With work seemingly dominating much of what I do at the moment, I have not been out that much apart from a few brief outings to the Stour Valley. A check of my new pond in the past few days revealed a number of damselfly nymphs surviving well and I am optimistic that come the warmer months I may be able to get a few photos of them emerging, all within a few metres of the back door and plenty of warm drinks available. I recently purchased a small glass tank which is in the conservatory which has a few damselflies in as well as a small Emperor Dragonfly nymph, about 12mm in length. Iv'e spent a bit of time watching it go about its business but still await the time when I actually see it in hunting mode. I'm hoping with some good light that I can maybe get a few photos of the nymphs under the water but I may have to find a way to get them nearer the glass for this, maybe a conveniently placed thin stick may do the trick. Anyway with no adults to look for at the moment it has occupied some of my time and there has always been something different to watch and learn about these really under watched insects. Tomorrow brings us February and another month nearer to the dragonflies emerging. With my purchased Canon 7d, I am more than eager to start the season off and see if I can build on the quality from last year, a tough order I think but I'm sure with some practice this camera can deliver the goods. Like the first Swallow of Spring, the past few years I have been really excited about seeing the first Hairy Dragonfly of the year, our first dragonfly to emerge in this country. My first encounter last year was on the 17th April at Shuart, just east of Reculver where I found a few freshly emerged males and was able to watch them patrolling the hedge lines and resting up where I was able to get a few pleasing shots.
Male Hairy Dragonfly
A week or so later a female perched nicely for shots at Westbere Lakes. I would like to think that I may be able to find a few emerging Hairy Dragonflies at Nethergong campsite this year if I make a few visits after dark.
Female Hairy Dragonfly
A definite target this year has to be to capture the complete sequence of shots from a few species leaving the water as a nymph to the adult emerging and flying off. It may involve a bit of night time photography to achieve this but its another challenge to take up. Hopefully the days will pass quickly and the season will soon be upon us, in the mean time I will try to capture some photos of the nymphs in my tank to keep the shutter button in training. A look in the next post to our first damselfly to emerge, the Large Red Damselfly with hopefully some accompanying photos.