Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Successful Mission with a Surprise Ending . . . .

First jaunt of June today, Blue-tailed Damselfly was the target at Clockburn Lake, a site which never fails to deliver.

It was slightly overcast when I arrived, though blue-tails don't mind a bit of cloud, just one of the many reasons they are my second favourite damsel (no prizes for guessing my first).
First up was an immature female of the infuscans form resting on the wild rhubarb.  

Blue-tailed damselfly - female infuscans
 After that it didn't take long to find more blue-tails, in a mix of stages from tenerals to fully mature adults. Unfortunately it was dull for much of the time and the frequent gusts of wind didn't help matters either when it came to taking photographs.


mature male


Another male


A cracking immature female of the rufescens form, the most colourful
of the blue-tail variations.


Of course they don't all make it, this unfortunate's first flight was
straight into a spider web.


Nice deep blue male

Another rufescens
The only other species on show were a few Azures, which tended to hide deeper in cover when the clouds came whereas the blue-tails perched openly. They did appear when the sun shone however, just a few males today.



I decided to call in on Far Pasture on the way back, typically the sun shone strongly as I made my way from site to site, but the cloude returned as I arrived at Far Pasture. Here, more azures were along the roadside as per usual, mainly mature males but still a few tenerals and immatures. I hopped along to the forbidden pond but wasn't expecting to see anything in the gloom, so was very surprised when a fully mature male Broad-bodied Chaser zipped by. I relocated it at the back of the pond, where it was watching over an ovipositing female. I certainly wasn't expecting that!

Back of the pond, the dark speck just left of centre is actually the ovipositing female



The attentive male - his powder blue abdomen can just about
be made out in this very heavy crop 
 It was very surprising to see fully mature individuals this early considering the spring, and especially ovipositing in what was a very gloomy early afternoon.  I'll try to get back in the next couple of days during sunshine to see if I can get some half-decent pics.

Two peas in a pod - a couple of resting male azures at Far Pasture

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