Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Yesterday afternoon summer briefly returned with very warm sunshine and settled conditions. I fancied a change from the birds and I visited a local nature reserve where I had not been before and found a couple of delightful little ponds. The ponds were well vegetated and looked ideal habitats for dragon and damselflies. At first only damselflies were seen and then their larger relatives appeared on the scene.
It was fascinating watching the behaviour of the dragonflies as they patrolled the ponds looking for mates and defending their territories from other dragonflies. The main species present was a Broad Bodied Chaser dragonfly..a handsome beast which posed very nicely for the camera on the pondside vegetation. The common blue and large red damselfly were also present in good numbers.
I have shown a few images above of the Broad Bodied Chasers, the blue bodied male and one of the female which can be distinguished from the male by her brown and yellow abdomen rather than the pale blue of the male. I have also shown images of a mating pair of common blue damselflies and a large skipper butterfly feeding on bramble. Also shown above are the delicate pink flowers of a flowering rush which was abundant around the ponds.
I must return to this delightful local nature reserve, not more than ten minutes from home, when summer returns and the dragons and damsels are on the wing again. It is currently raining again and the forecast is not good for the next few days.