Having spent the past few weeks photographing Banded Demoiselles at sunrise and sunset with some pleasing results, there was one shot of a Banded Demoiselle that I have tried to get in the past but for one reason or another have never achieved, the open wing shot. For some species this is easy to achieve but on experience having tried, the Banded Demoiselle does not often bask with its wings open for long periods of time. This in itself, makes it a real challenge to achieve that shot. I had noticed on my early morning visits to photograph them that a few were indeed resting with their wings open, occasionally flicking them to remove the dew. A few remained with their wings open while most opted for the wings closed approach. The problem when I have tried in the past was getting near enough to them through the reeds without scaring them off, a pretty hard task but at Nethergong, there are a few isolated clumps of reed on the waters edge where if I was lucky, I may get a chance to photograph them. I arrived this morning before sunrise but rather than look for photographs of the sunrise, I opted for scanning the reeds to look for them resting with their wings open. I found a couple of males at rest but they had their wings closed but an hour later after much searching, I did find one male resting with his wings open. I wasn't sure which approach to try, the stalking slow approach and hope he stayed there or the sit as near as I dare approach and just be happy for any shot I get. I opted to start with for the second idea and gently moved into position quite near and took a few shots but most had bits of the wings obscured by reeds. I took a number of shots that I could work with and then decided to try to get a little nearer. This idea looked funny but actually worked. I put the camera down and on my belly, slowly started to move some of the reeds away from the demoiselle until I had a clear view. Remarkably, he stayed in position and slowly getting back to my feet, I was able to move a little nearer until I had an excellent view. There was not much light early on so I had to use some camera flash but I spent the next 30 minutes or so taking a number of shots whilst he dried out. Occasionally he would flick his wings to remove the dew but was quite happy to open up again until he was ready for the day and flew off to patrol the stream. A great little session and as I have found out, if you put your mind to it, do a little homework and have a bit of luck, some great photo opportunities can always be had.
Banded Demoiselle (male)