Thursday, 29 September 2011

August Migrant Hawker

On 22nd August, I passed by Ardeer Fen with my compact camera in my pocket and, when a hawker landed on Gorse in front of me, I (over)excitedly took the opportunity to get a few macro shots. I was so engrossed in this photo opportunity, the fact that it could be something other than a Common Hawker never crossed my mind. Today I looked through the photos on that SD card for the first time and was surprised to find that it was actually a Migrant Hawker!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Another Migrant Hawker

When the sun came out at a windy Garnock East this afternoon, about 40 Common Darters and 3 Common Hawkers were in a sunny woodland ride and a male Migrant Hawker was patrolling over a sheltered pool nearby.


Thursday, 8 September 2011

Migrant Hawkers

Over the past couple of years, I’ve had a few brief encounters with dragonflies that I’ve assumed to be Migrant Hawker - and this is despite the fact that I visit Ayrshire only rarely nowadays. However, other than one I watched at some length a couple of years ago in Stevenston, I’ve always written these sightings off as ‘maybes’. However, on Tuesday I was totally convinced that a small Hawker hunting along the woodland edge at Ardeer Quarry LNR was a Migrant Hawker. The next day, whilst birding at Garnock East, I was pretty sure I saw at least one other individual hawking high around a Willow tree before shooting off through the wood. It got to the point where I thought that either Migrant Hawker is not that uncommon in Ayrshire or I’m having serious trouble with my dragonfly IDs.

So today I ventured out to Garnock East armed with net. A break in the clouds brought out a few Common Hawkers and a few dozen Common Darters. After two suspected Migrant Hawkers evaded capture, I found one individual hawking at the edge of a conifer plantation, occasionally crossing paths with a couple of aggressive (and noticeably larger) Common Hawkers. I eventually managed to net the dragonfly to confirm my suspicions - it was indeed a Migrant Hawker.

I suspect that Migrant Hawker really isn’t that unusual in Ayrshire - at least not nearly as rare as the NBN distribution map suggests.

Friday, 25 March 2011

First Butterflies

The warm sunny spring weather during the past couple of days has brought out the first few butterflies of the year.

Thursday 24th
Rankinston - 3 Peacocks and 2 Small Tortoiseshells
Coylton - 1 Peacock and 2 Small Tortoiseshells
Auchinleck - 1 Small Tortoiseshell

Friday 25th
Rankinston - 1 Small Tortoiseshell