During the past week I have been spending time of an evening photographing Barn Owls and whilst doing this, I have noticed a good number of Banded Demoiselle along the stream which seem quite loyal to a few small clumps of reed. With the added bonus of parking next to the stream as well so no walking involved, I thought I would have an early morning session where I was hoping to get a few dewy shots of the Demoiselles, should I be able to find them. I watched the Demoiselles during the last few evenings going to roost in the reeds and felt quite confident that I would be able to find some. Normally, this species is ultra aware and often hard to approach so I hoped with an early start, that I would be able to get a few photos. After preparing the car Friday night, I was up early at 4am this morning and a few minutes later, I pulled up at the site. A quick walk to the water through the long grass provided soaking wellies which was good and I could see the reeds glistening with dew which raised hopes that I would be able to attempt a few dewy shots. I started to part the reeds and scan around, getting soaked hands in the process and after a few minutes of searching, I could see a Banded Demoiselle at rest. Because I was at an angle of 45 degrees on the bank of the stream, this was not a place that I could take photos so I carefully removed the reed and placed it in a clamp which I had already prepared nearby. I then set up the camera on the tripod and set about taking a number of photos of this stunning dragonfly. Because there was not much light early on, I used manaul mode, ISO 400, speed set to 250, f8-f13 and in camera flash. As the light got better and the sun broke through, I was able to work between manual and AV mode. I spent a good hour or so taking a number of photos from different angles trying to capture the detail of the Demoiselle and the glistening dew on it.
Banded Demoiselle (male)
I tried to take a few shots looking into the sun to give a silhouette appearance but they didn't quite work out but this may give me the excuse to make another visit and learn from my mistakes made this time. I was glad I had made the early start for it soon warmed up enough for them to become quite active, dry up and start to fly in the stream. With a few shots taken, I moved on to Marshside where from 9.30am, I spent an hour looking in the dykes near Little Grays Farm where I found 7 teneral Willow Emerald Damselfly and 2 exuviae of this species too. I suspect in the next few weeks that there numbers will build up nicely and I will hopefully monitor their numbers here. I took a few photos which I will save for a post in the next few days. All in all, a very well spent morning with the camera and some nice studying and photographic opportunities were had.
Banded Demoiselle (male)