Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Dragons, aplenty.

 A very hot visit to the Academy pools area in more ways then one today! The approach path produced family groups of Lesser and Common whitethroats along with the usual suspects along this public right of way, ( no sign of the gropper family here today).
One Reed warbler male was heard calling before me and Bob had even entered the pools site, a second male joined in whilst we were here calling from a section of the reed beds not too far from the first bird. ( as in a previous visit). But no Sedge warbler heard or seen again on this visit as like the last.
Today's visit highlights belong to the insect world and Dragonflies in particular.

The first male Emperor seen was spooked as we walked into the pools on the western edge of the reed bed,  then another 3 hawking the Reeded pool  with many a scrap going off here!. At one stage all 3 males patrolling separate patches on this pool battled in flight, excellent to watch!. One of the males was observed bringing in a prey item, something I've never seen before. Another male Emperor was flying around the north pool. So I estimate 5 males on this visit...

 The reed pool was alive today with Dragons, along with the Emperors also 3 Broad- bodied chasers, at least 7 Four-shot chasers and 3 male Black-tailed skimmers. (2 in the reeded pool another in the north pool.)

And Mr Ball was sighted again on the training pitch.


  1. I love my Dragons and Damsels. I know the area vaguelt through birding but no idea where the pools are. Can i ask you where i would find them. I know the main road where the birds gather in the fields in winter opposite the academy ( i presume) is that a good starting point ???
    Thanks in advance.

  2. Nee bother Johnny.
    Parking on Moor lane, as you are heading towards Whitburn village from Boldon flats. This is opposite the public parking area for visiting friends and families etc. to the Academy here.
    There's a public right of way path wise, that cuts between the Academy training pitches (on ya left) and the main building complex(on ya right) as ya wander down here. Less than a mile down the mainly Hawthorn lined track here (heading north to south) the 3 ponds can be viewed on your left, just south of the training pitches.
    SAFC have plenty of warning boards up etc. at this pool site, but many a local just treads a tad careful here. I've had no bother regarding the ground staff here on visits in the past, don't let these warnings put you off.(or anyone).