Saturday, 18 July 2015

Like a Damsel in the Wind

With July so far being a bit shit for dragonhunting, not that there are many actual Dragonflies around yet due to the late start to the season, I find myself heading out when there isn't really much chance of seeing anything anyway.
Friday was a case in point; the sun was shining but it was incredibly windy for the time of year so there wasn't much point in going any further than Far Pasture (for a change) hoping it wouldn't be so brisk at the bottom of the valley.

Think again, the trees and long grasses in the fields were swishing about like a load of headbangers at a Judas Priest gig, and for once I made a beeline straight for the hide.
Only a few blue damsels dared venture out over the pond, though another brief sighting, this time of a Four-spotted Chaser took me by surprise.
Not really much doing so I checked the roadside ditch and thick vegetation around the gate, and managed to track down some damsels anyway :

This female Common Emerald was hiding in the thick grass by the Forbidden gate,
a cracking damsel though in her prime. 

Next find was this rather flighty green phase infuscans Blue-tail female
She flushed up out of the thick but soon made her way back down again

But not before alighting on the barbed wire for a closer shot

A male Blue-tail also made an appearance just further along the fence
I checked the field where I had the Darters on my previous visit. Plenty of butterflies were braving the conditions but hardly a damsel and certainly no darters to be seen.
Then I caught sight of a bonny little damselfly semi-hidden in the thick growth over the fence, a blue-tail but the most strikingly orange form I'd ever seen though this photo doesn't show it as bright as it looked to the eye :

Now I know the Scarce Blue-tail has an orange form but they don't ever come anywhere near this far north, do they?
Well no, I could only get a couple of record shots of this one before a really stiff gust took it away never to be seen again, but I got enough of it to confirm back at home that it was no more than just a 'strange phase' Common Blue-tail. Still wish I could have got a few closer shots and from side-on as well but couldn't relocate it after the wind took it.

A lovely little damsel this one, but a srtrange one as well.The lack of antehumeral stripes make it
an infuscans-obsoleta form female, but segment 8 near the tail is topped black(like the scarce blue-tail)
however, the orange form scarce blue-tail is also bright orange on segments 1-2 and part of 3 along the abdomen.
This one should have started life as a pink rufescens form with a blue segment 8 turning dull yellowish-brown.
 Never mind, a bit of excitement to end an otherwise pretty dull week, it's the stuff that keeps us going :-)   

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