It’s been a few weeks since I have subjected you, my dear readers, to a dragonfly post. It’s not that I have been ignoring these gorgeous aerial assassins, oh no far from it. I have been clicking away and recording my sightings so that on a wet, windy, Friday I can overload your senses with their varied beauty. Today is that wet, windy, Friday.
And to hold your attention and stop you dozing off, at the end of the post is something a little bit special. No cheating and skipping through the images so you can get on and do your daily chores, I may be asking questions so pay attention at the back!
Right we are nearly at the end so here is the first surprise. Yesterday (5th) I was pond watching when a damselfly landed on a lily pad. First glance and I thought it was a Blue-tailed. Second glance and it was not right as the blue was at the very tip of the abdomen and the eyes seemed reddish in colour. Quickly grabbed the camera and confirmation, a Small Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma viridulum). This damsel first colonised the UK in 1999 and have spread to many areas. I remember seeing some of the first and it was quite exciting for dragonfly watchers. They are not that common and I would never have expected one in the garden. This is the 13th species I have recorded at our pond in the year we have lived here.
So we come to the end of the post and the BIG surprise. I know, the photo isn’t great lots of vegetation in the way but this is a bit special. A couple of days ago I was wandering around Winterton Dunes watching the dragonflies in a feeding frenzy and one caught my eye. I couldn’t place it but as it sped around I kept seeing a bright blue band and my mind went into overdrive. It had to be one of two species, both rare vagrants from Southern Europe. Then, by sheer luck, it settled for just a few seconds right close by just enough time for two shots. There we have it a Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope). Only first recorded in the UK in 1996, it has bred but is still a very rare beast. Even better. I returned the next morning and it was still there in the same area only now there was two! This time there was no photo opportunities but you should have seen the size of my smile!
So that’s it class you can all run along now and play nicely. If you wish to see more of these beautiful creatures check out https://blhphotoblog.wordpress.com/british-damsel-dragonflies/