Dutch dragonfly and butterfly news


This is a green-eyed hawker video from Germany.

In 2012, there has been intensive research about butterflies and dragonflies in the Alblasserwaard region in the Netherlands.

25 butterfly species, and 35 dragonfly and damselfly species were found.

Among the dragonfly species is the green-eyed hawker; it expanded its range recently, which may be a good sign of improving water quality.

Other dragonfly species which are doing well are hairy dragonfly and scarce chaser.

Dutch dragonflies and damselflies in November: here.

November 2013. The flight season timing of a wide variety of butterflies is responsive to temperature and could be altered by climate change, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia (UBC) that leverages more than a century’s worth of museum and weather records: here.

Willow emerald damselfly video


This is a video about willow emerald damselflies.

They mate. Then, the female deposits eggs inside a tree’s branch.

Henk Dikkema from the Netherlands made this video.

Dragonfly depositing eggs, video


This video is about a female southern hawker dragonfly depositing eggs in the Netherlands.

The video is by Jeu Gielen.

Dragonflies and other insects


6 September 2013. Near the Losdorp garden, many dragonflies flying, and, sometimes, sitting down, on the hedge or on the reedbed along the ditch.

Are they common darters? Closely related, extremely similar species?  A mix of closely related species?

Small heath, Losdorp, 6 September 2013

Then, a small heath butterfly on the path.

Cranefly, Losdorp, 6 September 2013

In the hedge along the cemetery, many craneflies. Maybe the species Tipula paludosa?

Dragonfly on tombstone, Losdorp, 6 September 2013

Dragonflies here often sit down on tombstones. This one looks like a young male of a Sympetrum species. Common darter?

Hoverfly on flower, Losdorp, 7 September 2013

Along the path outside the cemetery, hoverflies and bees visit thistle and other flowers.

Small white butterfly, Losdorp, 6 September 2013

Small white butterflies as well.

Small tortoiseshell, Losdorp, 6 August 2013

A small tortoiseshell butterfly on a field. Later, another one on the road.

Dragonfly and butterflies in the garden


Male common darter

Today, a dragonfly sat for minutes on the almost gone flowers in the Losdorp garden.

It was a red male of one of the smaller species.

I would say: male common darter. Though this is a species very similar to other, related, species.

Also in the garden: two green-veined white butterflies.

Dragonfly video


This is a video of a broad-bodied darter dragonfly; a young female.

Walter Debloudts from the Netherlands made the video.

Good Dutch dragonfly summer


This is a yellow-winged darter video.

Translated from the Dutch Vlinderstichting entomologists today, on dragonflies in the Netherlands:

Species which usually are absent or infrequent here seem more present than in recent years. …

Thus, the southern darter was reported from twenty locations spread through the country. That might not be as impressive as the invasion of 2006, but still that is significantly more than in recent years. The yellow-winged darter seems less rare than in previous years this year as well.

Butterfly, dragonflies, roe deer video


This is a video about a green hairstreak butterfly, dragonflies, roe deer, Egyptian geese with goslings, and other wildlife in nature reserve Het Zwarte Gat near Zuidwolde (Drenthe province, the Netherlands)

The video is by Hilko Hof.

Dragonflies and damselflies in the Netherlands in 2013: here.

Kuwait birds, bat and dragonflies


By in Kuwait, with many more photos here:

Rarities and Early Migrants at Jahra Pools Reserve, Kuwait

July 13 2013

Jahra Pools Reserve (JPR) is a small fenced wetland reserve just off the coastline to the north of Kuwait City. Previously the pools were formed from a sewage outfall, but more recently a water network has been provided and this has allowed the pools to remain filled since the end of 2012.

As a result, JPR is one of the better locations to now visit all year round as there are always birds to be seen. More importantly the stable water supply has allowed many species to breed in late Spring including; Ferruginous Duck (1st for Kuwait and a Near Threatened species), Mallard (I know that is not generally something to get excited about), Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen, , , White-tailed Lapwing and probably .

Here is a Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) with it’s grown youngster.

Little Grebe adult and juvenile

Little Grebe adult and juvenile

And a female Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) possibly away from it’s nest.

Female Little Ringed Plover

Female Little Ringed Plover

As temperatures increase unbearingly, summer and the month of July is generally not the most productive time to look for birds. But birders will know that you only find birds if you make the time to go and look for them. This July we were fortunate to have two rarities turn up at JPR. The first was the 4th record of Masked Wagtail (Motacilla alba personata) for Kuwait, a really striking form of White Wagtail that is still considered a sub-species of White Wagtail.

Following hot on the heals of the Masked Wagtail, was another Kuwait rarity; two 1st year Black-winged Kites (Elanus caeruleus) that have now stayed at JPR for almost a week – whereas the Wagtail is long gone.

August is normally the start of the Autumn migration, but some species start off earlier and already in July we have had a smattering of early arrivals – mostly in the form of waders like Greenshank, Common and Spotted Redshank, Bar-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpipers and this Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), also Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola), and the impressive Near Threatened Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa). Sand Martins (Riparia riparia) and Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) numbers are slowly starting to increase.

A few migratory birds of colour have also start appearing and we welcome hearing the Blue-cheeked Bee Eaters (Merops persicus) calling overhead as they announce their arrival.

Black-headed Wagtails (Motacilla flava feldegg) is the first Yellow Wagtail sub-species to arrive, and surprisingly a heavily moulting Citrine Wagtail (Motacilla citreola) was also seen.

Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) is a winter visitor, so a summer occurrence is considered pretty scarce.

On my last visit, I was surprised to find a small bat flying around in daylight, but it soon found a place to roost in the reedbeds, although it was surprisingly hard to find after it had landed. It is a Kuhl’s Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus kuhlii).

Finally, when birding gets a little slow, I turn my attention to Dragonflies, although I don’t have any reference books to identify them – they are still great photographic subjects, even with a big piece of glass on the front of the camera.

As we move to the end of July we look forward to another exciting time in Kuwait birding – Autumn migration and the possibility of discovering another new species for Kuwait!

Rare dragonfly comeback in England


This video is called White-Faced Darter Mating.

From Wildlife Extra:

Rare dragonflies reintroduced into Cheshire

White-faced darter dragonfly back in Cheshire’s Delamere Forest

June 2013. One of the first stages of an ambitious five-year plan to reintroduce one of the UK’s rarest dragonflies back into the region – after a decade of absence – has been successfully completed.

The white-faced darter dragonfly was last seen in the wild in Cheshire over the pools of Delamere Forest in 2003. The Cheshire Wildlife Trust project team has now announced that in recent days they have seen adult white-faced darters flying, and recorded evidence of a number of other individuals emerging from the water in a specially selected pool where they were translocated earlier in the summer.

Improved habitat

The return of the dragonflies comes after several years of dedicated work to reinstate and improve lost habitats in partnership with the Forestry Commission, Cheshire West & Chester Council and a meticulous translocation process and carefully planned reintroduction. Such a scheme has only been attempted twice before in the UK, again with white-faced darters in Cumbria and with the southern damselfly in Devon.

It’s hoped the combined approach of creating suitable areas for the dragonflies to survive in pools within the forest, coupled with annual translocations and careful monitoring will see a self-sustaining population of white-faced darters back in the region within ten years.

Once common

The species is thought to have disappeared from the Delamere area following changes to the delicate water quality and levels of the pools they bred in during the late 1990s, but they would have been a common sight in the meres and mosses landscape of the North West in centuries gone by.

The project follows the successful reintroduction of the species in Cumbria, where Cheshire Wildlife Trust staff have been observing the techniques needed to achieve the ground-breaking move.

“We’re extremely excited after months of preparation to see this iconic dragonfly species back where it belongs”, said Dr. Vicky Nall who has been heavily involved in the extensive research behind the project.

“Our first challenge was to collect the amazingly colourful ‘highlighter pen’ green larvae – just a few millimetres long – from sites where Natural England has generously allowed us access at Fenn’s & Whixall and Chartley mosses, both National Nature Reserves.

“The work done by partners including the Forestry Commission meant that we were confident in making the translocation now, safe in the knowledge that the habitat is as good as it can be to receive the dragonflies.”

Once the dragonflies begin to emerge, researchers will monitor their numbers through tracking flying adults and also by counting the empty larval cases the dragonflies leave behind on vegetation emerging from the water.

See also here.

Pictures of damselflies and dragonflies: here.