A ‘first’ Scarce Chaser for North Devon

How exciting! #30DaysWild no 16, the Devon dragonfly recorder confirms that this beautiful beast, which we found yesterday, is a Scarce Chaser, and is the first record for the North Devon region.

Scarce Chasers, or to give them their Latin name Libellula fulva, have been expanding their range in recent years, with new sightings from places they weren’t previously being reported. Our copy of the dragonfly atlas shows new records for Dorset and Somerset between 2000 and 2012, a few near to Exeter. This species colonised Exminster Marshes in 2007. There have also been a few sightings along the south coast of Devon as far as Kingsbridge, but none in North Devon, Central Devon and only one in Cornwall.

So even though we were fairly sure what it was (it’s pretty striking, and not like anything else we’ve seen here at Wheatland Farm), we checked it out via email with the experts. And it’s confirmed – an immature female Scarce Chaser.

It’s at its best too – they go a duller brown as they mature. They like slow flowing rivers, with lots of vegetation, but also sometimes breed in ponds and ditches. So we might get lucky. The wildlife pond below Balebarn Eco Lodge would be suitable – with it’s fringing bull rushes and reeds. We’ll keep watching.

Previously on #30DaysWild

This time last year: we were again enjoying insect life, especially the sheer buzz of it all.

This time in 2019:  The teasels we planted outside Nuthatch Lodge had put on a growth spurt. Although they didn’t really establish there, they are plentiful elsewhere at Wheatland Farm, and provide lovely winter food for goldfinches.

This time in 2018: We were planting out those teasels, collected from seed that sprouted in our farmhouse garden.

This time in 2017: It was a lovely evening for a game of badminton at the mown court in front of Honeysuckle and Nuthatch Lodges.