Saturday, 18 September 2021

Ruddy Darters

Managed to grab an hour out at lunchtime today, and spent it wandering around Lower Bruckland Ponds. I had a wonderful welcome...

Looking at the top two photos remind me how much I prefer 'in habitat' shots. They have to be right, there is a fine line between a good 'in habitat' shot and a bad record shot, but I enjoy how they make me feel.  A good 'in habitat' shot can literally take me away and make me feel like I am in the field watching the bird. I can't say a full frame feather-perfect shot has ever make me feel that way, however much I admire the picture. 

It was nice to see a few dragonflies and damselflies still on the wing, in the surprisingly warm weather. Several Migrant and a few Southern Hawkers were expected, as were the masses of Common Darters, but I wasn't expecting to see a Golden-ringed Dragonfly, several Common Blue Damselflies and even a couple of Small Red-eyed Damselflies! The highlight however were two cracking male Ruddy Darters, my first on patch for a couple of years so a real bonus.  Interestingly they were in exactly the same spot that I saw two males in July/August 2018 - but not in the intervening two years.

Check out that figure!

They really are a different sort of red

Left side

Right side

You may have guessed from the photo overload, but Ruddy Darters are one of my favourites.  The fact I see them so infrequently is a real shame, and a far cry from the early 00's when they were so easy to see along the ditches and paths at Seaton Marshes.

I wonder what other insect surprises 2021 has left in it? One or two more would be nice...


  1. Another nice post Steve. I remember you showing me Ruddy Darters at Seaton Marshes several years ago. Still the only ones I've ever seen. 😊 👍

    1. Ah thanks Gav! Yes, the farmer who was on the land south of the reserve at the time, took it upon himself to dredge all their favourite ditches. And that really seems to have finished them off!