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Dragonflies & Damselflies Page 16

Image Taken on 18 May 2009 at 14:07    Image of day on 07 Jun 2009

This is a Hairy Dragonfly' - one of the earliest dragonflies of the season. This was brought to us for some technical photographs, after which we took this portrait. You can see the hairiness along the top and bottom of the body in the first image


Ref: 20090607_dc1_20090518_1407_160 ft1 hairy dragonfly female hanging in blackthorn (side view) (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 18 May 2009 at 15:06    Image of day on 07 Jun 2009

It was reluctant to fly indoors but we did manage this single image of it in flight.


Ref: 20090607_dc1_20090518_1506_047+1527_001 ft1 hairy dragonfly female in flight with hawthorn (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 16 May 2015 at 09:00    Image of day on 12 Jul 2015

Our first Odanata of the season was this Hairy Dragonfly (the proper common name) distinguishable by the 'fur' on the body clearly visible on this detail crop.


Ref: 20150712_df3_20150516_0900_254 hairy dragonfly female showing underside & hair detail - 1st odonata of 2015 (crop 2)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 18 May 2022 at 12:40    Image of day on 27 Jun 2022

This Hairy Dragonfly was initially disturbed while cutting overhanging brambles and he flew away. Returning a couple of hours later with no real expectation of finding the insect again, he had returned to its favoured sun-warmed patch for this photo. Hairy Dragonflies are one of the earliest to appear each year. Dragonflies rest with their wings outstretched as you see here.


Ref: 20220627_d72_20220518_1240_078 hairy dragonfly male - 1st of 2022 (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 23 May 2009 at 16:38    Image of day on 07 Jun 2009

About a week later we had the opportunity to photograph a male and can't resist this close-up of the thorax where you can see the hairs in detail


Ref: 20090607_db1_20090523_1638_154 ft1 hairy dragonfly male head and thorax detail side view (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image of day on 18 Sep 2007

The flying jewellery are delighting us with acrobat displays of glorious colour. Here one hovered for a second or two providing a chance for a set of images in flight. The wingbeats are far faster than the camera can manage, so don't try to interpret the wing positions.


Ref: 20070918_southern hawker dragonfly 20070826 (anim).gif


Image Taken on 26 Jul 2021 at 14:37    Image of day on 06 Sep 2021

A Hawker Dragonfly (we are not confident of the species) flies by us ...


Ref: 20210906_d73_20210726_1437_011-014 hawker dragonfly catching insect in flight @10fps 1-4 of 8 (accurate montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg


Image Taken on 26 Jul 2021 at 14:37    Image of day on 06 Sep 2021

... and suddenly swerves upward to catch an insect in the 'net' made with the legs before flying back the other way.
An unbroken sequence at 10 frames per second - Dragonflies can manoeuvre incredibly quickly.


Ref: 20210906_d73_20210726_1437_015-018 hawker dragonfly catching insect in flight @10fps 5-8 of 8 (accurate montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 26 Jul 2021 at 14:38    Image of day on 06 Sep 2021

... while this tighter crop shows more detail including the Dragonflies legs extending into a 'catch-net' and then closing after failure, both events lasting no more than 100mS (tenth of a second)


Ref: 20210906_d73_20210726_1438_026-298 hawker dragonfly misses catching passing insect @10fps 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage centre detail)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 26 Jul 2021 at 14:38    Image of day on 06 Sep 2021

Here we see the Hawker Dragonfly missing a catch in this accurate montage with both Dragonfly and insect moving downwards at 10 fps. This first version arrows the intended prey ...


Ref: 20210906_d73_20210726_1438_026-298 hawker dragonfly misses catching passing insect @10fps 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage with arrows)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 18 Sep 2014 at 12:45    Image of day on 27 Nov 2014

We photographed this Hobby flying by, but it was only later when the images were on our PC that we saw to our astonishment that this hunting bird caught an insect in front of us.
Read the montage left to right in 3 descending rows:-
    Image 1: The insect is about 3 bird lengths to the right of the bird.
    Image 2: The gap is down to 1 body length and the talons are swinging forward.
    Image 3: The catch!
    Image 7: Transfer to the beak.
    Image 12: All done and the talons start their way back to 'retracted'.
The whole sequence lasts just over 2 seconds.


Ref: 20141127_df2_20140918_1245_049-060 hobby catching dragonfly in flight 03-14 of 14 (montage @5fps)(r+mb id@1024).jpg


Image Taken on 18 Sep 2014 at 12:45    Image of day on 27 Nov 2014

Here are images 3 and 7 in more detail.
Don't get confused by the numbering - the 12 image montage starts at Frame 3 (Image 1) of the 14 image sequence we have on file.


Ref: 20141127_df2_20140918_1245_051+055 hobby catching dragonfly in flight 05+09 of 14 (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 04 Jun 2011 at 14:35    Image of day on 18 Jul 2011

Half an hour later this Hobby made a rather high flyover. At the time we could not see the dragonfly clutched in it's talons. The abdomen (tail) is sticking out below the tail and the dragonfly's wing outline can be made out below that. We were out looking for dragonflies & didn't spot one all day!


Ref: 20110718_df1_20110604_1435_057 hobby in flight with dragonfly in talons (id crop @576)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 27 Jun 2021 at 13:37    Image of day on 01 Aug 2021

The females Kestrel arrived on the meadow post with a Hawker Dragonfly in her beak - a unique event in our records. The Dragonfly species is clearly identifiable from the pic - a female Brown Hawker Dragonfly.
One could object to the Kestrel killing this beautiful creature, but the Dragonfly itself feeds purely by hunting, and so on down the food chain.
Although Owls carry prey items in their beaks, we had assumed that Kestrels always carried prey in their talons. Maybe the Kestrel found the Dragonfly sunbathing on the post and snatched it with the beak. But is so light (less than 1 gram) and she could also easily fly with it.
We tabulated weights of some insects over a decade ago - see Weights of Insects



Ref: 20210801_d01_20210627_1337_004_fb6 kestrel female landing on meadow post with brown hawker dragonfly female in beak 2 of 4 (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 10 Jun 2012 at 12:33    Image of day on 18 Jul 2012

A pair of Large Red Damselflies taking a rest from laying. The male is on the left clasping the female with the special claspers on his tail tip that only lock onto the correct species female.


Ref: 20120718_df1_20120610_1233_222 pair of large red damselflies coupled on leaf (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 25 Jun 2013 at 14:59    Image of day on 08 Aug 2013

This is a pair of Large Red Damselflies, coupled for mating, alternately warmed themselves in the sun and then went off to lay some more eggs beneath the water


Ref: 20130808_df1_20130625_1459_274 large red damselflies egg laying (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 25 Jun 2013 at 14:59    Image of day on 08 Aug 2013

This is a pair of Large Red Damselflies, coupled for mating, alternately warmed themselves in the sun and then went off to lay some more eggs beneath the water


Ref: 20130808_df1_20130625_1459_279 large red damselflies egg laying (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 28 May 2012 at 13:15    Image of day on 28 Jun 2012

A pair of Large Red Damselflies 'in tandem' laying eggs in the duck-shaped pond. The male is at the top.


Ref: 20120628_df1_20120528_1315_367 large red damselflies laying in duck pond (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 21 May 2014 at 12:17    Image of day on 25 Jul 2014

The warmest pond had a scattering of Large Red Damselflies ('Large' being a relative term!) laying eggs in the pond weed. The female is on the leaf. The segments of the abdomen hinge without any ill-effects.


Ref: 20140725_df2_20140521_1217_340 large red damselflies laying in duck shaped pond (crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 29 May 2012 at 17:32    Image of day on 28 Jun 2012

More detail of the intricately coloured thorax.


Ref: 20120628_df1_20120529_1732_041 large red damselfly (detail crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg


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