Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Odonata (9): Wicken Fen ... Black-tailed Skimmer

It was good to be back on Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, a place I have known for many years, but have not had the chance to visit since we left Cambridge two decades ago. The blustery conditions were far from ideal for dragonfly-spotting, but we were delighted to find this handsome female, sheltering in the long grass.
An ID of a female Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) was confirmed by the British Dragonfly Society. You can see the yellow costa, a major vein, on the wings in the top photo. The pterostigma, a coloured mark on the outer extremity of each wing, is hard to make out in my pictures. It should be a dark shade between brown and black. Skimmers, not surprisingly, zoom along, just above the surface of the water. The male of the species looks completely different ... perhaps it is a case of blue sky and sunshine! 


If this iconic windpump sends out a signal of the past, you may be interested to read about an ambitious project to protect the future, under the name of Wicken Fen Vision.

Yellow Waterlily
You can read more about the plants here.

There were one or two pairs of Damselfly about ...
I think this is a Common Blue (male) ...

... and a male Azure Damselfly.

7 comments:

Naquillity said...

what great captures. i love those blue damselflies. and i love that windmill. it's a nice structure. hope all is well.

eileeninmd said...

Both the skimmer and damselfly are pretty. Beautiful images.

Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Mary said...

Lovely photos of the dragons and damsels! We have a similar female skimmer here. Love the water lily! I was just trying to stitch one on my nature blocks....the real thing is so much prettier :-)

Jeremy said...

Lovely dragon- and damselfly photos, Caroline. We used to visit relatives in Norfolk when I was a boy, but not sure I've ever been to Suffolk, so am following your adventures with interest!

Caroline Gill said...

... Thank you to all ... and Jeremy, I grew up in Norfolk, so also know it well!

Crafty Green Poet said...

beautiful dragonfly and damselflies,