The Scrapes

Monday, June 26th 2023

There are few flowers in the Scrapes during the spring, but once summer arrives, not only do the flowers appear, the reeds grow and the 'damsels and dragons' arrive.  Andrew (Atkins) took a stroll with his camera, through the Scrapes at the weekend.

I must admit to being very envious of his first photograph!  I saw one of these fly quickly across Spigot Mere then disappear, before I could even get my camera ready!  This beautiful Banded Demoiselle landed and sat just right for this photo.  Female Banded Demoiselles lay their eggs by injecting them into plant stems in ponds or slow moving streams, under the surface of the water. The eggs take about two weeks to hatch and the larvae take two years to develop, overwintering in the mud at the bottom of the pond.

Another 'dragon', well more of a chaser, that sat still was the Black-tailed Skimmer.  It does look similar to the Broad-bodied Chaser but its abdomen is much thinner, unlike the Broad-bodied which is more rounded and fatter.

Male Four-spotted Chasers are living up to their names and chasing each other across the ponds as they defend their territorries. Their quick straight line flight can be interrupted by a vertical dash, obviously to catch prey.

Like many chasers, hawkers and dragonflies, the female lays her eggs into the vegetation.  This Brown Hawker was egg laying.  They can be found away from water as they hunt prey, and may be seen in sunny glades in woodland.

 

The Large Red Damselflies were late to appear due to the cold spring but they have made up for their late appearance by flying around in very large numbers.  This one looks very hairy!

Many thanks to Andrew for these great photos.


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