Thursday, 20 June 2013

Broad-bodied Chasers at Whitestones Ponds

I have been visiting the Whitestones Ponds at Twywell Hills & Dales quite regularly to try and capture Broad-bodied Chasers. On Wednesday 19 June, the weather was hot and humid and there was good activity around the third muddy pond. Here I saw a territorial male mate with two females, who promptly began ovipositing. They move so fast that getting in flight shots is difficult so I concentrated on the female and managed several good ones including these.   

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Recent sightings to 18 June

Chris Emary reports Hairy Dragonflies at Greens Norton Pocket Park near Towcester, including one ovipositing. This is an amazing record and great for Hairys in the west of the County.

Alison Lowe reports the first Southern Hawkers emerging at Sulby Gardens. I still haven't seen or had any reports of Emperors or Black-tailed Skimmers, perhaps this weekend will show some!

At Whitestone Ponds, Twywell Hills & Dales, I recorded my first Broad-bodied Chasers, when a female buzzed the main pond twice looking for a male, only to get bored and  disappear just before the male arrived. Also present were 5 Hairy Dragonflies including an ovipositing female, many Large Reds and Azure Damelflies and an ovipositing Four-spotted Chaser.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

White-legged Damselflies on the Ise

The Ise near Finedon was showing good numbers of White-legged Damselflies, with 100+ adults in the grasses away from the river margins. I've been worried about the colony here for a few years, but these numbers are an encouraging sign.

After work, I called in to the Nene at Lilford to catch some Scarce Chasers basking in the afternoon sun. I quickly lucked out by spotting a pair of Banded Demoiselles in-cop - not my target species, but a photo I've been waiting 8 years to get. I managed a few that I am happy with. There were about 5 Scarce Chaser about and the same number of Hairy Dragonflies too.

Male White-legged Damselfly

Female White-legged Damselfly
Hairy Dragonfly eating a Mayfly

Mating pair of Banded Demoiselle

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Banded Demoiselles in close-up

I was given a special attachment for my camera - called a Raynox DCR250 - which allows extra close-up shots, and have been keen to try it out. When added to my zoom, I can vary the magnification to suit the image you want. You end up about 10cm from the dragonflies, so today's overcast conditions left the Banded Demoiselles on the Ise quite approachable and I was able to get these shots.



I've always been intrigued by the pseudo-pterostigma on the female's wing. This shot shows that it is simply a pigmentation, probably similar to the blue on the male's wings. But what is its purpose


Monday, 3 June 2013

Beautiful Demoiselles

Chris Emary reports Beautiful Demoiselles appearing on the Tove at Greens Norton and Martyn Adkins reports them on the Cherwell at Woodford Halse.

I went up to Maxey again an watched several pairs of Variable Damselflies ovipositing. The female in this pair seems to be covered in a lot of pollen.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Downy Emeralds and Broad-bodied Chasers

I took a walk around Yardley Chase this morning, with gloomy conditions. The sun finally broke through a gave good temperatures. I collected many Downy Emerald exuviae and found one emerging. Several Four-spotted Chasers were also emerging. On the wing were Azure Damselflies, Large Red Damselflies and a Hairy Dragonfly. Looking through my exuviae collection at home, I realised that one was a Broad-bodied Chaser, so that means all three Chasers are now out. During the walk back, through a woodland ride I spotted a Downy Emerald at rest low down in the trees - not something you se very often.

Emerging Downy Emerald

Resting male Downy Emerald

Emerging Four-spotted Chaser