Sunday, 11 June 2017

Nocturnal Dragonfly Explosion

'Dragonfly Week' at the Kitchen Garden Pond proved to be a spectacular event once again. I witnessed over 50 Emperor Dragonflies emerging. After 2 years underwater they shed their skins one last time, sprout wings and take to the air. All the action was at night, favourably warm overnight temperatures allowing the dragonflies to hatch in darkness and then fly away in the very early morning light.

I was on stakeout over consecutive nights, filming for the National Trust and, on one of the nights, with the BBC's One Show. Prior to that, I had been monitoring the pond for several days and keeping an obsessive eye on the weather to try and predict when the hatch would occur. Happily, I got it right and we saw and filmed some truly tremendous dragonfly action.

Newly emerged Emperor Dragonfly

Tyntesfield's walled garden pond, possibly the centre of the universe.

An underwater eye on the action.

Temperature chart, peaking perfectly for night-time dragonfly hatching.

Emerging Emperor Dragonfly, resting while the legs harden.

"Sticky", fell off his Iris into the pond, was relocated to a stick to dry off and departed successfully.

A Broad-bodied Chaser exuvia (empty larval case) - head end only, from a nearby pond.

1 comment: