Saturday, May 18, 2013

A trip to Kosamphi Forest Park, Mahasarakam province

Location: Kosamphi Forest Park, Mahasarakam province.
Date: Saturday,  18th May, 2013.
Weather: Exceptionally hot
 
Another trip and another province, about 45 minutes on my motorbike from Khon Kaen. It was an easy and pleasurable journey compared to those I made on my mammoth Nam Nao survey/field trip. Kosamphi Sai is a small and typically Issarn town on the edge of Mahasarakam province, made popular by the forest park. When I arrived at the gates, I instantly felt watched ... from every angle. Monkeys. Hundreds. No, thousands of them were in the trees, on the pathways, on rocks ... even at the nearby market, stealing fruit. No surprise as you have to pass an enormous monkey statue at the entrance. Being extra cautious with my camera/bag I parked my scooter and headed down towards the River Chi (or Chee as it was spelled in the forest park). There was a large, open section accessible on foot and the level of the river seemed particularily low. With caution I could gingerly make my way across the river - something there is no chance of doing where the same river runs through Khon Kaen. I observed and photographed several healthy populations of common species and one or two species that seem rather uncommon in Khon Kaen, but were abundant here along a different stretch of the river. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of a lowland dwelling Gomphidae or something similar. Yet, as I waded through the water, looking along the banks, the reeds and up along the tree-lined edges, the sun decided to pulsate with heat and, so too, did my head. It rose in temperature and I started to wilt in the blazing sunshine. With that, I retreated into the forested area and made my way towards a small pond. The pond was covered in algae and almost seemed devoid of any life. There were some fish present and an enormous white heron, but the park's dragonfly species list wasn't added to here. Only a few individual common species decided to make this area home. So, all in all, not the most successful trip ever, but at least I am now back in the swing of things for the new dragonfly season.
 
You're being watched ... cheeky monkeys were everywhere
 
 
The River Chi at Khosamphi Forest Park. It was shallow enough to wade through.
 
 
 
Here's my best photos of the day ... all common, but some nice results.
 
Ictinogomphus decoratus, male ... fairly common
 


Cercion malayanum, male (probably immature - as it is still very light in colour)


 
 
Rhyothemis variegata variegata, female - there were many speciemens, sometimes in large groups fluttering away
 



Aethriamanta aethra, male - large numbers of adult males were present along the stretch of river.





Ceriagrion praetermissum, male - I spotted a solitary male and female


Urothemis signata, copula - I saw many males, but I also managed (just) to get my first photo of a copula!

Aethriamanta aethra, copula - and also my first copula of this species (and female in flight)

 

 
Basic species list (18 common species in total):
 
Acisoma p. panorpoides (males, females - uncommon)
Aethriamanta aethra (males, females - common)
Aethriamanta brevipennis (males - common)
Agriocnemis pygmaea (males, females - common)
Brachythemis Contaminata (males, females - common)
Cercion malayanum (solitary male)
Ceriagrion praetermissum (1 male, 1 female)
Copera ciliata (1 female)
Crocothemis servilia (males, females - fairly common)
Diplacodes nebulosa (males, uncommon)
Diplacodes trivialis (males, females - common)
Ictinogomphus decoratus (males - common)
Neurothemis tullia (males, females - common)
Orthetrum sabina (males, females - common)
Pantala flavescens (males, female - common)
Rhyothemis phyllis (males - common)
Rhyothemis variegata (males, females - common)
Urothemis signata (males - common, females scarce)