Tuesday, 14 June 2016

A Couple of Chasers !

Its that time of year again when the Dragonflies make their appearance, although some more sunshine would improve the chance of some sightings.

As I wandered along the reed edged dykes and ditches catching the occasional glimpse of a restless Hairy Dragonfly, a few Azure Damselflies and not much else.

 I disturbed a brownish looking Dragonfly from a reed stem, it flew off down the dyke, turned around and returned to the reed stem where I first saw it. which just happened to be where I was now standing poised with my camera.

Four-Spotted Chaser
The sexes of these Four-spotted Chasers are quite similar in colour, very difficult  especially for me to tell them apart, it's a lot to do with the appendages at the end of the tail, are they parallel indicating a female or do they touch indicating a male.

Even with a close view still very difficult to tell apart. one thing for sure, my description of a " brownish looking dragonfly certainly does not  do it any justice, with the sun shining on its wings,
it's an absolute stunner.

It looks to me as the appendages at the end of the tail are just touching, so it might be a male.
My field guide tells me that the males are more likely to be seen perched close to water where they wait for a female to appear, they are notorious for returning to a favoured perching spot, this one settled for about a minute at a time before going on patrol up and down the dyke returning to the exact spot each time, more evidence for a male sighting maybe.

I quite like this frontal view, looking like an old Biplane of times gone by.

On the other side of the Marsh I caught sight of another Chaser, this one easier to identify, the Broad bodied Chaser, clearly a female with its yellow colouring, the male is pale blue on the body, this one was ovipositing in the shallow waters, just quickly dipping her tail  briefly into the water, a distant photograph cropped down.

Broad-Bodied Chaser female
Quite pleased with these sightings, hopefully more to follow in the coming weeks.

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