Tuesday, June 11, 2013

go east old man

Last day of sun for a while I suspect, so I got out for a day after dragonflies. Forgetting my Atlas work for a change I headed east out of BK hoping to find Epitheca bimaculata at some likely looking spots. En route I stopped at a very dry Klarningen, return migration evident here! Spotted redshank (1 and BK year-tick), ruff (1), green sandpiper (3) and wood sandpiper (2).

First odo stop was Sjöjalt, climbed out of the car and there on the square fishpond near the big lake was an obvious Epitheca flying backwards and forwards just out of reach form the bank! I watched it for some time before it blundered into the verandah of the cafe and I caught it by hand! Another two males were also present over the lake.

If you are into odos, Epitheca bimaculata is rather special, it is rather local and has a short spring flight period giving it a certain cache. It is also very under-recorded, I found three new sites for this species during the day.


Also flying at Sjöjalt were a number of Gomphus vulgatissimus, my first for the year.

Other species flying at Sjöjalt included Calopteryx virgo (1), Erythromma najas, Gomphus vulgatissimus (3) and Libellula depressa.

Next stop was some nearby lakes at Hällalteknallen, similar species here (including another Epitheca bimaculata!) with some added Pyrrhosoma nymphula for good measure.

Epitheca seem to like the sunny sides of lakes that are surrounded by trees. They often fly high or well offshore.

Happy with my haul and with time surging on I headed next for Lärkeröd hoping to twitch off Leucorrhinia albifrons for the year. I managed to get lost though walking in and bumped into a different set of pools, a little further west. I had no knowledge of this good-looking site and tramped about picking up Leucorrhinia rubicunda and Anax imperator for the day. I then checked a likely looking lake off to one side, surrounded by trees it delivered a single Epitheca in just five minutes watching. Site number three. Walking back out I drove round and walked into the gravel pit complex the long way, picking up a surprise male Orthetrum coerulescens on the way. This little former gravel extraction site is amazing for dragonflies and produced a reasonable number of Leucorrhina albifrons, a few Leucorrhinia dubia and my first Somatochlora metallica and Orthetrum cancellatum for the year, as well as another Anax imperator.The final species total for the day: 21 odos!

Leucorrhina albifrons

One the way back home I dropped in and checked a few site in BK outside my Atlas squares (nothing exciting) and dropped in for a quick look at Ranarpsstrand. Rather quiet here but I did find another spotted redshank and my first (!) Sandwich terns (2) of the year. A great day.

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