I recieved an email last night from Chris Tedder asking me to have a look at a photo of a dragonfly that had been taken. On opening the attachment I was startled to see a cracking male Red veined Darter, and even better it had been seen only 5 minutes from where I live. I have never seen this species but its most certainly on my wanted list. After an exchange of emails and phone calls I found out the location and hoped it would hang around to be seen. Luckily hopes were high as it seems to have been around for a few days now so this morning with the sun shining I made a visit to the area and met up with Chris. Despite waiting and looking around in the general area I had no luck but did see 3 Black tailed Skimmer and lots of Common Blue and Blue tailed Damselfly. Back at work I received a call mid morning from Chris letting me know that it had been seen again so at lunchtime I popped out briefly where in cooler conditions with no sun I managed to get a glimpse of the Red veined Darter but it flew off within seconds and was lost to view. There were 2 Common Darters, my first of the year seen and whilst looking I come across what I believe could be a teneral Willow Emerald Damselfly or Emerald Damselfly, my first this year. Please correct me if I have got this wrong.
Willow Emerald / Emerald Damselfly?
I grabbed a few shots before returning back to work. Another text later in the day from Chris had me again after work making another visit to the area where in cloudy and breezy conditions I did not hold out much hope. There was 1 Emperor Dragonfly on the wing along with a few Black tailed Skimmer and c8 Common Darter. With the rain settling in, not great for dragonfly hunting I had one more walk through the grasses in the hope of seeing the Darter and thankfully a bright red Darter rose out of the grass and landed nearby. I was soon grilling a male Red veined Darter, what a stunner and a new species for me. I noted the features needed to make a positive identification and set out getting some shots in the rain.
Male Red veined Darter
The rain probably worked in my favour as the Darter didn't seem to want to fly very far and allowed me to grab some priceless shots. I left the Darter in peace and whilst walking back found another Willow Emerald Damselfly resting. As the saying goes, 3rd time lucky and many thanks to Chris for letting me know of the sighting. Hopefully I will return when the sun is shining and grab a few more shots.
Male Red veined Darter