Thursday, 16 October 2014

Willows in the Sunshine

We are lucky here in Kent to still have one of the rarest damselflies still on the wing, the Willow Emerald Damselfly. Even better still is that they are only a few minutes drive from where I live so with a warm sunny October afternoon today I took a drive over to Reculver to see if I could find any. After parking up and a short walk I was in the area where it was noticeable that a good number of Common Darter were on the wing. I counted c30 Common Darter but I suspect there are lots more in the surrounding ditches that go unseen. There were a few Migrant Hawker flying around and it was nice to see c12 Common Blue Damselfly hanging on. I checked a sheltered sunny area and scanning the edge of the branches I soon come across 6 Willow Emerald Damselfly at rest, their familiar 45 degree pose giving them away. Fortunately a few individuals were low down and wanted their photo taken and I spent about an hour firing off a few hundred shots of these little beauties.

Male Willow Emerald Damselfly

From time to time they would chase each other and seemed to want to use the top of my head as a look out. I only found males, no females, I hope they were about maybe egg laying. Thankfully this species does allow you to get close to them and often return to the same perch which is most helpful. With plenty of shots which I can also use throughout the colder months when the season ends and a good study of this species I left them to go about their business. My kidney shaped pond arrived the other day so hopefully I can make a start in the garden tomorrow and get digging, the plan being to introduce a few larvae that may emerge next year and hopefully attract a few dragonflies and damselflies next year.

Male Willow Emerald Damselfly


  1. Oh that is beautiful, and now, lovely and showing.

  2. Great images Marc, saw quite a few Common Darter and a couple of Migrant Hawker here today, but the sun went in once I had changed my lens!

    I made two small ponds in my garden, I only get Large Red Damsels breeding in it, although they do attract other damsels and Dragons at times, just too many birds around for their liking though!!

    1. Minevis very small, only about a metre and a half in length and nearly a metre wide. It looks like a little puddle in the garden. Hopefully a few larvae will appear next season. I'm not putting any fish in, literally just hoping for dragonflies and damselflies and whatever else wants to live there.