All day at Filby......
There was a slightly different itinerary today (4th) with Jason Nichols and myself staying in just one place; Filby. However, nothing wrong with that and indeed, as it turned out necessary to see a new species of Odonata for Jase.
A walk along the path to Ormesby Little Broad found several species of Damselflies around but none of the larger dragonflies, but butterflies seen included Green-veined White, Large and Small White, Comma, Meadow Brown, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and Painted Lady.
At the viewing point a Norfolk Hawker was seen, but with the area still mostly in shadow, there was not too much activity so we decided to have a look at Filby Broad, but on the way back to the car park saw several Southern Hawkers, Brown Hawker and an Emerald Damselfly of the year, all were the first of the year.
A large area of Water Crowfoot was growing, just off the boardwalk and a female Emperor Dragonfly was taking advantage of these plants by ovipositing. Red-eyed Damselflies were here too and a Sparrowhawk flew over the broad.
Returning to OLB viewpoint found dragons much more active, with at least 4 Four-spotted Chasers, Norfolk and Brown Hawker, 2 Black-tailed Skimmers and what looked like a brief sighting of our main quarry; a Lesser Emperor.
As the sun continued to warm the area in front of the staging confirmation of Lesser Emperor came on several occasions, on one occasion flying very close to my head! However, I couldn’t photograph it there and actually getting any images of this dragon was once again limited to flight shots, which due to the terrain and it flying very close to the edge of the reed were very difficult to obtain and manual setting on the camera was very much a necessity.
Several Great Crested Grebes (no indication of breeding success), approximately 8 Gadwall, 2 Common Buzzards, Marsh Harrier, Common Terns, whilst serenaded by Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Reed Warblers were of ornithological interest.
Other insects of note included a queen Hornet, a Caddisfly and Ichneumon species, Red-legged Shieldbug Pentatoma rufipes (adult and immature), Darkling Beetle Lagria hirta, Sicus ferrugineus, several Longhorn Beetles Rutpela maculata and a small Mining bee, which looks like a second brood Yellow-legged Mining Bee.
Although there was no sign of White Admiral (as reported to me by Ken Saul, who also saw a Swallowtail here too recently) it was an enjoyable day in the sunshine at a beautiful location.
Female Emperor Dragobfly ovipositing
Red-legged Shieldbug-immature and adult Darkling Beetle Lagria hirta
Four-spotted Chaser Norfolk Hawker Lesser Emperor
Lesser Emperor Longhorn Beetle Rutpela maculata