Monday, 2 July 2012

A couple more Dragonflies

A couple more species of dragonfly that were present at Maxey gravel pits the other day were the Black-tailed Skimmer and the Hairy Dragonfly.


The photos above were taken using my Canon Powershot A640 `hand-held`

The Hairy Dragonfly is the first hawker dragonfly of the year on the wing. Males (the blue one above) are usually seen during May and early June, but I think with the lovely weather we have been having this has been delayed somewhat. The pair above were seen flying in the position you see them in, before landing in long grass, allowing me to get these hand-held shots. The duration of this copulation is variable, but can last up to 40 minutes. A dragonfly that is only on the wing for a short time, lasting from mid-May to late June or early July, so catch them while you can! They have a noticeably downy (hairy) thorax, unlike other hawker species, with the male having blue pear-shaped spots along the abdomen and the female yellow.


Both photos above were digiscoped using my normal set-up

The Black-tailed Skimmer is a fast, low-flying species, which is often observed perching on open ground or on muddy banks, stones and even roads. The species seemed to be pretty common at Maxey, with numerous individuals noted, although I only saw the yellow version of the species which is the immature male or female (I don`t know which I have photographed, any pointers would be gladly accepted). The adult male has a blue abdomen with a black tip. Another fairly common species in the southern half of the country that has a flight season lasting from late May until early August. I may get a photo or even just a glimpse of a blue  male in that time! One can hope.

22 comments:

  1. Amazing shots, John. Dragonflies are quite dramatic, really, once you take a close look, not to mention when caught in the act, as you did here with the hairy. Thanks, too, for the tips of Cley and Titchwell. Meanwhile, over my way, you will now see birds, including a couple of bluebird fledges--not great shots, but proof! And yesterday we saw a barred owl in our yard. First one ever!

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    1. Thanks Susan, yes, a very dramatic insect.
      Have seen your shots, very nice and as for the owl sighting, very impressive!
      Have a good trip to Norfolk.
      J

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  2. The first 2 photos look like dragonfly acrobatics:) Great shots!

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    1. Thanks Tammy,
      I think they would win most of the medals if they entered the Olympics! ;)
      J

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  3. Well done, you are the first that has seen the Hairy Dragon in my book. Beautiful photos.

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  4. Well done John, all great captures!

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    1. Thanks Jan, very kind of you.
      J

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  5. You are doing well for dragons John. Round here they tend to show nearer the end of the month, but who can tell when with this crazy climate...

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    1. It`s not too bad at the moment John, but having said that, it hasn`t stopped raining all week and the dragons have decided to hide again!
      J

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  6. I adore the colours on the Hairy Dragonflies! Great pics once again.

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    1. Thanks Omi, they are a colourful species!
      J

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  7. Replies
    1. Hi Bazza,
      No, the top two photos are of male and female Hairy Dragonflies. I don`t think that they can inter-species breed, but I might be wrong!
      J

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  8. Nice shooting John. Not seen a 'Hairy' before as far as I know, but could have without knowing it.{:)

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    1. Hi Roy,
      Thank you. I have only seen one before that I know of and that was a fleeting glimpse after someone had pointed it out!
      J

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  9. Lovely shots John of 2 cracking species. I've not seen any Hairy's at all this season ... but then the weather has played havoc with most species!

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    1. Thank you Frank,
      Yes, this crazy weather is messing everything up! I wonder if it will have any long-term effect on things?
      J

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  10. Replies
    1. Thanks Andrew, very kind of you.
      J

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  11. Brilliant images John,not seen many Dragons this year,it's been so wet.
    John.

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    1. Thanks John,
      No, I haven`t seen many, this lovley summer is to blame!
      J

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