Devon Group field meetings
Only two of us started the walk for beginners at Stover Country Park on 15 June, jointly celebrating the BDS 30th anniversary and the British Ecological Society’s centennial. After an early shower and hence a slow start, first a Hairy Dragonfly exuvia was found and then commoner damselflies in sheltered suntraps, plus a Red-eyed Damselfly sitting out on pondweed. Close to the pond where the damselflies had been found we disturbed single Emperor, Broad-bodied and Four-spotted Chasers and Black-tailed Skimmer. After lunch, with our number now up to four, the lake produced two distant Hairy Dragonflies, while another pond held three more, including one egg-laying, and another Red-eyed. Most surprising, however, was the discovery of four Southern Hawker exuviae, one with the adult still ‘pumping up’. Around some new ponds just outside the park we later found lots of Black-tailed skimmer exuviae and 2-3 Beautiful Demoiselles, bringing our total for the day to 12 species.
Two reasonable days in a row was too much to expect and on the 16th it rained during the morning and the temperature stuck at a mere 12C! Two brave souls turned up at Countess Wear for a joint Exeter CC/BDS walk along the Exeter Canal. Search as we might, not even a damselfly could be found and the day was abandoned soon after 11:00.