Red-eyed Damselfly discovered in Wakefield

On 21st July 2014, Paul Meredith found a red-eyed damselfly (Erythromma najas)  at Nostell Pond  (SE39701712) and this was the first time this species was recorded locally.  At the time  there was speculation that, because of the late date, it could have been a member of a breeding colony. As today was the first hot and sunny day after a very cold May,a search of the ponds was undertaken by Pete Smith and Ange Smith and they confirmed that there is a breeding colony of red-eyed damselfly  at the site. 14 males and 4 mating pairs were seen on and around the waterlilies and algae patches.

Red-eyed damselfly is known to be spreading northwards very quickly over the past few years and it was only a matter of time before the species was recorded in the Wakefield area. Previously, good numbers of this beautiful species could be seen along the Pocklington Canal in York. It will be interesting to see where they are discovered next within the district.

red-eyed damselfly

red-eyed damselfly at Nostell Pond (Photo: Pete Smith)

Sparrowhawk on the Westgate run!

Viv Owen, an artist who has a studio on Westgate, sent me a note to say she has been watching a visitor to the fire escape metal works who had been there for most of the day. This new visitor came to her attention because all the pigeons that frequent the rooftops of her Westgate studio and other buildings, had completely disappeared and were noted by their absence! When I saw the photos she’d sent me, I was not surprised the pigeons had made a rapid exit, the bird in question was a large female sparrowhawk.

I’m hoping Viv is going to text me to say it is still there when she next visits her studio, I will be off like a shot to try and get a photo but in the meantime, here are a few that Viv captured of this magnificent visitor to the city.Click here for Viv’s website

 Goshawk in WakefieldGoshawk in Wakefield

Little Auk at Wintersett

With little auks being seen off the coast in good numbers over the last few days, it may not have been entirely unexpected that one would turn up inland but it was certainly a massive find for one birder at Anglers CP. Within minutes the grape vine was buzzing and the local birders were dreaming up all sorts of excuses to get out of work early to get this mega rarity on their list. It was the first record for Wintersett, though not the first for Wakefield. The bird seemed lively enough and was actively feeding for most of the afternoon but, as darkness fell and the wind became stronger, it was seen to crawl out onto the bank and huddle sown beneath a sedge tussock.

Eventually the bird was picked up and sheltered overinight before being released at Bridlington the next day where it was watched flying out to sea, Hopefully, it will have made a full recovery.

Little auk at Anglers Country Park

American vagrant at Pugneys: Pectoral Sandpiper

Birders were flocking to Pugneys CP today to have a look at the recently discovered Pectoral Sandpiper that has be blown into the district on the tail-end of the hurricane that has just battered the coast of America. The juvenile bird can be seen frequenting the shoreline near the boat launch/bird feeding area.