Read about the life and work of the Attingham Wardens

Attingham Park is a National Trust property comprising of an 18th Century mansion set in a Repton landscape; the Park and wider Estate includes a deer park, walled garden, several miles of the rivers Severn and Tern, extensive farmland and woodlands.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Summer holidays and fun down on the pond

The holidays are here and the hot weather continues. This weekend we have been offering pond dipping and dragonfly watching on the Mile Meadow pond. We had quite a few families in yesterday and the kids had a great time discovering snails, water boatmen, damselfly larvae and newts, plus the chance to see some damselflies up close. There were several damselflies around that I netted and put into pots for the kids to see - azures, blue-tailed, large reds, emeralds and banded demoiselles.Unfortunately the overcast day meant that few dragonflies were out on the wing - but we did spot a common darter, and brown hawker and an emperor.
A male emerald damselfy (Lestes sponsa)

The children found plently of newts!

After release, the emerald damselfly rests
Right at the end of the day, however, Jess managed a brilliant catch and netted the emperor! They are often impossible to catch - they are in near constant flight and change speed and direction with ease. By chance this one came low and close enough and we all got to have a close look at this magnificent dragonfly. On inspection we found that his wings were in a poor state, indicating that he was quite old - all four wings were torn and ragged. He still managed to fly off though.

Dragonflies have excellent vision - no wonder with these huge eyes!

The emperor dragonfly (Anax imperator)
 Attingham is a great site for spotting dragon and damselflies - keep an eye out for hawkers on the Mile Walk, banded demoiselles down by the river and emperors, skimmers and chasers on the Deer Park pond. Let me know what you find!

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