Nature Notes #14 (Dragons and a Damsel)
Dragonflies and Damselflies are a welcome distraction from quiet periods in birding during the Summer and Autumn months. Some of the Hawker species often give me an ID headache, especially when they are flashing by in pursuit of a flyby meal.
I have included a few images from Frodsham Marsh and Delamere over the last few weeks and one or two from earlier this summer. Thanks to Nigel Cash, Paul Crawley and Mike Turton for the use of their images.
Migrant Hawker Dragonfly (male), Frodsham Marsh, 7th October. Image by Paul Crawley.
Migrant Hawker Dragonfly (female), Frodsham Marsh, 6th October. Image by Paul Crawley.
Southern Hawker Dragonfly (male), Weaver Bend, Frodsham Marsh, 27th July. Image by Paul Crawley.
This Southern Hawker is the one that I don’t see that often and I frequently find it difficult to tell apart. The one thing that does help me is the iris colour, on the Southern there is a blue cast on yellow eyes and, on Migrant Hawker it is a brown cast on blue eyes. Obviously, that’s if it is at rest and close enough to observe. If Mr Richard Gabb is looking in? I’m sure he’ll be frowning with my attempts at identification and shaking his head with that analogy because, he did try to teach me about them years ago!
This dragonfly is hunting and if you strained your eyes hard enough you can just see a small winged insect about to sacrifice its self for supper. Image by Nigel Cash.
Common Darter (male), Frodsham Marsh. Image by Mike Turton.
Common Darter (female), Frodsham Marsh. Image by Mike Turton.
Brown Hawker (female egg laying), 26th August, Delamere Forest. Image by WSM.
Black Darter (male), 26th August, Delamere Forest. Image by WSM.
Four-spot Chaser, May, Delamere Forest. Image by WSM.
Azure Damselfly (under or over cover?), Delamere Forest, May. Image by WSM.
Typical dragonfly habitat, in this case Black Lake, Delamere Forest, 13th August. Image by WSM.