23 Jun 2014

23 June 14 - The Search For White Legs

Returning from the New Forest, gave me the opportunity for a small diversion to the River Stour near Throop Mill to look for White-legged Damselflies. I managed to see them about this time of year last year, but hadn't been able to get any photos. So I was hoping for more success this time. Walking down past the Mill leads to a bridge over the Stour where there were a few birds.
Mallard: Chick - aaah. Mum was too close to fit in the 400 mm lens, but she was nearby keeping check on the youngsters
Moorhen: Adult enjoying the sun
Moorhen: Juvenile already independent from the parents
Black-headed Gull: Adult
There are good numbers of Dragonflies & Damselflies on the river visible from the footbridge next to the old Throop Mill. I saw a couple of White-legged Damselflies here last year on waterside vegetation, but no sign today. I'll need to get some better directions as to the best place to look. But there were a number of other species present including a Scarce Chaser and good numbers of Banded Demoiselles, Red-eyed Damselflies & Blue-tailed Damselflies.
Scarce Chaser: Male
Banded Demoiselle: Male
Red-eyed Damselfly: Male. To separate this from Small Red-eyed Damselflies you need to see the lower side of segment 8 which appears black, but it isn't easy to see in this photo. Fortunately, you can also see the top of the thorax is dark with no stripes (which Small Red-eyed Damselflies would have) 
Red-eyed Damselfly: Mating pair
Blue-tailed Damselfly: Adult. Females have a number of different coloured bodies including black, green, orange or violet as well as the same turquoise blue of males (or green of immature males)
Blue-tailed Damselfly: Teneral. Teneral means they have recently emerged & haven't yet adopted the full colours of the adult. In this case, you can see it's a teneral Damselfly by the pale pink, instead of turquoise blue on the segment 8
Meadow Brown: I always know it's Summer when I see Meadow Browns flying
Finally, a welcome to the new readers of this blog in Tanzania. You are my 64th country to read the blog & only the third in Sub-Saharan Africa (along with The Gambia & South Africa). Hope you like it.