Sunday, 10 July 2016

A Nice Spread

After the Friday morning showers I anticipated some sunshine so headed off to Gibside, the Lily Pond in particular, Emerald (or Spreadwing) Damselflies the target.

It's another of those annual events which is a 'must do' on the Dragonhunting calendar. Emerald damsels start to emerge from early July and the Lily Pond is a great place to see them and get photographs, as the long grass either side of the dipping area are ideal sheltering areas for newly emerged damsels. Generally I find this species to be the most tolerant of the damselflies whereby they don't mind too much to having a camera stuck in their face; possibly because they aren't the strongest of flyers, those disturbed don't tend to fly far anyway compared to the azures and large reds around the area.

And so it proved today; the wind proved to be my worst enemy, spoiling opportunity after opportunity but I got a good few decent shots in the end of a variety of stages and sexes.

As expected a few tenerals were seen as the
early July emergence continued, this one rose up
from the long grass.


Another teneral, a male, wings held parallel with the body
as is usually the case with fresh specimens.

Immature males offered some good close-up opportunities :



This one was opportunity missed, the photo I most wanted, head on from a thin stalk, but despite a few attempts I couldn't get the eyes in focus, then the wind took him away :-(

There were also a few mature males around showing the blue pruinescence which means they must have emerged at least two weeks ago :




But most of the Emeralds I saw were immature females, and very photogenic ones at that :

Wings held closed along the opposite side of the body made for a good photo

In close-up even better

This one with the traditional 'wings spread' 

Another 'spreadwing' gave fantastic views and allowed very close shots.

Lovely sunlit pose 

The ovipositor in close-up

And finally another nicely posed female

All in all a good session, with plenty of other creatures posing for the camera as well, longhorn beetles, grasshoppers, butterflies and moths to name a few, but that little lot will wait for another day, and another post ;-)


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