellula quadrimaculata, a patrolling male Somatochlora metallica, Lestes sponsa, Erythromma najas, Enallagma cyathigerum, Coenagrion puella and Ischnura elegans.
Driving past Ehrenstorp we spotted a pair of cranes feeding in the wet valley near the lake. A red kite cruised past.
The pools at Frestensfälla were our next destination. The weather was a bit unkind at this point and the sun hid behind clouds a lot. Nevertheless we managed a few more dragonfly species; Sympetrum danae, Leucorrhinia dubia and rubicunda, Coenagrion hastulatum and Pyrrhosoma nymphula.
Our last stop was Älemossen which gave us three more species, bringing the total recorded during the day to 16, not bad considering the weather. I think 25 would be a good day total and I may try next year. The new species were a brief Aeshna grandis in the woods and then the small very dry Sphagnum pools provided one teneral Aeshna subarctica and an egg-laying Somatochlora arctica. A brilliant end to the day and the blueberry crumble was superb!
My second ever Somatochlora arctica was this egg-laying female, it flew with its anal claspers and S10 up in the air, you could see the eggs building up in a ball before they were slapped into the wet Sphagnum.Caught this male Somatochlora arctica at Älemossen on 27/07/08, it was my first. The site was a lot wetter that year, huge volumes of water are being lost at the moment to the rail tunnel currently being drilled through Hallandåsen. The site is drying rapidly and will never be the same I fear.