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Dragonflies & Damselflies Page 21

Image Taken on 30 Aug 2022 at 15:47    Image of day on 08 Oct 2022

We have a good number of Migrant Hawker Dragonflies this year. This montage just over half a second of flight catches the chaotic manoeuvring of these insects. Top left downward, then vertically upwards.


Ref: 20221008_df3_20220830_1547_047-051 migrant hawker dragonfly male in flight at 7fps 1-5 of 5 (approx montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 03 Aug 2022 at 17:49    Image of day on 16 Sep 2022

Out venerable garage provides a clear backdrop for this male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly flying right to left and in two frame (fifth of a second) has turned completely round to fly the other way. What manoeuvrability!
Of course the cameraman didn't react quickly enough to the reversal and camera panning left lost the insect out of frame :-(
Want to try for a still image yourself: Even top-end autofocus is hopeless unless the background is bland sky, and auto exposure usually goes badly wrong. So you need a camera with lockable manual focus and ability to set shutter speed, aperture and ISO rating in manual mode. Even low-end SLRs can do this although the frame rate will be low.. Typical sunny day settings Shutter 1/1250 Aperture F9 ISO 640 Lens 50 - 100mm focussed about 5 metres away. Shutter button: high-speed continuous.
As you spot a dragonfly flying towards your focus distance, start taking frames until it has passed your focus distance. If you can't follow the action in the viewfinder just learn to point the camera 'blind' with lower enough zoom that it keeps the insect 'in-frame'. Expect a huge failure rate and check that your 'aim' keeps insects mostly in-frame. If you have any successes please send them along!



Ref: 20220916_d72_20220803_1749_356-362 migrant hawker dragonfly male in flight turns back in 200ms (accurate montage @8fps)(r+mb id@1024).jpg


Image Taken on 19 Aug 2009 at 15:10    Image of day on 28 Sep 2009

This view solved a riddle hanging over from last year when we caught a 'white faced' dragonfly which escaped from the net before we could identify it. The sex and stage of life vary the body & facial colour.


Ref: 20090928_da1_20090819_1510_072 migrant hawker dragonfly male mature in flight (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 19 Aug 2009 at 15:14    Image of day on 28 Sep 2009

2 Days later a male also obliged with some photos in flight.


Ref: 20090928_da1_20090819_1514_088+1301_039 migrant hawker dragonfly male mature in flight with flag iris fronds (montage)(r+mb id@576).jpg


Image Taken on 18 Aug 2019 at 15:57    Image of day on 10 Oct 2019

As in most years, there are several Migrant Hawker Dragonflies feeding on Midges over the meadow. This male perched long enough for a profile and full 'mug shot'.


Ref: 20191010_df3_20190818_1557_055+064 migrant hawker dragonfly male perched 1+2 of 2 (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg


Image Taken on 14 Sep 2022 at 12:50    Image of day on 23 Oct 2022

This perfect male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly teased us a bit before perching about 2 metres up in a hedge where we could get his portrait.


Ref: 20221023_df3_20220914_1250_051 migrant hawker dragonfly male perched in hedge (crop)(r+mb id@1024).jpg


Image Taken on 23 Aug 2019 at 15:03    Image of day on 15 Oct 2019

A male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly perched in shade in the south hedge. It's been too hot for most insects to be out in the sun during the early afternoon.


Ref: 20191015_df3_20190823_1503_577 migrant hawker dragonfly male perched in tree over south hedge(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 09 Sep 2020 at 16:15    Image of day on 20 Oct 2020

The dominant Dragonfly here in this cold weather is the Migrant Hawker. This one is warming itself in the sunshine hanging from an old Blackberry stem.


Ref: 20201020_d73_20200909_1615_074 migrant hawker dragonfly male perched on blackberry stem(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 13 Aug 2014 at 10:48    Image of day on 22 Oct 2014

This stretch of concrete is a frequent haunt of Migrant Hawker Dragonflies, and the just cut back hedge provides some well lit perching places in the morning. This is a male.


Ref: 20141022_df2_20140813_1048_126 migrant hawker dragonfly male perched on freshly cut hawthorn(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 13 Aug 2014 at 10:49    Image of day on 22 Oct 2014

Another view of the same male Migrant Hawker Dragonfly on the same perch.


Ref: 20141022_df2_20140813_1049_134 migrant hawker dragonfly male perched on freshly cut hawthorn(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 14 Sep 2012 at 11:10    Image of day on 28 Oct 2012

A side view of the same Migrant Hawker Dragonfly


Ref: 20121028_df1_20120914_1110_082 migrant hawker dragonfly male side view (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 15 Aug 2016 at 10:22    Image of day on 07 Oct 2016

This Migrant Hawker Dragonfly was hanging from a broken grass seed head, and unexpectedly took off as the camera took the first frame. Dragonflies have no known sense of hearing - their world is almost entirely visual. Anyway, one thinks of dragonflies as very light - even the biggest in the UK only just makes it over 1 gram (see Weights of Insects) But even so this grass head swung back to vertical as the Dragonfly let go of it.


Ref: 20161007_df3_20160815_1022_001+002 migrant hawker dragonfly male taking off from hanging grass seed head 1+2 of 2 (montage)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 23 Jul 2019 at 09:20    Image of day on 10 Sep 2019

Our first Migrant Hawker this year seen in flight quite soon perched on this stem where we could get a photo. The wings have not yet finished drying and clearing so we assume that this individual has emerged from one of our ponds that morning.


Ref: 20190910_df3_20190723_0920_062 migrant hawker dragonfly male with wings incompletely dried(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 21 Aug 2022 at 17:36    Image of day on 30 Sep 2022

These two male Migrant Hawker Dragon flies are NOT a montage. We watched one of these land to hang in the hedge, and the camera found two almost perfectly aligned as you see here. The cameraman really did think he was getting some sort of double image, but quickly realised not, to get this pic. Trying to get a better angle induced one to take off. The other either took off unseen or just used it's camouflage to stay hidden.


Ref: 20220930_df3_20220821_1736_175 2 migrant hawker dragonfly males hanging from hedge branch (crop)(r+mb id@1024).jpg


Image Taken on 11 Sep 2015 at 14:56    Image of day on 05 Nov 2015

A Migrant Hawker Dragonfly insect catch in a last moment sweep upwards with legs formed into the 'net' they employ.
We started out assuming that the prey was fairly stationary in the air, and intending to montage as 3 images with separating bars, but it turned out that the wind was blowing them both along, so this is an accurate montage.


Ref: 20151105_df3_20150911_1456_504-406 migrant hawker dragonfly veering upwards to catch insect 1-3 of 3 (accurate montage at 7fps)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 23 Aug 2021 at 12:40    Image of day on 05 Oct 2021

There are perhaps a dozen Migrant Hawker Dragonflies around the house and Meadow. This one stopped on this twig just long enough to get this pic.


Ref: 20211005_d73_20210823_1240_017 migrant hawker male hanging from twig(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 01 Aug 2022 at 15:14    Image of day on 15 Sep 2022

Here are the same pair more as human brains re-construct the images it gets from the eyes flitting between the two and re-focussing without you noticing. So this is a montage of camera frames focussed on each insect in turn. Hope that you will enjoy this 'impression'.


Ref: 20220915_d72_20220801_1514_030+033 2 migrant hawkers in hedge at blocked gate (female over male) 9 of 9 (accurate montage for focus)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 01 Aug 2022 at 15:14    Image of day on 15 Sep 2022

A 'pair' (one female and the other male - but they don't pair up for more than mating) of Migrant Hawkers were warming themselves in a well chosen sunny spot at the corner of a hedge. Here the male is in the foreground with the blurred female behind and left. The insects are only about 10cm apart, but close-up focus is very sensitive to distance.


Ref: 20220915_d72_20220801_1514_021 2 migrant hawkers perched in hedge tree at blocked gate 5 of 9 (crop)(r+mb id@768).jpg


Image Taken on 03 Jun 2010 at 12:45    Image of day on 13 Jul 2010

But mating is a dangerous time where the insects are more intent on what they are doing than looking out for danger. Sad for the insect, but this sort of thing goes unseen all summer long.



Ref: 20100713_dc1_20100603_1245_067+070+095 moorhen adult catching mating azure damselflies & feeding to chick 01+04+29 of 30 (montage)(r+mb id@1024).jpg


Image Taken on 08 Jun 2008 at 13:58    Image of day on 17 Jun 2008

This is two pairs of Azure damselflies laying eggs in 'Duck' pond among the miniature water lilies and duckweed. The female on the right has her ovipositor under the water.


Ref: 20080617_dc1_20080608_1358_039 2 pairs of azure damselflies laying in duck pond (web crop)(r+mb id@576).jpg


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