Friday, 29 May 2015

You're so beautiful.

I'm in Kent house and pussy sitting and managed the first of my target species on Wednesday.
I've seen Banded Demoiselle in Northumberland and Durham but the Beautiful Demoiselle doesn't occur in our region so having seen one of the possible sites in Kent i decided to go for it. Warren Baker has a blog PITTSWOOD BIRDS and he describes his patch and sightings well. This was the place to find one hopefully so i set the satnav and off i drove. Turning off the A26 just before Tonbridge i headed up a stunning country lane and shortly after i spotted a gentleman sporting bins and a camera so pulled over and asked in my broad geordie accent (as reported elsewhere earlier !!!)" You don't happen to be the Pittswood Birder by any chance ?" "Yes" was the reply. Brilliant.
I explained that i was hoping to see a Beautiful Demoiselle and immediately he offered to show me around his patch and that with a bit of luck we might just get one. Talking me through the various habitats we passed through we eventually reached the "Scrubby Woods" where the Dems generally turned up. After 30 minutes or so doing a couple of circuits of the area which had lots of nettles, some of which were waist high, Warren spotted the quarry high in an oak tree. I took some images and enjoyed what views i was getting in my binoculars but Warren wanted me to see one close up. Another hour and quite a few more circuits and a heck of a lot more rashes we found one at shoulder height. What a fabulous creature.
MALE Beautiful Demoiselle
I would have struggled to find the "Scrubby Woods" never mind the Demoiselle if it hadn't have been for Warren and during our conversations i discovered that he had given up driving. I had planned to go to Westbere Lakes, a brilliant site in Kent for Dragonflies, next week but it turned out Warren was off to Wales on holiday on Saturday so i arranged to pick him up the following day so we could both head there to try and find the Scarce Chaser Dragonfly a species that would be another first for me and as it turned out for him. Fingers crossed we would get reasonable weather.


  1. Excellent John, hadn't realised they were 'tree huggers'. Maybe I was just looking in the wrong place when I visited a site in the lake district last year and came away empty-handed.

  2. The area on Warrens patch was wooded with small clearings letting light in and creating areas protected from the wind generally. Lots of nettles, which i've noticed the Banded Dems favour.

  3. John,
    I ve been called lots of things, but rarely has gentleman been among them! I was pleased you got the Beautiful Demoiselle, especially now I see you got some great images of one :-) Good luck next week mate!

  4. If you tell my what 2 x 2 makes, not only will i call you a gentleman but i'll add scholar to that ! I only got the BM thanks to your good self. Hope you get something special while you're in Wales.