With another day of warm sunshine and a few hours available to go out from 11am, I decided on another look at the Willow Emerald Damselflies at Nethergong to see if I could find and photograph a mating pair. One of the first things I saw as I arrived in the area was a pair of Willow Emerald Damselflies in tandem but with a brisk north east wind blowing in, they were soon blown into the reeds. I saw whereabouts they kind of went and slowly started to scan the area. After a brief search, I could see them and they were indeed mating. I got the camera ready and slowly started to push the camera through the reeds until I kind of had a clear view. I managed to rattle off a few shots before they were again blown off and flew deeper into cover.
Willow Emerald Damselflies (mating pair)
It was nice to at least get a photo of a mating pair but this challenge is nowhere near finished as I hope I can find a few more to photograph in better light. As I walked along the path checking, it was quite clear today that a lot of the Willow Emerald Damselflies resting up in the trees were mostly females and those near the waters edge along the stream were males. I decided after a drink and something to eat to take my time and walk along the stream edge which proved to be a good decision as in the next hour or so, I saw many pairs in tandem flying out from the bank. A few pairs rested up on the near bank and I was able to get into a few positions and take a few photos but frustratingly, most pairs flew over to the other side of the stream where they were hanging up in the stinging nettles.
Willow Emerald Damselflies (tandem pair)
It was here that I chanced upon something new when I saw a few pairs land on the stinging nettle stems and the females began to oviposit into the nettle stems. They did not stay for too long until the males lifted therm off and they landed again on another stem where they repeated their actions. I wondered if this has ever been documented before and after reading a few books and looking on the internet, I can find no evidence suggesting that this has been seen before so maybe this is a first. I did wonder where they were going to lay their eggs as there are not many willows along the stream so perhaps this answers the question. They were really too far for any photos but as I had never seen this before, I decided to take a few record shots to share with everyone. Normally these photos would never make it past the editing process but on this occasion, I think its worthy of publishing.
Willow Emerald Damselflies (female ovipositing into Stinging nettle stems)
I continued to watch this happening and moved further along the stream where I saw these actions being repeated. With the sun now starting to get to me and excited by my observations, I decided to call it a day and returned back to the car for a well earned drink. Weather permitting, maybe a few visits over the weekend if I can get out.