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Wednesday 5th July (part 2)

Oops, i just realised that I had actually missed of part of  my 5th July visit on the last post.  I actually spent an hour down at Hillditch Pool after leaving the Common so, I will now endeavour to rectify this and finish the days post!

Wednesday 5th July (continued):
From the Common I headed over to Hillditch to check on the Odonata.  Dragonfly wise there were 3♂ Emperor present, 2 Brown Hawker and an overmature female Scarce Chaser.  Damselfly species  observed at the site this afternoon were Banded Demoiselle, Red-eyed, Blue-tailed, Common Blue and Azure.

Overmature ♀ Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva)
















Red-eyed Damselflies (Erythromma najas) in copulation
 















Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
















Whilst sat at the edge of what I call the rear pool (ie. the one that doesn't have lily pads on it) I was treated to great views of a Small Skipper butterfly that had come down to take salts from the bare muddy ground at the pools edge.

Many butterfly species can be seen doing this at times and although butterflies get much of their nutrition from flower nectar it lacks some important nutrients the butterflies need for reproduction.   To take on these, butterflies will visit puddles and muddy ground.  By sipping moisture from mud puddles butterflies are able to take in salts and minerals from the soil.  This behaviour is most frequently seen in male butterflies who use the extra salts and minerals in the production of their sperm. 

Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) taking salts



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