Saturday, 14 June 2014

Unfinished Business Finished . . .

Back to Stargate today, scene of last weeks camera disaster, in an attempt to nail a Broad-bodied Chaser with my Krappy Kodak.

First thing I noted though in amongst the (again) mass emergence of damselflies were a few emerging Common Darters, first of 2014 for me and I managed to track a couple down for obligatory photographs.

Common Darter - teneral female

Common Darter - teneral male

No sign of any Chasers though, bar the four-spots which seemed to be in slightly larger numbers than last week with about half a dozen chasing around, but that's all they did, seldom settling either in decent range or for longer than a few seconds.

Then another incident (is this place jinxed for me this year?) as a man walking his dogs, one of which was a big bull-necked rottweiler type, walked past me, the demon dog growling aggressively and straining at the leash to get at me as they passed by.
"Thank feck its on a lead" I thought, but then couldn't believe my eyes when, no more than 20 yards further on, the bloke let it off the lead, and inevitably it made a bee-line straight for me, charging along and barking/snarling like the bloody big killer hound that it was.
I was shitting bricks and all but leapt in the pond, I couldn't look and turned me back on it shouting at the daft get of an owner to call it off, which he eventually did with the smallest of mumbled apologies.
As he took it off one way I ambled shakily round the back of the pond, not settling back into my mission before man and dogs had all disappeared from view. Wanker!

So back to the task in hand, I'd created a fake perch and been on site for the best part of an hour without any sightings of my target species, but then had the bright idea of checking the minor pond (which in years past had been all but dry but noted last week it was brimming.)
Lo and behold, there were no less than FOUR female Broad-bodied Chasers zipping about here, and straight away I found their perch among the gorse where THREE of them had settled.

Three of a kind - Broad-bodied Chasers (all females)
apologies for image quality 

I sat by the perch for the next hour, and was rewarded with fantastic views and photographic opportunities, but obviously with my Krappy Kodak I was going to get no more than record shots, a shame because the Chasers were posing at all angles, but here are the best I could get :

This one appeared to have remnants of spider webs on the left wings


Broad-bodied Chasers from all angles, best of a bad bunch.
A Blue-tailed damsel also used the same perch 

On the pond the spiders were taking a few
damsels, this one next in the queue to be
wrapped up.

And Pond 3 where all the action was (main pond in the background)
The gorse bush front of the central pylon is where the chasers
were perching.

I was hoping at least one of the Chasers would turnout to be an immature male, something I've yet to photograph, but it looks like all of those are at Burdon Moor :-(

Female anal appendages, note they are small and have quite a gap
between them. The males are noticeably longer and sprout from the
centre of the tip.   

Never mind, might yet pay another visit here, thoroughly enjoyed the up-close-and-personal views of this cracking species of dragonfly, though ultimately disappointed with my final images :-(  

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