Sunday, 17 July 2011

Recent Updates from DragonHunter HQ

A rainy weekend, not good prospects for dragonfly hunting, so thought I’d review recent sightings from around the borough and what I’ll be looking out for once the weather clears.
An interesting encounter at Kibblesworth by Ron Hindhaugh, as he photographed this Four-spotted Chaser.

Four-spotted Chaser - Praenubila variant
Ron Hindhaugh 
Nothing unusual about that you might say, but look closely at the outer wing, the normally neat pterostigma markings on this individual are big smudges, like they’d got wet and started to run, also the spots at the wing nodes are quite extensive too in comparison with the majority of specimens, making this an uncommon colouration variety known as praenubila. It isn‘t actually known why this variation occurs in some individuals of the species, but an interesting find by Ron.

Also at Kibblesworth, Michael Eccles photographed a female Broad-bodied Chaser ovipositing.

This species expanding its range in recent years, they seem to be quite nomadic, appearing at a few sites in the borough now though only in small nuimbers. The open, shallow pond here is ideal for their preference of habitat so no real surprise, but another interesting capture by Michael, who also took another excellent photograph of a male B-b Chaser at Stargate.

‘Indiana’ Steve Fryer has also been out and about at Kibblesworth in early July, taking some excellent flight shots of the dragonflies present. Here’s a selection of the best :

Cracking shot of Emperor (male) in flight

Another superb action shot, this time of a Four-spotted Chaser in flight
Excellent composition of flight shot with reflection
I really like this shot of a Four-spotted chaser being mobbed by (I think)
an Azure damselfly. 
The last picture shows mobbing behaviour which I've noted quite a few times this year from damsels on dragons, rather like songbirds mobbing a bird of prey. Thanks Steve,(and Ron and Michael) great selection of photographs.
Am hoping to finally catch up with Black-tailed Skimmer at Kibblesworth this week but the weather prospects don't look too kind. Watch this space......   

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