12 Jun 2014

12 June 14 - Chasing The Chaser

This was my third visit to Holmebridge, just outside the edge of the Poole Harbour area, in the last 2 weeks. I've been hoping to see Scarce Chaser, but had no success so far. Perhaps they hadn't emerged & started flying on the earlier visits. So it was a case of third time lucky on this visit with a female seen first.
Scarce Chaser: Female. The dark central markings on the abdomen, vivid colouration & the dark wing base on the hind wing are all diagnostic for this species
Scarce Chaser: Male. The black end to the abdomen, lack of yellow-orange edges & dark base to the hind wings are diagnostic 
Scarce Chaser: Male
Hairy Dragonfly: Mating pair
Holmebridge is the site of the Civil War skirmish of Holmebridge. Wareham like most of the Dorset towns had come out on the Parliamentary side. However, the Purbeck area was divided as the nearby Corfe Castle, owned by the Bankes family, had sided with the King. Wareham changed hands on more than one occasion during the Civil War and it was recaptured by Parliamentary troops in November 1643. On 27 February 1644, a force of about 300 Parliamentary troops met 45 Royalists at the bridge. A five hours fight ensured and only ended, when additional Royalist reinforcements arrived. The Parliamentary forces retreated, leaving 40 soldiers dead along with 1 dead Royalist officer.
The old Holmebridge: The old bridge was stone topped with parapets, but the sides were removed during the war to allow tanks to cross. Brick was used to rebuild the top once a replacement Bailey bridge was added to allow tanks to cross the river
The new Holmebridge: This modern bridge was built in 1963 to replace the Bailey bridge