Sunday, 31 July 2016

The Reeds Come Alive!

As well as counting and photographing Willow Emerald Damselflies yesterday, I tried to spend some time looking for emerging damselflies and their exuviae. This is easier said than done but I spent a while searching the margins and eventually started to get my eye in and found a handful clinging to the reeds. I collected a few which were still very soft and no doubt the damselfly had not long emerged long before but what I was really after was either a nymph climbing up a reed to emerge or a damselfly in the process of emerging. Again I spent a while searching until after what seemed an age, I found a Willow Emerald Damselfly that had just emerged from its exuviae and was now pumping its wings and body up. I really wanted to get a decent image of this so I had to lay on my belly with my elbows in the water to get down to the correct level and fire off a few photos. I managed to move a few reeds out of the way to achieve a non cluttered background and the result was a very pleasing image of the Willow Emerald Damselfly opposite its exuviae.

'Newly Emerged' Willow Emerald Damselfly with Exuviae

Willow Emerald Damselfly Exuviae

I continued searching afterwards for any nymphs climbing up the reeds but had no luck in this area but I hope to return in the next few days to continue to look for this and maybe, the opportunity to actually photograph the emergence. I suspect that they will continue to emerge for a while yet where they will then fly off to mature in the trees before returning back to the water to attempt to breed. I would really like to get a nice image of a mating pair which seems to have eluded me for a few years now. If I keep looking, I'm sure I will get my chance soon. With so many photos taken yesterday I thought I would share a few more of this stunning looking damselfly.

Willow Emerald Damselfly (male) 

Willow Emerald Damselfly (female) 

Willow Emerald Damselfly (female)


  1. Elbows in the water.....reeds cut back for nice background......that's what i like to hear :-) Worth the effort Marc, lovely images!

    1. Thanks Warren. I did get a soaking but I had to get down to water level if this was going to work. I only bent a few reeds back, not the full on cutting etc. The things we do for a shot.

  2. Amazing shots as ever Marc. Nice work!