With the Willow Emerald Damselfly season underway this week at Nethergong, I wanted to see if I could find and photograph an emergence of this species. A couple of visits during the week had produced 44 newly emerged Willow Emerald Damselfly. With this in mind, I arrived quite early this morning at Nethergong where unfortunately, the weather was not that great with cloudy skies and quite a strong breeze but thankfully, the stream was in the shelter of the trees and it felt quite sheltered here. I had a few initial walks up and down the stream and found a few Willow Emerald Damselflies having already emerged and waiting for their maiden flights in the vegetation and eventually found a couple of damselflies in the middle of emerging. As I kept on searching, I parted some reeds and found a Willow Emerald Damselfly nymph clinging to the reeds and not too far from the bank at all. Using my monopod to lay on the reeds, I was then able to get an uncluttered view of the nymph and settled in and waited. I went back to the car for the tripod and after setting up, I was poised and had a lovely view. The nymph went through the motions of making sure the site was suitable enough to emerge from and after a period of stillness, the damselfly started to emerge. With the tripod set up low, I was able to good a good angle on the emergence and throughout the next 2 hours, I took a selection of photos of each stage as the Willow Emerald Damselfly emerged. Occasionally a few early morning campers would walk by and a few were quite inquisitive as to what I was doing laying down in the reeds. Other than fighting off Mosquito, I was able to show them this sight that not many others have probably observed. They seemed quite impressed and left me to carry on firing off shots. Eventually I had my set and feeling quite pleased, I moved my monopod and left the damselfly to wait for the warmth of the day to make his maiden flight. I've said it many times I'm aware but what a privilege again to witness such an amazing spectacle of this lovely species. Breakfast had been earnt but later in the day, I returned for and hour to see what was moving. The wind had moved round by now and was quite strong but I did manage to see 12 Willow Emerald Damselfly making their maiden flights, 1 Brown Hawker, 2 Emperor Dragonfly, 1 Norfolk Hawker and quite a few Azure and Blue tailed Damselfly. More good news was on the cards though when I found my first ever 3 Small Red eyed Damselflies for this site. I have looked in previous years with out success so it was very satisfying to at last see some at Nethergong. I'm sure a further search in the area would turn up more of them and that's maybe a job for another day.
Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis) - male emerging
Small Red eyed Damselfly (Erythromma viridulum) - male