Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Stalking the Hawkers

With another day of sunshine predicted, I was out early this morning where I birded at Nethergong for a few hours. As the day warmed up I turned my attention to the dragonflies where I noted c30 Migrant Hawker, c20 Willow Emerald Damselfly, 3 Southern Hawker, 1 Brown Hawker, 5 Common Darter and a few Emerald Damselfly. I spent some time looking for the gall marks that the Willow Emerald Damselfly females make when egg laying on the branches and found some on willows c2 metres from the water. I have read that when the nymphs hatch out, if they don't land in the water, they have a jumping mechanism whereby they can make it to the water in order to survive. I have plenty of photos of Willow Emerald Damselflies from nymph to adults but I do not have any photos of a mating pair or a female egg laying so the hope is that I can keep an eye on where they are and photograph these two challenges if at all possible. I spent quite a bit of time this morning watching the Migrant Hawkers and found a few mature males with one posing quite nicely for the camera but the highlight was finding an immature male about a half a metre off the ground perched up which I was able to stalk slowly and take a number of close photos using the macro lens.

Migrant Hawker (male)

A number of campers walked by and wanted to know what I was photographing and they too spent some time appreciating this dragonfly while other Migrant Hawkers flew overhead, quite a spectacle to see.

Migrant Hawker (Immature male)

As ever I was on the look out for a mature male Southern Hawker to photograph and as I neared the car, a male flew by me and flew up into a sunlit area. I approached slowly and found it hanging up but at an awkward angle. I also had some campers walking towards me so had to take a few rushed photos and couldn't get the angle of shots I wanted before it flew away. 

Southern Hawker (male)

Frustrating but nice to see it and at least I got a photo and this gives me a target to aim to better. Hopefully back out tomorrow to continue my pursuit of the local dragonflies and damselflies. 

1 comment:

  1. Delightful images of the Migrant Hawkers, Marc. Not found one yet this year but, if last year is anything to go by, I'll be seeing plenty over the next couple of months.