Just a little 'Head's up" - Our Dragonfly Blitz this year will
concentrate on the areas on either side of the Colorado River in the
Yuma area (near Mexico!!)....so both AZ and CA will be covered.
This will take place the first weekend in October, Friday-Monday.
Bob Miller is acting as Blitz coordinator, if you are interested contact
him - Bob Miller <bob.miller@...
Back in 2006 we also blitzed the CA side of the river in this area,
getting several new county records, and two California State Records
(one occurring the week after the blitz).
Here's the story from 2006, just to give you an idea of the 'flavor'
*/_CalOdes / DSA Dragonfly Blitz II 2006 _/*
_The Desert Experience (A New State Record)_
By Douglas Aguillard
In October of 2006, several members of CalOdes (California Odonates
Yahoo Internet Group) decided to get together and search an under
explored area of California for new records of Dragonflies and
Damselflies. We searched Imperial County, which is located in the
extreme Southeastern section of California. Our goals were:
1.)Seek out new areas and records for California to further the
knowledge base of California's Odonates.
2.)Be able to socialize with our fellow Dragonfly enthusiasts, and just
This 2^nd Annual CalOdes/DSA Blitz was held from October 7-8, 2006 in
the extreme Southeasterly portion of the State, along the Colorado
River. This time, we decided that instead of roughing it in the great
(hot) deserts of California, that we would base ourselves in a motel in
Yuma, AZ, which is just across the CA border.
Left to Right- Paul Johnson, Rod Miller, Doug Aguillard, Ed Lam, Kathy &
Dave Biggs, Bob Miller
Attendees included original CalOdes Blitz I members, David & Kathy Biggs
(Sonoma County), Ray Bruun (Shasta County), Doug Aguillard & Patricia
Sherman (San Diego County), and newcomers, Paul Johnson (San Benito
County), Bob Miller (Imperial County), Rod Miller (Arizona), and Ed Lam
Ray Bruun and Dave Biggs
Picking this area for our search was done as an educated guess. Several
authorities including Sid Dunkle, Tim Manolis, and Kathy Biggs had been
predicting that *Striped Saddlebags (**/Tramea calverti/**)* would show
up in California for some time. After a discussion with Tim Manolis, it
was decided to try for the Striped Saddlebags during early October, so
as to decrease the temperature we'd be out in, and to increase our
changes of a larger number of species in the area, besides matching the
dates when the Striped Saddlebags had been seen near the CA border.
Heading out into the desert
On October 6^th , Ray Bruun and Paul Johnson stopped in Riverside and
Imperial Counties near the Salton Sea, as did Kathy and David Biggs,
both groups looked for Odes there. Seen en route to the Blitz:
Common Green Darner (Anax junius), Blue-eyed Darner (Rhionaeschna
multicolor), Western Pondhawk (Erythemis collocata), **Comanche Skimmer
(Libellula comanche),* Flame Skimmer (Libellula saturata), *Roseate
Skimmer (Orthemis ferruginea),* Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis),
Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum), *Red-tailed Pennant
(Brachymesia furcata)*, Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens),
Spot-winged Glider (Pantala hymenaea), Black Saddlebags (Tramea
lacerata), *Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)*, American Rubyspot
(Hetaerina americana ), California Dancer (Argia agrioides), **Paiute
Dancer (Argia alberta )*, *Powdered Dancer (Argia moesta), Blue-ringed
Dancer (Argia sedula)*, Vivid Dancer (Argia vivida), Familiar Bluet
(Enallagma civile), *Desert Forktail (Ischnura barberi)*, Black-fronted
Forktail (Ischnura denticollis), *Rambur's Forktail (Ischnura
ramburii)*. *= new late flight data for California. *Bold*=species
seldom seen in northern CA or AZ
Dave Biggs looking at a White-belted Ringtail by Paul Johnson
Paul and Ray arrived early enough to scout the Imperial Dam area later
on the 6^th . They found *Russet-tipped Clubtails (**/Stylurus
plagiatus/**) *and were able to share their location with the rest of
the group, which arrived that night and early the next morning.
On October 7^th , we all met for breakfast at the local Denny's, and got
on the road by 9:30 a.m. Our FRS radios were set to Channel 11, and the
caravan rolled into California, and north along the Colorado River. The
weather was pleasant with the temps in the 80's and a westerly breeze
helped keep the heat down. Since Bob Miller was the most familiar with
the area, he was designated as the leader. We headed for an area called
Senator's Wash, which was next to Senator's Reservoir. Here we
immediately started seeing Odes, and soon discovered 4-5 *Pale-faced
Clubskimmers (**/Brechmorhoga mendax)/**,* a new Imperial County record.
Kathy Biggs cooling off
We continued to poke around different areas without seeing anything real
exciting, until we came to the West Pond area, near the Imperial Dam on
the Colorado River. It was here that things really started getting us
excited. We found a road along the northern stretch of this rather large
pond/lake, and we immediately found a female and then a male *Marl
Pennant (**/Macrodiplax balteata/**)*, which is uncommon anywhere in
California. This was a lifer for many in the group and photographs were
taken and then a specimen was collected to upgrade Imperial County's
record from a photo voucher to a specimen.
When we walked up to an opening in the reeds that allowed us to see the
pond, two red-colored saddlebags flew by the entire group in tandem, and
Rod Miller thought they could possibly have been our quarry. Everyone
spread out, and it was Bob Miller (no relation) that spotted a male
Saddlebags far out on a reed along the shoreline. Ed Lam and Rod Miller
both entered the pond in the hopes of netting this bug, but never could
catch it. Eventually, we moved on to the south side of the pond, without
being able to firmly say that we had found our new Saddlebags species.
We spent the rest of the afternoon chasing after *Russet-tipped
Clubtails (**/Stylurus plagiatus/**)*, another rarity in CA, along the
east shore of West Pond.
On Sunday the 8^th of October, we decided to hit the road earlier, and
immediately headed back for West Pond to see if we could find those
Saddlebags again. One half of the group stopped at a beaver pond along
McKinney Road and found *Citrine Forktails (**/Ischnura hastata/**)*,
while the rest did a fruitless search for the Saddlebags.
By noon, the Blitz was coming to a close as people had to start heading
home. The small group that remained decided to give it one more shot and
went looking for Striped Saddlebags. When they reached the area from the
day before, they did see a male Saddlebags. It was out on the reeds
along the shoreline, but due to distance and lighting, they could not
make out its identification. Bob Miller decided to digi-scope the
/Tramea/ and hoped for the best.
Ed Lam w/ a Russet-tipped Clubtail by Paul Johnson
There was even a discussion of ways to "Mess with Doug" by really doing
a bad job of "Photo-shopping in the stripes" and sending the images to
me, and stating that I should have stayed 20 minutes longer.
When Bob Miller got home and started to look at his images, it was then
discovered that he had actually taken images of our NEW STATE RECORD,
the *Striped Saddlebags /Tramea calverti/*!!!! Bob immediately put the
word out to everyone on CalOdes, and on Friday the 13^th of October, I
went back out to West Pond. Within a few minutes, I found a male and
female Striped Saddlebags perched near each other on a tree branch in
the original spot that they were seen back on the 7^th and 8^th . While
attempting to get into a good photo shooting position, the male flew
away, not to be seen again, but I was able to get good images of the
female before she too departed.
West Pond is located north of Winterhaven, CA, along the Colorado River in the Imperial Dam
Recreation Area. The road to take to get there is Senator Wash Road, and the GPS coordinates
are N 32.52.739 W 114.28.648
The following week, CalOder David Blue, who was unable to make the blitz, went to see the Striped Saddlebags, and while looking around discovered a
second State Record, perched near where we'd seen the Citrine Forktail the previous weekend. His addtion to the CA State List was the
*Plateau Dragonlet**/Erythrodiplax basifusca/.*
Species seen in the Imperial Dame area during the two day (October 7^th
-8^th ) Blitz include:
Common Green Darner (/Anax junius)/, Blue-eyed Darner (/Rhionaeschna multicolor/), **White-belted Ringtail (**/Erpetogomphus compositus/**)*,
**Russet-tipped Clubtail (**/Stylurus plagiatus)/*, ***Pale-faced Clubskimmer (**/Brechmorhoga mendax)/**,* Western Pondhawk (/Erythemis collocata/),
**Comanche Skimmer (**/Libellula comanche/**)*, Flame Skimmer (/Libellula saturata/), ** **Marl Pennant (**/Macrodiplax balteata)/*, Roseate Skimmer (/Orthemis ferruginea)/,
Blue Dasher (/Pachydiplax longipennis),/Variegated Meadowhawk (/Sympetrum corruptum/),Red-tailed Pennant/(Brachymesia furcata)/,Wandering Glider (/Pantala flavescens/)
Spot-winged Glider (/Pantala hymenaea/), Mexican Amberwing (/Perithemis intensa/),****Striped Saddlebags (**/Tramea calverti)/*,Black Saddlebags (/Tramea lacerata/),
Red Saddlebags (/Tramea onusta/),American Rubyspot (/Hetaerina americana/),California Dancer (/Argia agrioides/),**Paiute Dancer** **(**/Argia alberta)/** *
Powdered Dancer (/Argia moesta/), **Blue-ringed Dancer (**/Argia sedula/**)*,Vivid Dancer (/Argia vivida)/,Familiar Bluet (/Enallagma civile)/
Desert Forktail (/Ischnura barberi),/Black-fronted Forktail (/Ischnura denticollis)/, Citrine Forktail (/Ischnura hastata),/
Rambur's Forktail (/Ischnura ramburii)/
*= new late flight data, ** = new county record
***= NEW STATE RECORD
We hope the 2013 Blitz will be just as much fun, introducing folks to
the southern species, each other and making new State records for both
California and Arizona, we will be quite near the Mexican border.
California Dragonflies www.sonic.net/dragonfly
Southwest Dragonflies www.southwestdragonflies.net/
Bigsnest Wildlife Pond www.bigsnestpond.net/
Kathy and Dave Biggs bigsnest@...
308 Bloomfield Rd. Sebastopol, CA 95472
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