Godspeed You! Vagrant Emperor

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Monday, 25 April 2011 18:50

I played a dangerous game today and decided not to twitch the Vagrant Emperor Hemianax ephippiger dragonflies at Dungeness. I then decided I would after a late start and arrived at a very casual 13.00 pm. Fortunately for me, my laziness and indecision paid off as I walked straight up to a male and avoided a long wait! I would have been really fed up if I had dipped though. I saw one male for perhaps no more than ten minutes and it was then seen to fly off, over a field out of site. I have to admit I knew very little about this animal before today but the BDS website states it's a long distance migrant coming from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. There were as many as three there yesterday if what I heard was true and there has been an influx in France also. I saw Lesser Emperor at Dungeness in 2001 and apart from the time of year I would have thought it was that to start with.

I had no chance with my Coolpix but see Jake's blog for some good shots. I did get this video on the Canon though. I am always surprised at what the microphone pics up on this camera. You can hear Marsh Frogs, Canada Geese, camera shutters, Lydd airport and even the Dymchurch railway!
Prior to rushing off to Kent I popped into Crispin Holloway's folk's garden again and was amazed at the array of insects there including Dingy Skippers, Small Purple-barred, Green Carpet, three species of Pyrausta, Osmia bicolor and a squash bug which was new to me, Coriomeris denticulatus. Back to Dungeness and at the dragonfly twitch I met up with Mark Telfer and as I was showing Mark the bug, bizarrely there was another one right at our feet!? Anyway, always good to spend any time in the field with Mark as I always add a few things to my list, not only do I have him to thank for the dragonfly tip off but he also showed me Cepero's Groundhoppers and Leistus fulvibarbis. Four species up to day leaving me on 3274.

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