The latest dragonfly to emerge from the Old Pond

Through the dry weather I’ve been keeping the Old Pond topped up to stop it from drying out. I’ve now used two of my five water butts keeping the pond going.

Interestingly, although the depths are down to just a two or three inches in each of the three basins, the pond still scores over 50 on the Big Pond Dip. And it’s still got four species of dragonflies and damselflies living in it.

And yesterday I saw the latest successful emergence: a Common Darter.

Although Common Darters are described as ‘Abundant in England, Wales and Ireland‘, they are perhaps not so common in garden ponds: in the Abingdon survey we found them in only two of the thirty ponds.

What attracts them? They are well known for needing new ponds and bare sediments – something which can be provided by new ponds in gardens.

The first Common Darter to emerge from the pond this year

It also looks as though they prefer better quality unpolluted ponds too: we recorded them in the National Pond Survey from one third of clean water ponds across England, Wales and Scotland whereas we only found them in one in ten more degraded ponds.

Like so many pond plants and animals it seems likely that the Common Darter is another pond dweller that needs clean water.

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