25 June 2011

Spring Mill Pond area - revisited

I took a partial vacation day to revisit Island Lake SRA on June 13, 2011 in hopes of confirming a new species or two for Livingston County. It was a windy and partly cloudy afternoon, but the area around Spring Mill Pond has the large sand dunes which provide areas of shelter.

Unfortunately, the southeast portion which had the Painted Skimmers (Libellula semifasciata) was fairly windy and all I found were Four-spotted Skimmers (Libellula quadrimaculata). Here is a male:

More than 90% of the bluets I examined were Marsh Bluets (Enallagma ebrium), such as this male:

If you click on the photo, the forked cerci are visible which is a diagnostic field mark for this species.

At one of the "stream" crossings, a male Unicorn Clubtail (Arigomphus villosipes) was found perching on the gravelly edges:

Finally making it to the vicinity of the saddlebags (Tramea sp.) sightings from a couple weeks earlier, I had little hope of finding much since it was quite breezy. Given the large amount of rain in recent times, the location southwest of the parking area was flooded. This helped make the hunt for odes a bit easier since they seemed to be gathered near the little "islands" of vegetation. Within minutes, a male Carolina Saddlebags (T. carolina) flew by and went with the wind. I thought that may be my only sighting, but it ended up circling back to one of the little islands and perched on a small snag. Soon after another male Carolina Saddlebags perched on an adjacent plant. Here is the confirmation of this species for the county, which shows the purplish frons and the black coming down the sides of S8 and S9:

I then followed the flow of water to a little pond which had a patrolling Prince Baskettail (Epitheca princeps). Nearby, perched on a branch over the water was a male Lancet Clubtail (Gomphus exilis):

A second Lancet Clubtail was found a few meters down the shoreline.

Finishing up the visit, I had decided to check the shoreline of Spring Mill Pond itself. Before arriving at the edge, a Springtime Darner (Basiaeschna janata) flew past and landed in vegetation on the hillside. As I approached, it lifted off and flew away, not giving a chance for a photo or further observation. Returning to the pond, I found another patrolling darner so I positioned myself between cattails and came up with this male Springtime Darner (B. janata):

What a way to end a day!

Given the diversity of this area, I have to wonder what other species will be found in the coming visits.

1 comment:

Emma Springfield said...

Wonderful pictures. I have not seen many odes at Island Lake but I am going to watch more closely from now on.