Colonisation

Last weekend we were marvelling over dragonflies emerging out of the old pond. Now we are watching these wonderful animals starting to colonise the new pond.

A male Broad Bodied Chaser has made the new pond his territory. He is always there, either patrolling it round and round, or waiting at the edge of the water

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Isn’t he the most magnificent thing?

He is waiting for a female to arrive.

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Female Broad Bodied Chaser – photo taken at the old pond just after she emerged last week.

As we were watching, a female did arrive, he pounced on her, they mated in the air and she immediately went to lay eggs in the pond – holding on to the edge of the pond with her front legs while repeatedly energetically dipping her abdomen into the water.

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Broad Bodied Chaser female laying eggs

The male returned to his stake out to see who else might come along.

A different dragonfly arrived today and was repeatedly attacked by him, leading to pitched aerial battles. In between these air attacks, she got down to laying her eggs. She had a different technique – she would hover about a foot above the water and then point her abdomen downwards, dab it into the water quickly and go back up to a hover.

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I’m afraid this is the best photo I managed to get of her – she wouldn’t keep still.
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This photo is even worse but does show her egg laying

I have looked this dragonfly up in my book and I am reasonably confident that this is a Red Veined Darter although it doesn’t help that my photos are so poor. Red Veined Darters are reasonably scarce to be a bit exciting and are migrants into the country, but I will check this identification out with someone who actually knows what they are talking about.

Yesterday I saw a third type of dragonfly laying eggs into the pond – the Emperor.

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This is the other species of dragonfly that were emerging out of the old pond last week. The Emperors egg laying technique was different again – she was stationery at the side of the pond as she laid which was so much easier to photograph.

So, the new pond is going to be busy with life before too long. Here is is at the moment:

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We are letting the vegetation grow up naturally and eventually come into balance and enjoy each stage as it slowly does so. Trying not to mind how untidy it is!

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