Saturday, 30 July 2016

Willow Heaven!

I was out early this morning at 4.30am where a few minutes later I arrived at Nethergong. After getting ready, I walked up to the gate on the eastern boundary where I intended to look out for any birds passing. It was here that the session took a dramatic turn and the next 4 hours was spent in photographic heaven. As I stood at the gate watching the sun rise, I could hear the buzzing of wet wings in the long grasses. Knowing they was going to be from a dragonfly or damselfly, I took a look in the long grass which was at least waist height and soon found a male Emerald Damselfly covered in dew. I quickly got the camera out of the back and as I prepared to take some photos, another damselfly could be seen climbing up the grass, a Willow Emerald Damselfly, a nationally rare damselfly but seemingly doing well in South East England.

Nethergong Stream

As I took photos of this one, I noticed other Willow Emerald Damselflies resting in the grasses. Knowing that there seemed to be a few around, I spent the next 4 hours walking the grass bank alongside the stream for c100 metres where I found at least 80 Willow Emerald Damselfly, probably quite a few more I suspect.




Willow Emerald Damselfly (female)

I can't really remember the next 4 hours as I was totally engrossed in watching, studying and photographing these superb damselflies, many of them having just emerged and I even found 2 which were in the process of emerging. On quite a few occasions, as I walked through the grasses, groups of Willow Emerald Damselflies would fly up, some landing nearby with others flying to nearby trees.


Willow Emerald Damselfly (female)

A scan of the reeds also revealed a number of Willow Emerald Damselfly exuviae. Its not often that all the factors work out but during the golden hour, the light was superb and I was able to obtain a number of pleasing images showing off their colours. With the time passing by quickly, I packed up and made my way back to the car where walking back, I still encountered Willow Emerald Damselflies. Also seen this morning were c50 Emerald Damselfly, a few Azure and Blue tailed Damselfly and 1 Southern Hawker. I took quite a few images today as you can imagine including one newly emerged Willow Emerald Damselfly with its exuviae which hopefully I shall post in due coarse along with a few other images from the session. 


Willow Emerald Damselfly (male)

10 comments:

  1. Very envious of those shots Marc! very envious that you can use the camera even!! You saw more of the ''nationaly scarce'' damsels than I did of all damsels put together here!!

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    1. Thanks Warren. You will have to get down this way to see them for yourself. Very photogenic at times.

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  2. Nice one Marc..........a great find and some lovely images.

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    1. Many thanks Steve. Certainly the most i've seen in a small area.

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  3. The Willow Emerald Damselfly is yet never seen one, excellent taking Marc.

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    1. Many thanks Bob. A few more visits i'm sure to catch up with them.

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  4. Wow. That is incredible. Maybe you could send a few this way!! Great shots by the way. Magic.

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    1. Thanks Bob. I'm sure if I checked further that there would have been 100+. Theyvare speeading well but I wander why they have not hit Sussex yet?

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  5. Every post and every image a winner,stunning detail,the wings look like stain glass.
    John.

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