In the outer stream massive shoals of minnows and tadpoles were noticeable, but the only damsels on show were blue-tailed, and I got this cracking shot of a male.
|Blue-tailed damsel male|
|Blue-tailed Damsel female|
Then an odd individual fluttered in to view and landed on the bridge. It’s flight was so weak it could hardly hold itself in the air and stayed motionless on the sunlit stone bridge for quite some time, allowing me to get so close I decided to get out my 10x magnification loupe and see if I could get it close enough to see some features in mega-close-up. For anyone that doesn’t know, this is a loupe.
The thing about this is that you need to get about an inch away from your subject to see it properly focussed, and this individual allowed me to do just that, giving me fantastic views of its eyes and head, which it tilted towards me, probably eying me up too. Superb views I’ve never had before, every hair, every line, the make-up of the colours of those massive compound eyes, and the three tiny real-eyes in the middle of the forehead I’d never noted before, a most enjoyable and unusual experience.
Anyway, note the pale colouring and milky sheen to the wings, time for a bit of dragonfly jargon - This specimen is what is known as a teneral - in other words it has just emerged, it’s body is pale and not yet hardened, it’s wings are weak and not yet properly formed, (why it’s flight appeared so weak) In a few hours when the body hardens and the wings clear to reveal the network of veins, it will then have reached immature status, and will remain so for a number of days until gaining its mature colouration.
|A Teneral female - Which species?|
I got a nice shot of a male on its own, and photographed two forms of female, the typical green form, and another less common yellowish brown form.
|Common Blue damsel male|
|tandem pair - green form female|
|ovipositing pair - yellow/brown form female|
|Tandem flight shot|
There is another type of common blue female which is actually blue which I have yet to encounter, but my time was up so though disappointed with the dip on the demoiselles, some interesting cameos from the other species had made the trip worthwhile, as had my sighting of a common tern fishing the lake, and excellent view of a sedge warbler singing from an open perch in the reedbed, and the great thing about it is I’ll just have to come back again another day to complete the mission.