Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Dragonflies and Damselflies part 2

Out looking for Turtle Doves again on Monday. Tried the Arlington Reservoir area again but no luck and not many birds of any sort. My plan B for the day, was a visit to the Park Corner Heath Butterfly Reserve, but that proved to be a bit of a disappointment as well with just a couple Meadow Browns seen.

I headed for home with only a couple of pictures of Demoiselles from Arlington. These are both females. The first is clearly a Beautiful Demoiselle showing the brown tint on the wings being enhanced by sunlight. The second could be a Banded as it appears to have narrower wings and is showing a slight green tint, but this probably comes from the foliage around it and there were no other Bandeds about.

Beautiful Demoiselle Female

Demoiselle Female -  Beautiful or Banded?
It looked like a bit of a wasted day, but fortunately I used the lanes at the back of the Downs to get home and ended up at Woods Mills. I knew the pond had been drained to clear out the fish but thought it would still be worth a look. Better luck this time as there were  Dragonflies in the remnants of the pond and Demoiselles in some of the drainage channels.

Azure Blue Damselfly

Downy Emerald

Large Red Damselfly

Tuesday morning and I was sitting at home having decided that I was not going out unless I could find some birds to photograph. Then Dave called to say he knew of a pond with Black-tailed Skimmers and Red-eyed Damselflies and did I fancy a look. How could I resist such an invitation?

The Skimmers proved hard to photograph. They stayed still long enough but they favoured the muddy banks so were hard to separate from their background. We tried  putting out some perches but the Skimmers ignored them. When I got home I found that they will only perch on low vegetation when the temperature gets above 26 degrees. Another good example of the benefits of doing the research before you go instead of when you get back.

I did get one on a low perch but still could not get the separation from the background.

Black-tailed Skimmer

Most shots were on the mud or low rocks.

Black-tailed Skimmer

The Red-eyed Damselflies were a bit easier to photograph but they were in a very small area of Lilly pads and did not move about much.

Red-eyed Damselfly

Red-eyed Damselfly

We also had a look for Golden-ringed Dragonflies on one of the commons. We had possible sightings but nothing definite and no picture opportunities. There were also a couple of Emperors about but both were very mobile.

On the way home we called in at Stopham Bridge. There were lots of Banded Demoiselles there and a single Dragonfly that looked like a Southern Hawker but it did not come close enough for a photograph.

Banded Demoiselle

A great day out and I am learning a lot about Dragons and Damsels but I really need some birds to photograph.

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