With the weather forecast for cloudy skies and a strong wind locally, you could be thinking that it would be a waste of time going out looking for dragonflies, but as the title suggests today, there's always something to be found and learnt. I decided on a visit to a private site south of Reculver for a few hours where indeed on arrival, it was cloudy and dull. Not deterred, I put on the wellies and took a walk in the shallows where I soon found a newly emerged female Black tailed Skimmer. I just love the wings of dragonflies when they emerge, shiny and unused and its nice to capture this freshness in a photo if possible. I took a few photos of the Black tailed Skimmer and left here to dry up and prepare for her first flight.
'Teneral' Black tailed Skimmer (female)
As I walked through the shallows, there were good numbers of teneral Common Darters taking their first flight having just emerged. I found a few drying out and again, took a few shots showing the light reflecting of those fresh wings.
'Teneral' Common Darter (female)
Throughout the session I saw c20 Common Darter, a few still clinging on to their exuvia of which I collected a few for some photos. There were a few Emperor Dragonfly exuvia seen and walking in the shallows around the lake revealed thousands of Blue tailed Damselflies along with good numbers of Common Blue and Azure Damselfly. I decided as it was quite dull to go looking for 'Emerald' Damselflies. I am alright at identifying the adults of Emerald and Scarce Emerald but the immatures do prove a problem for me, along i'm sure with many others. After a good search, I found three individuals. One was a fresh pinky Emerald Damselfly but the other two proved a little more tricky with the identification. I found a female which appeared to show the 'square' spots on segment 1 and appeared chunky. The ovipositor did appear long but I will see what others think of it. Please let me know if you come to any conclusions?
Emerald Damselfly 'Sp' (female)
Moving on I found an immature male Emerald which didn't hang around for long but I did manage a few dodgy shots, including and even dodgier shot of the inner anal appendages. They are incurved as Scarce should be but are they chunky enough or do these fall with in the range of Emerald Damselfly?
Emerald Damselfly 'Sp' (male)
Again, so much to learn on the identification of these tricky immatures. I would appreciate any help with these. I left late morning where I met Chiddy at Westbere Lakes who wanted to see his first Norfolk Hawker. The weather although very breezy, did show signs of the sun breaking through but never for any length of time. We wandered on around the area and nothing found in the dykes except a male Hairy Dragonfly and I found a Hairy Dragonfly exuvia but moving on to the river, Mark picked out a Norfolk Hawker in flight which disappeared as quick as we saw it. Nonetheless, Mark saw his first Norfolk Hawker, great stuff. Walking back we noted may Banded Demoiselle and 4 Scarce Chaser. Despite the weather not being great, it ended up being a very rewarding session indeed. Maybe a visit tomorrow morning if I can get out, if not hopefully during the week.