Monday, 26 August 2013

Today's Findings

After a 3 week sabbatical (due to holiday) from the Farm I spent 4 hours down there this morning. It was lovely down there this morning. A lot of birds around - in particular hurindines are gathering for there trip south - a flock of over a 100 was buzzing about all morning (mixture of Swallow, Sand and House Martins).

There were lots of dragonflies and butterflies about. I found my first Common Hawker. Here are some pics. I also checked the webcam and found another new addition!

Clouded Yellow

Common Hawker



Golden Ringed

Newly emerged Migrant Hawker

Small Copper

Speckled Wood

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Latest stuff

This weather continues to be amazing for Dragonflies at the Farm. We have hundreds of Keeled Skimmers, up to 20 RVDs and many Golden Ringed (as well as good numbers of our locals). I also found a Southern Hawker this weekend. I am leading a walk next Sunday at 10am - feel free to come along!

One species that is prospering at the Farm is the Adder. This female here looks like she has just eaten - I wonder how many mammals or bird babies are inside her?

Female Adder

Newly emerged Common Darter

Common Darter

Golden Ringed Dragonfly

Golden Ringed Dragonfly


Male Southern Hawker

Monday, 15 July 2013

Dragonflies a plenty!

The Farm is bursting with insect life at the moment. There at least 20 Red Veined Darters on the Big Pond - these are a rare Dragonfly in the UK but we always get a few at Windmill Farm. Here are a few shots that I took on Sunday.
Four Spotted Chaser

Female Broad Bodied Chaser

Male Broad Bodied Chaser

Common Darter

Emperor Laying

Keeled Skimmer

Female RVD


laying - fresh ones in September!!

Male RVD

Male RVD

Monday, 1 July 2013

Tolvaddon and Bell Lake Marsh

I went on the BDS 30th anniversary walk on Sunday. We went to the old mine works at Tolvaddon and then onto Bell Lake Marsh. The walk was led by Steve Jones. He and his fellow Red River Rescuers have done a fantastic job on the site. I got a couple of ticks in Small Red Dams and Scarce Blue Tail Dams. a few pics below. Keep up the great work guys!

Azure Damselfly and Some type of Crab Spider

Female Scarce Blue Tail Dams

Keeled Skimmer

Male Keeled Skimmer

Small Red Dams

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Couple of half decent images from today

Went down looking for Marsh Frits - no luck Did meet me old mate "Andy" who lives under one of my tins. His belly was swollen!

Andy the adder

Also when the sun came out there was a few insects on the wing.
4 Spotted Chaser

Captured on cam!

Look what was captured on cam last week! I have been trying to get footage of otters (which I know are occasional visitors to the Farm). A very good substitute strolled on cam! There have been 2 previous sightings of Roe Deer at the Farm (both bucks) and there have been a lot of deer prints this year - hopefully we have some residents.  I also captured this little guy letting others know that the boardwalk is his! Also 2 Marsh Fritts were reported on the 21st June. To look for Marsh Fritts walk along the small boardwalk towards Dragonfly Ponds and turn left before going into Dragonfly Ponds field - follow the hedgerow and keep looking! Alternatively they are often at the southern end of the big boardwalk (just outside the gate at end of boardwalk). If it is sunny next week they will be there.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


Here a couple of shots of some of the flora in bloom at the moment. The Pygmy Rush is nationally under threat and Windmill Farm has greatly contributed to its survival. The Foxglove is being inspected by a Silver Y moth.

Heath Spotted Orchid

Pygmy Rush

Foxglove and Silver Y

Dragons and Dams

I visited the Farm on 4 consecutive days last week (Mon - Fri) as the weather was pretty favourable for Marsh Fritillaries - alas I did not find any. I am hoping that we have not lost our colony. Anyway the Dragon and Damselflys took advantage of the sunny weather. Here are some of the shots that I took (all hand held):

Male Beautiful Damselfly

Female Beautiful Damselfly
Large Red Damselfly

What you looking at?
Azure Damsels
Broad Bodied Chaser

Black Tailed Skimmer

Common Blue Damsels
Blue Tailed Damsel

I will get the tripod out next time and get some sharper images!

Sunday, 2 June 2013


I went down today specifically looking for the emergence of Marsh Fritalliries and Emperor Dragonflys. I was successful on the latter. I saw a nymph climb up a reed and here is what occurred:

1.Here he comes - what a great sight! This creature has been lurking in the pond for a year.

2.The emerging dragonfly was not climbing up the plant - it seems to have flipped downwards.

3. Still going downward! It then dropped into the water! Cue the rescue - wellies and socks off I waded out and got him/her.

4. I put him on some gorse to dry out and he was moving. I then went for a walk.

5. This is what I found when I came back - gutted!

On a happier note here are a pair of Azure Damselflys: