Friday, 16 July 2010

Dragonfest at RNR

A couple of short visits to my local nature reserve recently gave me the opportunity to photograph some of the Dragonflies and Damselflies there. Many thanks to Steve Covey for his help with the ID of one particular species. He has an excellent website for Wiltshires Dragonflies and a link to his blog from this website.
Below is a fresh looking female Broad-bodied Chaser. This medium sized Dragonfly is usually seen over shallow, sunny ponds and lake margins during early summer. Our reserve certainly fits the bill habitat wise.
The male is a beautiful pale blue with a broad body that gives it it's name.
Here is a female Common Darter, a small, restless dragonfly which regularly perches among bankside vegetation. In mild autumns it can still be seen in flight as late as November and occasionally December!
A male Emperor dragonfly. These large Dragonflies are unmistakable with their bright green thorax and sky blue abdomen with black markings. They patrol their chosen area aggressively and rarely settle (in my limited experience!)
I don't know which species the blue damselfly is, but I think the other damselfly is a female banded Demoiselle that is adopting the position (abdomen up) in defence of her perch.
I should've asked Steve about this Damselfly below as well. The colour of the body suggests a male Demoiselle, but there is no darkness in the wing which suggests it is a female. Help!
Here is a close up of the head and thorax.
I'm ok with the name of this one. A male Azure Damselfly. This is a very common Damselfly which has a distribution that stretches from southern Scandinavia to North Africa!
The more I get into learning about these creatures the more I realise how much there is to know! This female Blue-tailed Damselfly is of the form rufescens which means that it commences life with the reddish pink thorax. Within a few days this changes to a yellowish/brown.
Lastly, here is the female White-legged Damselfly. Again, this appears to be a newly emerged one. As it matures it develops from a creamy white into a light green with more pronounced markings. I'm just realising that I need MUCH more spare time to be able to really get into these amazing creatures!
Another close up to finish this Dragonfest!
The next post from Rodden Nature Reserve will show other flora and fauna that I saw on these all too brief visits.

14 comments:

Roy said...

Hi Jen, Some fabulous photographs you have taken here. The blue Damselfly with the fem Demoiselle looks like another Azure. The one below that (Brown eyes) looks like an immature male Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo)

The Early Birder said...

Hi Jen. Great to see the variety of dragons and damsels around RNR. At least getting decent images means you can ID them later with the help of experts if needed.

Steve Borichevsky said...

Excellent bug shots!

Eve said...

Really wonderful photos Jenny! So many beautiful Dragons and Damsels! Have you ever tried to look for their exuviae??? Now that is something to find!!! Waiting for the next post!

Dog Trot Farm said...

Jenny, these are some of the most incredible photos I have ever seen!The detail is just amazing. (Love the new header too)

cindyzlogic said...

Fantastic photography and ID-ing! My favorites are the Emperor Dragonfly and the Azure Damselfly.

Rural Rambler said...

Jen that Lady Beetle in your header is so cool. What a great capture. Your dragonfest post is filled with awesome pictures. I love the 4th shot :) Looking forward to the next wonderous things from the Rodden Reserve!

梁淑娟梁淑娟 said...

thanks god for the chance to enjoy so many good artical.............................................................

Sharon said...

Absolutely gorgeous photos Jenny! I must admit I know nothing about Dragonflies but they all look stunning!

Jenny said...

Hi Roy, thanks for the IDs, I was confused when I didn't see any dark colouration on the Demoiselle wings!

Hi Frank, yes, I'm enthusiastic but still much in the learning stages with some of them! (-:

Hi Steve, many thanks.

Hi Evie, well a couple of years ago, we watched several Southern Hawkers emerge from our pond and crack open, amazing to see. I'm not sure why we haven't had any the last couple of years tho. Hopefully not a Poppy problem!! (-:

Hi Julie, you're very kind to say so. I loved taking that Ladybird photo with my macro lens. I have to be in the mood for macro! (-:

Hi Cindy, glad you enjoyed the IDing, it's fun to look them up afterwards if you have a good photo and also read up about them. I just wish the written word stayed in my brain!!! (-:

Hi Pix, glad you liked Lucy the Ladybird! (-: Must get some more photos sorted for the next post!

Hi Sharon, they are stunning creatures. Glad you enjoyed the post.

Mary said...

Wow...these are wonderful! You have so many colorful ones. Most of what I see are blue. Your photos of them are excellent! I never manage to identify the damselflies.

Kelly said...

Wow!!! These close-ups are spectacular. I love seeing all the detail. They are amazing insects. I love seeing those eyes up close and all the variations.

John said...

Wow Jen,

They are wonderful shots of the Dragonflies and Damsels, superb close ups. Well done Jenny.

What camera did you use to get these close ups, I am really impressed.

John

Jenny said...

Hi Mary, we are very lucky to have a wonderful Dragonfly and Damselfly book over here which helps with IDing alot!

Hi Kelly, yes, in the absence of many birding opportunities at this time of year, they really come into their own! (-:

Hi John, I use a Kikon D40X DSLR sometimes using my 70-300mm lens and sometimes my 105mm macro. I have to be in the right mood to use the macro! (-: