Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The Orange Dragon Awakes

With some nice sunny spells last Sunday afternoon, I decided on a late afternoon visit to Westbere Lakes to see if I could locate any Scarce Chasers. I had not long arrived and was checking an area near the entrance which is often a sun trap when I noticed what looked like an orange highlighter pen in amongst the greenery of the reeds. It was of course a Scarce Chaser, one of 7 seen that afternoon. These dragonflies which are nationally scarce provide some lovely colours for the photographer and it wasn't long until I was creeping through the reeds in order to take my first photos of this species this season. It was also nice just to spend some time observing them and I'm sure they probably hadn't been on the wing that long.
 

Scarce Chaser (female)
 
Hopefully they will have a good season and there numbers will build up in the next few weeks. As I continued on, I saw good numbers of Variable, Azure and Blue tailed Damselflies as well as a few Common Blue Damselflies but I still await seeing my first Red eyed Damselflies this year. A good showing of 10 Hairy Dragonfly were noted with a few males seen posing well in the sunshine which provided a few nice photo opportunities of this stunning species.
 

Hairy Dragonfly (male)
 
Along the footpath near the river I saw the first of 3 Banded Demoiselle, also new for me for the year and a teneral male showed nicely for yet more camera action. It wont be long until the river is swarming with them.
 


Banded Demoiselle (teneral male)
 
Only an hour or so walking but very worthwhile indeed and a nice finish to the weekend. Today (Wednesday) will see the start of my evening visits (9-11pm) to a site in east Kent to see whether I can locate any Norfolk Hawker nymphs under torch light preparing to think about emerging. I aim to try weather permitting to visits most nights to eventually photograph an emergence of this species which I think I'm right in saying has hardly ever been photographed in the UK. Its a tough ask but I have a good few isolated patches of reed to check which I feel may deliver an emergence. All I know is, If I give it a good go, then I stand every chance of succeeding. I will continue to update during the next few posts on this challenge.
 
 Scarce Chaser (female)
 
Scarce Chaser (immature male)


8 comments:

  1. Fantastic 'Scarce Chaser' there Marc.

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    1. Many thanks Bob. As far a dragonflies go, they're right up there with their bright early season colours.

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  2. Absolutely stunning images Marc !!!! I'll be visiting Westbere Lakes during the school holidays Marc while house sitting for my son while he's abroad. When i've visited Westbere in previous years i've parked on Walnut Tree Lane and crossed the railway line. Is there an alternative / better place to park ?? I make sure i do not cause any problems for residents but parking is limited and if there is an alternative i would rather use that. Thanks in anticipation. I'm looking for ward to my fortnight in the area Dragon Spotting as we get very few species here in the north east.

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    1. Many thanks for your kind words. You're parking in the right place, exactly where I do. I often walk the area up to the river and then spend some time either walking left or right at the river junction. Are you down in the next few weeks or summer holidays? The next few weeks will see the Norfolk Hawkers flying along with a range of other good species.

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    1. Many thanks Mike, much appreciated.

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  4. The Scarce Chaser is another species on my hit list, Marc. I saw my first last year and only got female and immature male. Must try and find a mature male this year!

    Superb images - every one, but I pareticularly like the simple background of your Banded Demoiselle images.

    Saw my first Hairies on Tuesday, but in sad circumstances, and no photos.

    Best wishes - - - Richard

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    1. Many thanks Richard. Hopefully you will get your lens on a few species soon. Perseverance will eventually pay off I'm sure.

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