Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Ovipositing Common Darters

Migrant Hawker numbers are on the decline now, as are Southern Hawkers, but Common Darters are still numerous and busy ovipositing. At Summer Leys, Migrants and Darters were numerous on Sunday and many pairs of Darters were ovipositing at Finedon, where I met up with Doug and Jim looking for the Willow Emeralds (unsuccessfully). I have heard that Willow Emeralds hve been recorded in North Buck, Beds, Cambs and Lincs so we are surrounded and there must be more out there in Northants too.

I captured a sequence of several shots of a pair of ovipositing Darters and merged them in PhotoShop to show how the male flips the female down into contact with the substrate for egg release. I think I've just about mastered the AF servo settings on my camera to give me the best chance of capturing these events, even so success rate is still low, and at 14 frames per second, 1 second in real time can still lead to 14 out of focus shots!