The Weird and Wonderful World of Dragonflies - an Introduction
There's little to rival the grandeur of a recently emerged male Broad Bodied Chaser, which have had a bumper year at Old Moor already. It's possible to identify individuals from their war wounds, and we have at least half a dozen around the discovery trail, flying from pond to pond as they try to compete for the attention of the females. Some of these have emerged from the two newest ponds, closest to the visitor centre, showing that you don't need a huge amount of space to provide nature with somewhere to get a foothold.
Broad Bodied Chaser - D Pritchard
Learning to ID Dragonflies has a lot in common with birding. There's a lot of "Spot The Difference" and a fair bit of getting it wrong. But it's a great introduction to the skills needed to identify birds. You'll learn behaviour patterns and see personality traits across family groups. You'll learn that some have different "plumage", which can change over a few days, not weeks. And unlike birds, there are just over 40 resident species to learn. They're very accessible.
They also lead a double life. Nymphs can live for several years underwater. Some hide in plain sight, ambushing their prey from below, while others are active hunters, chasing down prey like downsized sharks. Next time you're at Old Moor, try a pond dipping kit and you'll see that they're every bit as varied and specialised under the water as they are when flying over it.
Common Darter Nymph - D Pritchard
Interesting stuff David. I look forward to your next posts. It’s a good challenge to get in-flight shots of these amazing creatures.
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