I wasn't expecting too much (as usual) but a very interesting session ensued. Highlights included finding this lifeless Southern Hawker in the pond just off the boardwalk, which despite the tragic circumstances made a rather fetching image :
More of that to come, but back to the beginning.
When I arrived at the pond the skies were overcast but a hawker was already in situ. To the eye, it looked a bit dark for a Southern (the resident species here), and through bins I was soon able to confirm it as a male Common Hawker, nice, my first of the year :-)
From the height of his patrols he seemed to be feeding rather than looking for a mate and after no more than a couple of minutes flew off as the wind under clouded skies was getting gustier.
|Not the best photo you'll ever see of a common hawker, even as a record shot,|
but it'll have to do for now :-/
A few large reds too, all making swift appearances during hints of sunshine.
At the side of the pond I came across an exuvia, in good view for once so I was able to get a decent photograph :
|Southern Hawker exuvia, judging by the number seen so far this year it looks like|
being a much better year for them here than it was in 2014.
Then came the drowning hawker moment, but after taking the photograph I noticed the dragonfly twitching, it wasn't dead after all, so I fished it out of the water and placed it on a frond of bracken by the seat, hoping it would dry out and fly off, no harm done.
|Finally getting a good look at it, an immature male not exactly in tip-top condition.|
|His bent abdomen and wingtips suggest he was obstructed by vegetation during emergence|
|Brown eyes and pale yellow and blue markings denote an immature male|
|From this angle he looks a bit like Judge Dredd|
It was soon time for me to go, and he was no nearer to making a recovery. Had I had something suitable to carry him in I would have taken him home and kept an eye on him, but as it was, with the wind still quite vigorous I snapped off the frond I'd placed him on and steadied it in a more sheltered place.
And that was where I left him. I hoped to return in the evening but wasn't able to, and with heavy overnight rain I can only hope he was able to recover in time, and my rescue didn't turn out to be just an insect version of the old joke about the man stranded on the desert island who suddenly sees a ship approaching and yells "Yes, I'm saved, it's the Titanic!" :-(