Meldale morning walk

February 27, 2016

While walking the dog over the last few mornings we have seen the dragonflies on the move ealry due to the continuing hot weather.  SE QLD has still temperatures of over 30oC and it remains very dry.  We have had only 38 mm so far in February with one day to go so it is very dry.  The heat and the wind due to ex cylcone Winston are leading to rapidly shrinking dams.  In the shallower ones the water get quite hot. The Lorikeets are finding it hard too as flowering has mainly stopped with the dry weather. Our local ones are currently feeding on Cocus Palm flowers.

 

I have seen my first blue spotted hawker (Aeshna brevistyla)this week and a further black-faced percher (Diplacodes memanopis).  The most common dragonfly near the big dam is the long- tailed dusk darter - more than any other year. The short- tailed dusk darters are easy to pick by their dark wing tips in the early morning and evenings as they fly rapidly across the surface of the dams but its hard to find a still one for a photo.  I was lucky this week and found one resting in a Golden Cane. The emeralds are still breeding and this morning I was able to photo Eastern Swamp Emeralds in paired formation. 

 So far the commonest blue dragonflies have been Blue Skimmer and Palemouth with no sightings of Black-Headed Skimmers. I have seen only 1 teneral Chalky Percher yet last year it was the most common and had a very long season.

With the reds, the Fiery Skimmer is by far the most common with a few Red Arrow and Common Gliders and one Red Barron seen.

I have noticed there are very few damsels of any species on any dam this year.

 

On the mud flats there are red gliders which are often hard to pin to a species.  Here we have occasional Narrow- Lobed Glider (Trapezostigma stenoloba) and Dune Gliders (Trapezostigma eurybia) as well as the Common Glider (Trapezostigma loewii).  It can take a surprising number of photos to find the pale areas on the side of the red saddle bags on their wings which is distinctive for the Common Glider. Until then there is the hope it will be one of the rarer species of red glider and I keep collecting photos just in case. I have seen 2  Wandering Perchers this last week, Although common in SE QLD they seem to be more and autumn /winter dragonfly and are not around in the summer months.


Walking the dog over the last feww morings have seen the dragonflies on th emove ealry due to the continuing hot weather.  We have still temperatures of over 30oC  in SE QLD and it remains very dry.  We have had only 38 mm so far in February with one day to go so it is very dry.  The heat and the wind due to ex cylone Winston are leading to rapidly shrinking dams.  In the shallower ones the water get quite hot. In the dry weather the nectar can be diffcult to find and we see lorikeets in the cocus palm flowers when there is little else flowering.

I have seen my first blue spotted hawker (Aeshna brevistyla) this morning.  Also this week further black-faced percher (Diplacodes memanopis) hav been seen and many more long tailed duskdarter (Zyomma petiolatum) more than any other year I have ever seen. Emerlads are still pairing and I was lucky this morning to collect a photo of a pair of Eastern swamp Emeralds (Procordulia jacksoniensis). On the salt flats I have spent ages on two occassions trying to identify a red glider which I thhink inthe end I was happy to leave as the common red glider but not until I had taken many shots.  We have seen both long lobed gliders and the loccassional Dune glider so finding the gap int he saddle bags characteristic of the Common GLider is essential.

Locations visited

Meldale

Wildlife

Dragonflies 6 species
Zyxomma elgneri 3 busy on the dams at dusk and early morning
Eastern Swamp Emerald (Procordulia jacksoniensis) 2 paired
Common Glider (Trapezostigma loewii) 2 on mud flats
Wandering Percher (Diplacodes bipunctata) 2 just starting to appear on the mud flats
Black-faced Percher (Diplacodes melanopsis) 1
Blue-spotted Hawker (Aeshna brevistyla) 1 blue spots showing

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Written by

Helen Leonard

Published To

Australia Dragonflies

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