A visit to the gardens last Friday in order check out late summer dragonflies and damsel flies, turned out to be one of the best trips for wildlife I have had to this site. Starting out at the fountain we had our first dragonfly species, a single female Southern Darter ovipositing on the pond vegetation, along with a lone Blue-tailed Damselfly.
On the main lake there was plenty of dragonfly activity in the form of Common and Ruddy Darters, Brown Hawkers and hovering Migrant Hawkers. There were also small numbers of Common Blue Damselflies. The main entertainment here however was provided by a pair of Kingfishers who performed a number of flybys over the lake.
On the western edge of the lake we found two Water Voles, one of which was content to feed just a few feet from us allowing great views and photo opportunities.
At about this time last year, I had photographed a pair of mating Willow Emerald Damselflies which was a first for this site and I was hoping to find evidence that they had become established here. We found one male specimen in the exact location the pair had been seen the previous year, and the following day another observer found five. This along with other sightings suggests this species is now well established in Cambridgeshire.
Other observation of note were a number of Speckled Wood butterflies, good views of one of the resident Jays and an unknown species of wolf spider walking on water carrying her bundle of eggs behind her.