An unreliable memoir

Posts tagged “dragonflies

The Last Hawker

Southern Hawker

A dragonfly flew through the garden a few days ago but much too fast to be identified from the window. Then yesterday, two Southern Hawkers jousting with hornets from a nearby nest (it was a draw).
I have a feeling this might be my last dragonfly of the season.

Southern Hawker, Aeshna cyanea. Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f6.3 460mm 1/250 ISO 640


Four-spotted Chaser

Four-spotted Chaser
In theory chasers are among the easier dragonflies to photograph as they tend to return regularly to a favoured perch. Just focus on the perch and wait. Unfortunately this guy had other ideas – he was all over the place. It was a windy day (lots of those this summer) and the perch was further away over the water than I would have liked, so for a 600mm hand-held shot I’m reasonably pleased with this.

Four-spotted Chaser, Libellula quadrimaculata. Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f8 600mm 1/125 ISO 200


Common

Common Blue Damselflies

Common Blue Damselflies, Enallagma cyathigerum. Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f11 260mm 1/350 ISO 400


Migrant Hawker

Migrant Hawker
Migrant Hawker, Aeshna mixta. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f16 1/45 ISO 200

My 2015 list (as of 25.08.15):
Azure Damselfly
Banded Demoiselle
Black-tailed Skimmer
Blue-tailed Damselfly
Broad-bodied Chaser
Brown Hawker
Common Blue Damselfly
Common Darter
Emerald Damselfly
Emperor Dragonfly
Four-spotted Chaser
Large Red Damselfly
Migrant Hawker
Ruddy Darter
Southern Hawker
Variable Damselfly


Emerald Damselfly

Emerald Damselfly
Emerald Damselfly, Lestes sponsa. Seven image focus stack. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f22 1/180 ISO 400

It’s not often damselflies will stay still long enough for a close range focus stack but this male Emerald Damselfly was very obliging, giving a nice depth of focus. He looks like a happy chappie but I think the smile is deceptive.


The Emperor Returns

Emperor Dragonfly
Emperor Dragonfly, Anax imperator. Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f8 320mm 1/750 ISO 800

A somewhat more co-operative specimen, much better light = a slight improvement on my previous effort.


Dragonfly Week, Day 5: Older Than The Dinosaurs

Southern Hawker
Southern Hawker, Aeshna cyanea. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f8 1/60 ISO 200

Nearly there now folks, only one more day to go. Marvel at this magnificent beast – older than the dinosaurs and outlived them in style.

Southern Hawker


Dragonfly Week, Day 4: It’s all downhill now

Common Darter
Ruddy Darter, Sympetrum sanguineum. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f11 1/125 ISO 200

The Darters have emerged. For the rest of the season until the hard frosts come it’ll be Common Darters all the way now. But look closer. That’s not so bad 🙂

Common Darter


Dragonfly Week, Day 3: The Hairy Hawker

Brown Hawker
Brown Hawker, Aeshna grandis. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f11 1/180 ISO 200

Not as I first thought a Hairy Dragonfly (the season is already over for them), but a Brown Hawker. Still got a hairy thorax in this macro shot.

Brown Hawker


Dragonfly Week, Day 2: The Emperor

Emperor Dragonfly
Emperor Dragonfly, Anax imperator. Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f9.5 320mm 1/750 ISO 1000

Twenty years ago there were no Emperor Dragonflies here. Now they are a resident breeding species, but they’re also probably the hardest dragonfly to photograph. These miniature fighter planes fly at over 20 mph, constantly change direction and rarely perch. It took me an hour to get these crummy shots. But what a privilege to have a pair of these buzzing past my head.


Dragonfly Week, Day 1: A Grand Day Out

Broad-bodied Chaser
Broad-bodied Chaser, Libellula depressa. Nikon D5200 Tokina 100mm f11 1/180 ISO 200

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? After several abortive attempts due to adverse weather, we finally hit the jackpot and had a grand day out, recording 11 species of dragonfly and damselfly:

Azure Damselfly
Black-tailed Skimmer
Blue-tailed Damselfly
Broad-bodied Chaser
Brown Hawker
Common Blue Damselfly
Common Darter
Emperor Dragonfly
Ruddy Darter
Southern Hawker
Variable Damselfly

So I’m declaring this week Dragonfly Week, and I’ll start off with this magnificent female Broad-bodied Chaser.


Black-Tailed Skimmers

Male Black-Tailed Skimmer
Male Black-Tailed Skimmer, Orthetrum cancellatum. Nikon D5200 Tamron 150-600mm f11 600mm 1/500 ISO 400

We went out at the weekend looking for dragonflies. Found a few but got distracted by orchids 😉
The black-tailed skimmers were probably my favourite spot. The long lens proved its worth for skittish dragons. Here’s Mrs Black-Tailed Skimmer:

Female Black-tailed Skimmer