Emergence 2017

The dragonfly emergence is underway down at the older pond. Two species of dragonfly are emerging, Broad Bodied Chasers and the largest British dragonfly, the Emperor. Both species are known as early colonisers of new ponds since, even though this is the older pond, it is still only two years old.

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Broad Bodied Chaser, newly emerged and ready to fly away
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Another Broad Bodied Chaser with its abandoned shell in the background.
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The abandoned shell of a Broad Bodied Chaser. The dragonfly emerges through the shoulder area leaving white strings
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The abandoned shell of an Emperor
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The abandoned shell of an Emperor. Notice the empty eyes and the white strings in the back where the dragonfly emerged.
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The Emperor. An enormous thing. This one’s wings hadn’t managed the pump up with enough blood. It was here for at least a day before it disappeared. Either it managed to get its wings straight or it eventually became a bird’s lunch.
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Muddy fingers included to give an idea of scale.
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This Broad Bodied Chaser also hung around for a very long time. It was only when I looked at my photos did I realise that she only has one set of wings inflated. The second set of wings are little stubs still. After a couple of days she disappeared – probably eaten because she didn’t seem to be able to do anything about the wings. But maybe it was a happy ending, I don’t know. I should have set the trap camera on her.
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Also emerging are these Azure Damselflies. There are a lot of them flying over the pond now

Here is the pond itself at the moment:

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Not much open water – probably too vegetated and thats something we will have to tackle in the Autumn. There are some lovely stands of Yellow Flag Irises which are much loved by Bumble Bees.

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Also the reeds at one end are the territory of three Small Blue Butterflies who are sunbathing there all the time. These are very rare, red listed butterflies and so it is lovely seeing them here:

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This pond has been the focus of much of our attention over the last few days as we have been watching for dragonfly emergences. Yesterday I saw a spider – obviously a water spider because it was very at home in the habitat. It didn’t look like it was a land spider that had fallen in by mistake and was desperately drowning. I didn’t even know there were such things as water spiders but I have pre- ordered a book of British Spiders and, when it gets published this month, I will be able to look this boy up and tell you more about it. I don’t like spiders.

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A water spider – will be the subject of further work and identification in the next little while. Think the white sac might be an air bubble for buoyancy.

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