Thursday, 19 May 2016

Demoiselles and Chasers at Westbere

As mentioned in yesterdays post, I saw my first Banded Demoiselle's and Scarce Chasers of the year at Westbere Lakes whilst walking along the river. There can not be many more exciting sights in the odonata world than seeing large numbers of Banded Demoiselle flying up and down the river, their banded wings catching the sunlight as they chase each other before perching up on often quite exposed reeds, before continuing the chase soon after. Not the numbers yet at Westbere but I hope in a few weeks time, I will indeed be seeing hundreds of these stunners flying. I only encountered three yesterday and often, this species can be very wary but with the sun in and out, it gave me a chance to attempt a few photos as one male perched up on a reed. Using some in camera flash, I was able to fire off a few pleasing shots, hopefully the first of my many encounters with this species.


Banded Demoiselle (male)

I also come across 4 Scarce Chaser but photo opportunities were a little more tricky as they rested just the wrong side of the dykes for me. I was able to lean over and despite not the best light, attempt my first shots of this species this year. The colours are superb on these immatures and in the right conditions with subtle backgrounds, can make for a striking photo. 


Scarce Chaser (immature male)

Hopefully back out soon for more attempts and if I am lucky, maybe a few Variable Damselfly photos will come my way along with any other dragonfly or damselfly that lands within camera range!

10 comments:

  1. Stunning pictures. Dragonfly season has begun here as well. (Leucorrhinia rubicunda) females have been flying off the lot. Good description moments.

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    1. Many thanks Anne. After waiting months for them, theres now quite a few species to catch up with and not enough time... aarrgghhh!!!

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  2. Marc.
    Love the pictues of the Banded Demoiselle's. I think they are one of the most stunning odonata that we have. To me they are lovlier that the Beautiful Demoiselle.

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    1. Many thanks Ken. I have to agree with you there. Certainly get my vote on that one.

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  3. Absolutely stunning Marc, love them all.

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    1. Many thanks Bob, much appreciated.

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  4. Marc,

    How did you get on in respect of access to the pond that was taken over by the shooting group.

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    1. No joy Derek. I waited a few weeks and asked again. I also passed on my website details but the young owner didn't want me on there although one of the workers I spoke to was keen that we shared what was on the site. I cycle past the site every day, don't see a single soul there. A great shame that this place will have its secrets hidden now....... all to shoot a duck. They have also bought other land nearby now as well and access has been stopped here too, another shame as breeding Willow Emerald Damselflies occur here. Sad that this data from now will not be ever found out.

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  5. A bloody shame and it's really bad PR but these small syndicates can be such pompous pratts and it does their sport no good at all. Thankfully the Kent Wildfowlers have done a better job at Westbere and you still have access there.

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  6. Great images, as always, Marc.

    You've brought home to me the main disadvantage of using the Sigma 50-500 for macro work and that is that I've got no chance of using the on-camera flash for macro as the large diameter of the objective glass would completely shadow the subject. I do like its versatility, however. Nevertheless, you've now got me thinking about one of those superb Sigma 150 macros!

    Best wishes for some good weather - as you say, the difficuly at the moment is finding enough good-weather days to fit in all those places we we want to go!

    All the best - - - Richard

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