Saturday, July 25, 2015

First Birding on Broadmeade Group Pond Watch

This morning eight folks joined me for the first Birding on Broadmeade group Pond Watch. Pond Watch is a citizen science project to monitor migratory dragonflies. I've been participating in this project by myself on the last dam of Lake Creek sporadically for a couple years, but like many citizen science projects, the more people participate the better. The main barrier to participating in Pond Watch is learning how to identify the five species of migratory dragonflies that it tracks. Everything else is pretty darn easy. So I decided to start a new monthly group walk that concentrates on teaching people how to identify these fives species of dragonflies. The five species are:

  • Black Saddlebags
  • Wandering Glider
  • Spot-winged Glider
  • Common Green Darner
  • Variegated Meadowhawk

Recognizing them is tricky.
Four of the five species rarely stop flying, so you have to recognize them on the wing. This morning we saw the first four (Variegated Meadowhawk is a fall and winter species). My hope is that next spring some of the folks coming on these walks will learn these species well enough to start their own Pond Watch. Here's the complete list of dragonflies and damselflies we saw this morning:

  1.  American Rubyspot
  2.  Black Saddlebags
  3.  Blue Dasher
  4.  Commanche Skimmer
  5.  Common Green Darner
  6.  Eastern Pondhawk
  7.  Four-spotted Pennant
  8.  Halloween Pennant
  9.  Neon Skimmer
  10.  Powdered Dancer
  11.  Prince Baskettail
  12.  Rambur's Forktail
  13.  Red Saddlebags
  14.  Red-tailed Pennant
  15.  Roseate Skimmer
  16.  Spot-winged Glider
  17.  Wandering Glider
  18.  Widow Skimmer
Here are two of the species we saw this morning. These Halloween Pennants were common:

Halloween Pennant

And there were a few of these Four-spotted Pennants around too:

Four-spotted Pennant

And here are a few more photos.

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