Thursday, 21 July 2022

Emperor Dragonfly In The Garden (and a Personal Reaction to the News of Sizewell C)


We have only (noticed and) recorded an Emperor Dragonfly in the garden on one previous occasion, so when this magnificent insect alighted on a brown stem last Saturday, we were delighted. 

Curiously, we had set up a tiny pond only days before, and on that very day, we came across the first Common Frog we had seen in our home patch since 2019. 

It is hard to know whether the provision of water led to the arrival of the dragonfly and the frog, but I would like to think so! 

Since then we have also resurrected our old 'barrel pond' as well, and stocked it with some oxygenating pond plants. We had a female Common Darter near the patio yesterday. I wonder what we will see next ...


And incidentally, my Emperor Dragonfly identification is made on the basis of ...

  • large size
  • black line along top of abdomen (see first photo)
  • yellow costa or leading wing vein 
  • green thorax  

* * *


I don't feel I can really end without referring to yesterday's governmental decision to allow the nuclear reactor plant, Sizewell C, to go ahead. I confess that I am not well-versed in all the scientific arguments, and I know wildlife supporters are divided, especially over the issue of alternative solutions such as wind farms which can cause devastating harm to seabirds; but, in tune with the views of those representing the RSPB and the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, I feel disheartened by the news. 

Sizewell on left, behind the Island Mere Hide at RSPB Minsmere

The Sizewell site adjoins the flagship nature reserve of Minsmere, with its avocets (who feature on the RSPB logo), eels, bitterns, adders, antlions, glow worms, otters and numerous rare or threatened species. Dunwich flanks Minsmere on the northern side, with its history of extreme coastal erosion. I feel particularly sorry for those local residents who have been fighting this battle and campaigning for some time.


Crafty Green Poet said...

What a maggnificent dragonfly, I've never seen an Emperor!

I share your feelings about the Sizewell Nuclear Power Plant. It seems to me though that it's so difficult to find genuinely eco-friendly sources of power. Solar power seems to be the best (either solar panels on buildings or sloar farms integrated with livestock) but even solar panels in themselves are problematic, using as they do minerals such as (I think) lithium in their construction.

Caroline Gill said...

Thank you, CGP, for your kind and perceptive comments.

Like many other other properties in our suburban neighbourhood, we have solar panels on our roof (they were already in place when we arrived a decade ago). This is essentially a good thing and we are glad to have them, though it does seem to make our water hot in summer and chilly in winter! The local flock of feral pigeons find the panels hard to resist and like to sneak under them, probably seeking out thermal nesting sites ...

And yes, the Emperor was a wonderful addition to the garden. I'm guessing he was letting his wings harden as he stayed put for ages.