Its a beautiful day

By: Arjen Drost

Jun 17 2009

Category: Butterflies, Dragonflies, Photography trip

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Focal Length:180mm
Shutter:1/200 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 40D

A Large Heath, almost extinct in the Netherlands

Today I joined Gert Veurink and Herman Bouman on a trip to Germany in search of some rare (in the Netherlands extinct) damselflies. First we visited a bog area in search for the extremely rare and hard to find Sedgeling. He lived up to his hard to find-image, as we couldn’t find it, despite a really thorough search. But our disappointment wasn’t too large, as we were amazed by all the other rare species that we saw in quite large numbers. The Large Heath (see above), Cranberry Bluet and Cranberry Fritillary are almost extinct in the Netherlands, but here we saw them a lot.
Also the Northern Emerald was quite abundant. Herman once heard some noise from the bog, it turned out to be a female depositing eggs in the bog. This is always really hard to photograph, as there were leaves everywhere and the emerald was flying up and down constantly.
Northern Emerald - Hoogveenglanslibel - Somatochlora arctica

A female Northern Emerald depositing eggs.

A very unexpected sighting was this Green Snaketail. This dragonfly favours streams, so we were very surprised to find it in a bog area. But the seperated eyes and the green thorax excluded any other dragonfly. My first new dragonfly of the day!
Green Snaketail - Gaffellibel - Ophiogomphus cecilia

A Green Snaketail

After we spent several hours there, we decided to move on. There was more on the program! A little closer to the Netherlands we knew a place with both Mercury and Ornate Bluet. The first is extinct in the Netherlands and the second has never been there. Strangely enough these damselflies are found in small (preferably calcium-rich) streams, a habitat also found in the Netherlands. So I wouldn’t be too surprised if they would show up somewhere in the Netherlands anytime soon. We found some Mercury Bluets in a tiny stream near a golf course. As it was already past 7pm, the sun was getting lower and it started to cool down a little. Because of this the damsels weren’t flying too much anymore and posing nicely in front of the camera.
Mercury Bluet - Mercuurwaterjuffer - Coenagrion mercuriale

A Mercury Bluet resting

This was a great way to end an almost perfect day! And those Sedgelings? Ah well, now we have to return another time….

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