Saturday 17 May 2014

Hairy Dragonflies & Dingy Skippers at Alvecote Pools SSSI

The Hairy Dragonfly clings on at this small pond at Pooley Fields NR.
Alvecote Pools SSSI, Warwickshire.

After no sightings at all of the locally rare, Hairy Dragonfly at Alvecote Pools during 2013, I was over the moon to discover via Warwickshire Dragonfly Group that a single specimen had been spotted earlier on this week. With the time of year being right and the weather conditions being ideal for picking out this elusive insect, Dave Hutton and I decided to pay my patch a visit this afternoon. After a quick stroll, we arrived on site to find at least three Hairy Dragonfly quartering their favoured sun-drenched stretch of water. There was also the odd Large Red Damselfly and Red-eyed Damselfly on the wing but unfortunately all three species were quite distant as they favoured the far side of the pool. 

We then made our way around to the east side of the spoil heap to search for butterflies. Here there were around a dozen Common Blue in evidence along with a trio of highly mobile Dingy Skipper, seeking out the limited number of Common Bird's Foot Trefoil flowers on site. Day flying moths included the odd Burnet Companion amongst the butterflies and a single Silver-ground Carpet along the Coventry Canal.

Dingy Skipper (male) - Pooley Fields Nature Reserve,
Alvecote Pools SSSI, Warwickshire.
Photo by Adam Archer


For the Hairy Dragonfly site it is best if you park carefully near Alvecote Priory along Robey's Lane just south-east of Alvecote village. Walk over the canal bridge and head east through the metal kissing gate and along 'Miner's Walk' past the interpretation board (the railway line will be to your left). Keep walking for about ten minutes and you will see a pool on your left called Polluted Pool. Keep walking and after a few minutes you will arrive at a small pool to your right with three concrete fishing platforms. As long as the weather conditions are suitable you will see Hairy Dragonfly from any of these platforms however the last one you will come to seems to be the best. 

For Dingy Skipper and other butterflies continue along 'Miner's Walk' through a second metal kissing gate and towards the M42 motorway. The Dingy Skippers tend to favour the ditch between the south-east side of the spoil heap and the motorway however they can be found at a number of sites around the area of the nature reserve. Easier access for those unable to walk too far is via the visitor centre car park at the end of Pooley Lane just off the B5000 in Polesworth.

For the exact location of the Hairy Dragonfly pool please click on the 'Location' link below:

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