In the hide a few old acquaintances inform me there has been a four-spotted chaser, just the one, and seen only once, so I spent more time in there than I should have (mainly just chatting) as the sun disappeared soon after and apart from a few ovipositing azure damsels (non within decent photographable distance) nothing showed for the best part of my allotted hour.
Eventually I gave up and went to look at the roadside, which as usual was much better for damsels even in the early afternoon dullness. Some cracking fully mature males now of Azure and (to my surprise) Common Blue at last, easy to pick out their bright blue among the splendid spring greenery even from distance. And I also got to photograph my first mating wheel of the season when I spotted the curved abdomen of a male which turned out to be a pair when I zoomed in.
|My first Common Blue damsel (m) of 2013|
|Though my best shot was probably this azure|
|Another common blue male|
note how bright the blue tip looks
compared with the azure.
|Another male. No black markings on the end two segments (8 and 9)|
probably the best way to tell them apart from azures in the field.
|Azure damsels - The mating wheel|
copulation takes 10-15 minutes then its off to the pond to lay some eggs
So a successful hunt, my fourth Gateshead dragon species (12 to go) in the bag, and with a four-spot reported I'll return shortly when a spare sunny hour or so comes my way. Forecast for tomorrow is poor (according to the BBC), a shame as its the only day I might have got across to Stargate for the other BBC. Still, there's always next week.