With April now upon us, it won't be long until the first Large Red Damselflies emerge but due to the freezing temperatures and snow of a few weeks ago and a pretty cold winter, they seem to be a few weeks behind where they were last year. I have spent a few evenings visiting my pond this week by torch light and have started to see a few Large Red Damselfly nymphs up at the surface where no doubt, they are starting the process of starting to breathe air. With this in mind, I have collected a few and put them into a tank outside where I can monitor them and hopefully photograph an emergence all being well in the next week. There are a few in particular which are well coloured up and seem ready to go. We just need a few warmer days now. With a few weeks off work, I spent a couple of hours at Grove Ferry today with the net and after sampling a few ditches, I managed to net 6 Hairy Dragonfly nymphs, 1 Migrant Hawker nymph, 3 Emperor Dragonfly nymphs and a few Azure Damselfly nymphs. After returning home, I decided to check out the pond again where I have hundreds of newly hatched tadpoles which will keep the nymphs well fed I suspect. I had a reach around in the weeds and managed to find a well grown Hairy Dragonfly nymph and with some time on my hands, decided on a brief photo session which resulted in a pleasing image of the mask. After returning the nymph, I then potted up a few collected reeds which have been placed in the shallows hoping that a Hairy Dragonfly nymph will decide to emerge on them. Busy times lie ahead in the forthcoming weeks and hopefully the camera will be there to capture some of my observations.
Hairy Dragonfly Nymph (showing the mask)