Monday, 16 August 2010

Dragons and Damsels

I took advantage of yesterday's sunshine to take a walk to a couple of pools in the old quarries near Healey Nab. All the photos below are from the British Dragonfly Society's website and if you click on each photo or the credit beneath, the link will take you to that website - well worth a visit.

Before I reached the pools I saw brown hawkers flying around White Coppice area. They are an unmistakable species hawking over the bracken. However, when I watched them flying over the water, their wings suddenly appeared to be translucent bronze as reflected light shone through them. What a difference the light makes.

Brilliant blue, male damselflies created a magic carpet along the path to the pool. So many of them, hovering there. Their brightness conspicuous above the sand-coloured path. Many were copulating amongst the vegetation until disturbed, when they flew in tandem to another resting place. Below is a photo of a pair in tandem; the female is green.
Talking of green, there were also a few elegant emerald damselflies, flying over nearby vegetation. This species tends to be associated with acid pools so the the peat here must attract them.
A common hawker flew around the pool. It's size and colour announcing its presence.

I was treated to a close-up of a male black darter, angling its abdomen as it rested on a rock. I could clearly see a spot on each wing. Soon after, a female perched on a nearby stone, her yellow abdomen making me think she was a different species at first.
Dragonflies - nice getting to know you.


Caroline Gill said...

Interested to hear you saw the Emerald Damselfly. I saw my first this year - you can see it here. Is it a good year for them, I wonder?

Mistlethrush said...

I don't know about that but I do know you have some wonderful close-up shots there - well done. I recommend readers follow your link.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Not for nothing were dragonflies once called the devil's darning needles Carol. Lovely photos.

The owlets in the barn are as you surmised, barn owls. There is also another nearby barn with tawny owls - they have bred there for some years. The barn owls are in a recently mounted (2009) owl box. We also have quite a lot of little owls round here - they mostly breed in holes in trees.

from the field book

from the field book
An inspiring gift for anyone who enjoys watching nature.