Went hunting for dragons the other day. Specifically, I was after Black Darters and they tend to live in peat bogs. Fortunately, there's one of those behind a retail park on the outskirts of town. Sure enough, I quickly found a female sunning herself.
Even then, you can't miss other opportunities when they present themselves, like this Scorpion Fly
So far, the numbers of dragons seems to be way down, presumably due to the extended period of bad weather since June ... or the recent droughts. However, in one place I had a dozen Black Darters sitting in the grass all around me.
It's quite amazing to see that many hovering just in front of you when you take a step. And then they all just settle down again.
There were a few damsels about, too, including the first lovely Emeralds I've seen this year
I just love that metallic green!
There were a couple of Four-spot Chasers around and another inhabitant of acidic waters, the Common Hawker. This is just a long distance, cropped record shot
However, the numbers of Black Darters were impressive - dozens and dozens of them everywhere. I even got one to smile for the camera. At least, I think that's a smile!
"But," I hear you cry "Not one of those is black!" It's true, the vast majority I saw were yellow, ie female or immature male. Adult males were few and far between ... or perhaps being black, they are more like Stealth Darters and impossible to find and invisible to radar. Despite the difficulties, I managed to track one down for you.
Black is meant to be a colour that goes with anything, so the coolest and trendiest of the Darters, the Black Darter
There are quite a few dragons we don't get locally, but I'm glad we have these just round the corner
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
Lot to learn
@ Nige, forgot to tell you, local reserve (Woolston Eyes) spotted a Hornet mimic hoverfly which apparently is more rare in the north of England although the species are slowly spreading northwards from the south of England. Was wondering if you had seen one on your travels but if not keep a look out on the buddleia; HERE is the link for interest. The (permit) reserve only opened just over a week ago but haven't been yet.
My Flickr Photostream
In reply to HAZY:
Nigel, I confess that I marvelled at the photos and then moved on (back to work).
But, if I may hijack your thread for a moment, I think you are the man (and Hazel the woman) to ask.
Yesterday, I saw (and didn’t photo) the most incredible dragonfly-like thing I’ve ever seen.
Landed briefly to sun itself on a judas tree to the south side of the house. Around 8 cm long, with a deep electric blue body and four deep electric blue wings; solid colour, not transparent—a completely unnatural colour but there it was.
We’re complete amateurs. But we ‘looked at our books’ and wondered if Calopteryx is the right direction at least…
What do you think?
Best regards –
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