Wednesday, 17 August 2016

A 'Willow' Education Day

With some warm sunshine forecast for today, I arrived at a sunny but breezy Nethergong at 9.30am where I spent a few hours walking around the site birding and looking for dragonflies. As I made my way around, I noted c20 Migrant Hawker, 3 Emperor Dragonfly, 3 Brown Hawker, 1 Ruddy Darter, c10 Common Darter, a few Emerald Damselfly and a good count of c60 Willow Emerald Damselfly. I continued my search for a mating pair to photograph and I found one pair in the reeds which soon moved deeper into cover and out of reach of the camera. A few pairs were seen leaving the trees in tandem and flying out to the reeds but again, I could not find them but its at least encouraging that I may have found a good area where I can pursue my desired shots. I decided today to try and get an open winged shot of a Willow Emerald Damselfly with a clear background, not always an easy task as they have the habit of landing either out of reach, the wrong angle or leaves and dark shadows to photograph against. I spent some time in an area where there were a few resting up and one flew down and rested quite low allowing me to fire off a few shots with not a bad background colour at all which contrasted quite nicely with the subject.

Willow Emerald Damselfly (female)

The area I spend most of the time in with the damselflies does not get a lot of campers walking by but this morning, a large family walked by and seeing my photographing 'twigs', wanted to know what I was doing. I was happy to give them a brief education on the nationally rare Willow Emerald Damselfly, its life cycle explained and within a few minutes, they were all busily looking for them in the trees and photographing them with their mobile phone cameras. They seemed really excited to have seen this rare damselfly and thanked me for my time in showing and talking to them. A nice session with a few photos obtained and nice to educate others about the dragonflies and damselflies that are about. I have a few days camping coming up soon with the family at Nethergong and hopefully, I can make a few early morning visits and continue my challenge in trying to find and photograph a mating pair of Willow Emerald Damselflies. 

Willow Emerald Damselfly (female)


  1. Oh yes, it's an education alright, but, it's more the photographer to get them so beautiful.

    1. Thanks Bob. With such a long abdomen, they can be hard to get all in focus unless they are at a good angle and are low enough for the shots.

  2. Been away from Bloggerland for a while Marc but, having found this post, couldn't let this go without saying how fabulous these images are!!!