Saturday, 6 August 2016

A Taste of the South!

The last few days in east Kent have seen some nice warm sunny weather which has brought out a good number of dragonflies at Nethergong. Walking around this superb site has seen me find c140 Willow Emerald Damselfly along with c50 Emerald Damselfly, a few Brown Hawkers which continue to elude the camera, Azure and Blue tailed Damselfly and up to 4 Southern Hawker. The Southern Hawker is one of the dragonflies I don't often come across on my travels much but this year, there seems to be a good showing of them at Nethergong and with this in mind, my past few sessions have seen me trying to capture this stunning inquisitive dragonfly. I noticed on Friday when I had a walk around at 10.30am that 3 Southern Hawker were together in a sunny glade and were landing often and this gave me the chance to try to capture them on the camera. The problem I had with some was that they partially landed in the sun and shade providing not the best photo opportunities but I still enjoyed the challenge of photographing them. I moved on around the site and found another one which again provided some nice camera action but I still await finding a stunning well marked male posing nicely in the sun, I will keep looking though.


Southern Hawker (female) 


Southern Hawker (Immature male) 

I returned again today in the company of Paul and Sue Ritchie who had travelled up from Southampton to see the Willow Emerald Damselflies and with lovely weather, we were not disappointed as in a few hours looking, we managed to find c35 Willow Emerald Damselfly, a few newly emerged individuals were seen making their maiden flights. Paul was like a kid in a sweet shop and hopefully he will have some nice shots of the day. We did spend some time trying to photograph a Brown Hawker in the dykes but my attempts were nothing short of pathetic, another trip I feel coming on to try again. One interesting sight we did see was a male Emerald Damselfly in tandem with a male Willow Emerald Damselfly. I have never seen this before and assume its quite a rare sight to see. I managed to capture a few record shots while they rested in the reeds before they parted and went their own way.

Male Emerald Damselfly in tandem with a male Willow Emerald Damselfly!

Migrant Hawker numbers are building up nicely with c40 seen in recent days and a few shots were taken which I shall post in due coarse. A great couple of days out and about and not only plenty seen but a few nice photo opportunities too. Hopefully a few more visits in the next week if the weather continues to be nice.  

Southern Hawker (female) 

Southern Hawker (Immature male) 



Southern Hawker (female) 

12 comments:

  1. Those Southern Hawkers are cunning little blighters Marc, as you say, they are willing to perch up frequently, but they always sit at a non camera friendly angle, or part shaded place! Good fun though :-)

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    1. Yes, a good challenge and nice to be able to study them.at close range. I shall be back!!!

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  2. Wow .... what a great beautiful pictures of these dragonflies.
    A big compliment!
    Greetings, Helma

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    1. Many thanks Helma, much appreciated.

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  3. That Emerald male should have gone to Specsavers!! Your eyesight is obviously much better. Great shots as ever Marc.

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  4. Lovely set of photos, Marc!
    The 2 Lestes are emeralds, aren't they? LOL!
    It happens once in a while to see 4 different species hooked together or 2 males but usually the tandem doen't remain together for long.
    Great shot!
    I once took a pic of a male sympetrum sanguineum with a male O. coerulescens!! Red and blue... It was quite a site!
    Thanks for visiting me earlier :)
    Keep well and I wish you still many great pic opportunities until the end of the season;

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    1. Many thanks Noushka. Its your photos I aspire too. Something to aim for.

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  5. That first female Southern Hawker is almost as confusing as the two Emeralds are. She seems to have a distinctly blue colouration, like an immature male! I thought the females matured from yellow to green on the abdomen? Is this a normal colour aberration?

    On Thursday I saw more Southern Hawkers than anything else at Rutland Water.

    Super images as always.

    Best wishes - - - Richard

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    1. Many thanks Richard for your kind words. I believe there is a colour form in the females where some indeed take on the male colours. I don't know if she will mature out of this at all. A good observation though and something for you to look out for when you are out and about.

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  6. Brilliant images, I can't say anymore.

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