As well as being very fortunate last week at Thurlsey Common to photograph the emergence of a Downy Emerald, I also wanted the chance to be able to see and hopefully photograph a teneral Downy Emerald as it left the safety of the grasses and reeds and made for the trees. I spent quite a while walking around the Moat Lake early on where other than hearing a Cuckoo, a few Crossbills flying over, I had most of the place to myself. After a good search, I eventually found a couple of newly emerged Downy Emeralds with their exuviae and with the sun starting to come through the trees and warm up the area, I waited for one individual to venture up the reed. The wings started to flicker and a few moments later, the Downy Emerald made his maiden flight where a few seconds later, I was able to watch him land in the nearby Heather. This was too good an opportunity to waste so I slowly moved in with the sun behind me and took a few distant shots. At this time of the morning the sun was still quite low and provided a lovely bright image and with no one still around, I moved in again until I was in a great position to fire off a number of pleasing shots of this cracking dragonfly from a few angles. A family appeared walking their dog and asked what I was photographing and were soon themselves appreciating this dragonfly at close range. With my photos happily obtained, it wasn't long until the Downy Emerald flew off again and was watched flying high up into one of the Pine Trees. It was a while later that I had a brief chance of photographing a female Downy Emerald which was quite low down in a Pine Tree before she was off and flew off again higher into the tree to no doubt rest and mature up. Although my session was probably a week early to see more emerging and better numbers, I was more than happy to have photographed and emergence and a couple of teneral Downy Emeralds. Weather permitting, I shall hopefully be back soon to see if I can once again find some Brilliant Emeralds emerging as I did last year and enjoy the odonata that this wonderful site has to offer.
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) - Teneral male
Downy Emerald (Cordulia aenea) - Teneral female