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I was witness to a most amazing, real life, drama over the weekend. Continuing with my quest, on behalf of the British Dragonfly Society, to survey a square kilometre of the Thames from Swinford Lock, past the old canal and on up to the entrance to the River Evenlode, for the emergence of the rare Club-tail dragonfly. It is listed as ‘Near Threatened’ on the British Red List. Past experience over the last couple of weeks suggests that they like the cover of the wooded section of the path, and where the water current slows in the meanders.

Clubtail1The vegetation has really shot up after this week’s rain, and the better temperatures. So I concentrate my searches in this area, negotiating narrow gaps down to the river’s edge. Once in place I start looking for the larva. The hope is to find one that has not emerged yet but I am happy to find empty exuvia too as this suggests activity for the survey.

Dragonfly walk on the Thames Path, Part 1

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Arriving a little later than planned, parking at the Talbot pub carpark, I set off along the Wharf footpath. The first field was filled predominantly with grasses, buttercups and dandelions, a yellow carpet interspersed with silver dandelion clocks.

Reaching the end of the field I crossed the concrete bridge by the sluice gate to the sound of rushing water, rain from the last day or so has increased the general flow in the stream. The vegetation has grown up a lot in the last few weeks and the weather has warmed and droplets of water glisten in the sunlight left over from last night’s downpour. May has arrived with a vengeance.

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