Until today the recording area at St-Lazare sand pits had 74 species to its name. Now it has 76!
New species #1 – I was walking the seepage spring that feeds into the seasonal pool at the west end of the site. I’d been on-site for about one and a half hours hoping to catch up with an emerald species glimpsed yesterday. I was a bit late getting there and the heat of the day had dispersed many insects and I’d missed the odeists version of the dawn chorus, the bit where the odes emerge from their night roost to stretch their wings and kill something. I’d walked the same beat a couple of times, catching a few spreadwings and bluets but they can wait for another post. I glimpsed the bluishness of what I presumed to be an immature Eastern Forktail Ischnura verticalis (Agrion vertical) but wait, this was a chubby looking thing but where did it go?
After five minutes of grilling the bank side vegetation I found it, a male Elfin Skimmer Nannothemis bella (Nannothème d’elfe) – new for the site and new for me, hurrah! Photographing it was a little more challenging than it needed to be. Eventually I managed a few record shots (see below). I knew that these things were tiny but really, this was a small ode.
I decided to slow walk the seepage the whole way around to see whether I could find any more, I couldn’t but I latched onto a tiny damselfly in some vegetation mid-seep. Expecting it to be a Sedge Sprite Nehalennia irene (Déesse paisible) I focussed and there was new species #2. I have the luxury of a pair of Swarovski 10 x50 Swarovision bins that focus to 1.5m, superb for birds and superb for odeing. I stared at the slim and feeble form before me and something in my mind was saying hang on, no, this is a Sphagnum Sprite Nehalennia gracilis (Déesse gracieuse) and it was.
If had been asked to guess at the next site addition I would probably have gone for Stream Cruiser, after that who could say? I’d never have come up with today’s pair.
Below are the skimmer shots, also a Google Earth view of the site, east is right as you view. I didn’t get a sprite shot (in focus) so I’ve included one from elsewhere to illustrate.