Sunday, 15 July 2018

Small Red-eyed Damselflies

My only previous sighting of a Small Red-eyed Damselfly (SRED) in Leicestershire was of a male and female at Brascote Pits. However, that pit has been out of bounds for two years. With all this lovely sunshine surely this summer is going to be as good as any to find more?

Well last weekend Adey Baker and I found a small number at Croft Quarry Nature Trail pond. They were out on the small lillypads and so distant for photography.

SRED is a recent colonist to the UK with the first sighting dating back to 1999. The first Leicestershire record was in 2006 at Priory Water.

Yesterday I located at least thirty individuals on two newish ponds near Cotesbach. The ponds are quite shallow, so I went for a paddle and got very close to some of these tiny little beauties. Today I made more discoveries at Mere Lane Lake, Bittesby where there may have been over 100 and Shawell GP where I saw half a dozen and also a few Large Red-eyed Damselflies as well.

Male Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Female Small Red-eyed Damselfly
A few Emerald Damselflies were frequenting a small pond at Cotesbach Landfill site, which was a new record for the site.

Emerald Damselfly

Monday, 25 June 2018


It's a good time for insects at the moment as far as the weather is concerned. I added a dragonfly to my life list on Saturday. I took a drive up to Kegworth in the north of Leicestershire where the River Soar meanders peacefully towards the Trent. In recent years a small number of Scarce Chasers have made their home along the county border north of Kegworth. I was fortunate to find five males and one of them posed well.

Scarce Chaser, River Soar, Kegworth

Also quite a few Banded Demoiselles fluttered around the river bank. Not always easy to photograph as they are flighty, but a few showed off for the camera.

Banded Demoiselle, River Soar, Kegworth

After this I headed off to Shawell and the gulls were not playing, so I had a look at the ponds off Shawell Lane where at least 20 Black-tailed Skimmers were bombing around.

Black-tailed Skimmer, Shawell Lane Ponds

After that Marbled Whites took over. Half a dozen were in the long grass at the back of Shawell Gravel Pits and at Croft Quarry on Sunday morning, Adey Baker and I found about 20 on the embankment near the picnic tables.

Marbled White

Sunday, 10 June 2018

Osprey at Brascote Pits

There has only been three previous accepted records of Osprey in the south-west Leicestershire area. Whilst at Brascote Pits today Adey Baker and I bumped into Colin Green. Whilst we were chatting we noticed the resident Oystercatchers were a bit agitated. We all noticed a Buzzard over the far pit and thought that was the cause of their angst and carried on talking. I then noticed a large raptor overhead and almost dismissed it as the Buzzard. Luckily I raised my bins and realised it was an Osprey and shouted Osprey! It circled around for a while with a Buzzard joining it.

Osprey, Brascote Pits, June 10th 2018

Brascote Pits is in bloom at present with lots of orchids. Southern Marsh, Common Spotted, Pyramidial and Bee Orchid plus lots of hybrid Common Spotted x Southern Marsh.

Southern Marsh Orchid

Bee Orchid

Southern Marsh x Common Spotted Orchids

Friday, 8 June 2018

German Ringed Gull Improving With Age

Last weekend I saw a colour-ringed gull from the German mixed colonies. I first saw this bird as a juvenile back in 2017 when it didn't look anything like a Caspian Gull. However, last week it looked distinctly more Caspian like although still not perfect.

X735, June 2018

X735, September 2017

Thursday, 31 May 2018


After finding a couple of Sanderling at Brascote Pits on Friday/Saturday I enjoyed about 18 of them on the beach at Titchwell in splendid sunshine.

There was quite a variety and some looked a little skinny to me. I hope they weren't starving?