Sunday, August 23, 2015

Birding on Broadmeade Pond Watch

Yesterday morning nine folks joined me for the second group Pond Watch on Lake Creek Trail. Like last month, we met at the Parmer Village pond and counted dragonflies between there and the last dam on the creek about a half mile away. One of the fun things about being a naturalist is seeing seasonal changes in new ways. And in just two monthly Pond Watch observations, dragonflies are showing the transition from summer to fall. Overall diversity was down; we found 15 species versus last month's 18. And numbers of non-migratory species were down too. This reflects the relatively short lifespan of adult dragonflies. They are mostly creatures of spring and summer.

But numbers of four of the five migratory species that Pond Watch tracks were up. I think this reflects  dragonflies from further north arriving here in central Texas on their way south. These four species (Wandering Glider, Spot-winged Glider, Common Green Darner, and Black Saddlebags) were all constantly flying, and the only one I was able to photograph was this Wandering Glider which hovered in one place long enough for me to get this shot:

Wandering Glider

A non-migratory species that we did not see last month was this dramatically marked Broad-striped Forceptail, a member of the clubtail family:

Broad-striped Forceptail - 1

The most interesting non-dragonfly observation we made was this Praying Mantis eating some kind of skipper butterfly that Kathy McCormack found on a Leavenworth's Eryngo plant:

Praying Mantis Eating Skipper

It was a fun morning sharing my new interest in dragonflies with the group. Here's our complete species list of dragonflies and damselflies:

  1. American Rubyspot       
  2. Black Saddlebags        
  3. Blue Dasher             
  4. Broad-striped Forceptail
  5. Common Green Darner     
  6. Common Whitetail        
  7. Eastern Pondhawk        
  8. Four-spotted Pennant    
  9. Powdered Dancer         
  10. Rambur's Forktail       
  11. Red Saddlebags          
  12. Roseate Skimmer         
  13. Spot-winged Glider      
  14. Wandering Glider        
  15. Widow Skimmer           

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