The water was fresh and clear but receding alarmingly, potentially stranding the fish that were clearly visible in one part. All around the Pool Marsh Frogs were either calling or hoping out of sight as I passed.
|Newly emerged Damselfly with exuvia|
Also on the wing were Emperors and the smaller but more numerous Black-tailed Skimmer. Many of the latter were copulating. Teneral Common Darters were also present in decent numbers.
I then bumped into fellow nature nerd and birder JT. We spent a good while speculating on a few red coloured darters that were ,well, darting around and occasionally perching up. Unfortunately the perching point was that bit too far off for my close focus x 6.5 bins I had chosen for the morning, and a bit too close for his scope !
The general initial feeling was possible Red-veined Darter, but the lack of optical assistance and very harsh light made picking up the salient features very difficult, despite a fair stint of observation. In the end the feeling was they were probably Ruddy Darter's, still a year first. However, I had my superzoom camera, so took the best pics I could of the pesky beast.
Fast farward a few days and I was trawling through my pics, and checked out the mystery darter. To my surprise I had a reasonable-ish image that showed yellow pterostigma with a black border,and a definite red veinining to the wing ..!
To be sure, I contacted the county expert Mike Averill who confirmed the ID as a muture Red-veined Darter.
This was the first recording of the species this year in VC37. It occurred on the same site in 2012 ( when I was lucky enough to see and photograph them ), and previous to that was recorded in the county on that site in 2002,2003,2006.
|Red-veined Darter 17th July 2013|