I spent a few hours on Sunday morning at Nethergong where the aim was to see if any Emerald Damselfly could be found and then hopefully locate a few exuviae of this species which I could add to my growing collection. However, despite a good search of the long grasses alongside the stream and reeds on the waters edge for any exuviae, I drew a blank on both fronts. Hopefully they will emerge during this warm spell this week and I may encounter them during next weekend. I did spend a short while pond dipping at the stream which produced 3 Emerald Damselfly nymphs of good size which looked like they may emerge soon. As I then sat back at the waters edge having a drink, I noticed a good number of Banded Demoiselle patrolling the stream and this kept me occupied as they flew out every now and then to either catch prey, chase females or intruders. It was this point that I decided that rather than walk around searching in the heat, I would sit back and try to get a few photographs of the males and just enjoy the experience of these stunners. Its easy to overlook them as they speed down the stream quickly but when perched and quite close, the detail and colours on them is nothing short of incredible. As I had been sat patiently at the stream, a few male Banded Demoiselle moved in and rested on the reeds which gave me the perfect excuse to take a number of photos. I noticed with one male that he would fly out to catch prey and after returning back to the perch, would spread his wings a few times which provided yet more photo opportunities. I really can't get enough of this species and hopefully will have a few more encounters with the camera this season. Also noted as I sat at the stream were 2 Emperor Dragonfly, 2 Hairy Dragonfly, 1 Norfolk Hawker, 1 Four spotted Chaser and good numbers of Blue tailed and Azure Damselfly. I'm hoping to get out at the weekend for another search of this area as well as trying to fit in a trip to Westbere to see how the Norfolk Hawkers are doing. From what I am being told, they are having a good season in east Kent with sightings at a number of locations.
Banded Demoiselle (male)