On arrival all was quiet. Only a chiffchaff rose above the sound of the wind rushing through the trees and the fizmer emitting from the erumpent grasses on the pond (Packham eat your heart out). A good survey of the pond and margins (with the new Papilios) revealed very little, but I did a double-take as the field of grasses mid-pond suddenly revealed a damsel hanging on to a single blade as I scanned to and fro. I could see straight away it wasn't a large red however, guessed it would be an azure as I've never seen a common blue here and sure enough the photo revealed a female azure :
|Female Azure damsel confirmed by photograph|
First damsel at TWP this year
But where there's one there must be more. It looked like a fairly mature individual with deep red colouring so must have been out a while. I checked the other end of the pond, where a clump of mixed vegetation revealed another large red, and this one was going nowhere :
|First Large Red damsel photographed of 2015 -|
Female showing immature typica form colouring
|Love those eyes, like miniature planets|
|From above you can see she has a deformed wing,|
caused by an obstruction during emergence.
|In close-up it's a malformed hindwing, should still be able to fly,|
but the wings were still a touch milky and she made no attempt
to fly while I was there.
I got back to the point where I'd seen the flying red earlier, and finished scanning the margins, where I found a couple of exuvia, long since emerged.
|One of two exuvia|
Mission accomplished, Large Red damselfly in the bag, so now five dragons on the wing in Gateshead, though this was only my second. A bit of catching up to do ;-)