Thursday, 19 June 2014

It's all Greek to me

 Like most people with an interest in natural history Dragonflies and Damselflies hold a particular fascination for me. Watching a predatory insect patrolling an area of pond or river and catching a smaller insect in their strong jaws is a like a strange miniaturised version of watching a Hobby hunting over a marsh, catching dragonflies.
Today I went to Westbere, always a favourite place, but for a particular reason. For the last couple of years it has become the home of the parochially named Norfolk Hawker. Although this large Dragonfly, occurs  in Europe, particularly around the Mediterranean and in North Africa, in Britain it only occurs in the fens of East Anglia. That is it did only occur there until the colonisation of Westbere started.

 Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva )
 There are a lot of other Dragonflies to see at Westbere, such as the Scarce Chaser, above,

 Norfolk Hawker (Aeshna isoceles)
It didn't take too long to fin several Norfolk Hawkers patrolling a stretch of water. Occasionally one would land on a favourite perch. I don't know where the scientific names comes from. Isoceles means, I think, equal sided. I would have thought that this applies to all dragonflies, it doesn't have a noticeable triangular mark anywhere, so if ou know, please enlighten me.

Against the backgroung of reeds and other vegetation flight shots were pretty well impossible, but they were great to watch.

 Another perch on a different reed, but this one seemed to like landing on places with similar orientations.

 Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Lots of Banded Demoiselles were around, particularly on the nettle patches. With their flappy flight and large wings they are quite butterfly like.The female, above has green iridescent wings.

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
A pair of Common Blue Damselflies in tandem.

A male  Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens), showing why he's called banded.

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