As a site it's seen better days. Overgrown and high water levels mean there's never much more than the residents to see on the main pond, and viewing from the road is now much hampered by the thriving hawthorn hedge blocking sight of the main field opposite the car park. The roadside verges are way overgrown, covering the fence all the way along which was always likely to attract numerous basking darters in late summer.
Despite all this I really enjoyed a couple of hours wandering up and down the road looking for dragons, this had been my local patch for 12 years, it has given me some of my favourite wildlife watching moments, it was like visiting an old friend back in my home town, and in the main I wasn't disappointed.
My target was Ruddy Darter, last year I failed for the first time to find one at Far Pasture despite many visits. Today I checked and double-checked every darter I encountered along the roadside, but no luck.
Up to 3 Migrant Hawkers and a single Moorland were sighted in the bull field area (and half a dozen bulls), but it was the forbidden pond which came up trumps.
It's looking a lot better now, and the darters seemed to like it with over a dozen ovipositing pairs and several single males patrolling and fighting, but the biggest surprise was the damselflies. I would expect to get Emeralds this late in the season and saw 2 males, last year I had a late common blue on September 18th, today (11th) there were 3 present, but the biggest surprise was seeing a Blue-tailed damselfly with them, my previous late record being August 20th in 2015 (though I had reports of 8+ the same year at Kibllesworth on Sept 7th).
I also had a possible Ruddy Darter sighting here, a small red darter hovering in front of me momentarily before zipping off over a nettle bed never to be seen again, it looked good, deep red abdomen, bulging at the tip and looked relatively small, but I guess I'll never know for sure.
|Basking dragons on the visible sections of roadside fence - a male common darter|
|A female common darter|
|The same female common darter|
|Big zoom record shot of one of the three common blue damsels on the Forbidden Pond|
|Big zoom record shot of the male blue-tailed damsel in the same area|
|Still plenty of Red Admirals around, been a brilliant late summer for this species|