So I turned around and headed for the Farm Lake , which was also on the route of the Walk , but hadn't been reached as yet by the walkers . The most obvious thing on arriving at the Lake , was that some of the male , larger Dragonflies were patrolling certain areas of the bank . At least 5 male Emperors were patrolling and scrapping when the two patrollers met . I must have attempted 25/30 shots of him in flight , but this was the only one that came anywhere near passable . Several aerial battles ensued , and on two occasions , I saw both fall onto the water's surface still fighting . On both occasions , they managed to overcome the surface tension and get away to fight another day . If either , or both hadn't managed to get off the surface , which both were trying to do to the other , they would have died , not from drowning , as they float on the surface , but from starvation , as in this game it's a matter of feed or die .
The Black Tailed Skimmers are still emerging in numbers . I found another in the variegated Rush , giving better light for the shot . As can be seen , the abdomen is fully extended , leaving just the wings to dry out , which wouldn't take long given today's temperature and warm breeze . The next time past , I saw the newly emerged take it's first flight , leaving just it's exuvia behind . All around the Lake , it's relations were emerging , some to the trees , and some like this one to the vegetation at the waterside . Over on the far side of the Lake , some of the early emergents , having now coloured up , have returned to the water , to find and fight for their territories . As I posted before , the females will stay the gold and black colours that they emerged in , but the males , like the Broad Bodied Chasers will become powder blue on the abdomen , and like the BBCs , have yellow spots along the sides of their abdomen . Apart from the size of the abdomen , the main difference between the two species is that the Black Tailed Skimmer does not have the dark markings at the base of each wing that the BBC does . The male BTS can be confused with the male Keeled Skimmer , but that does not have the yellow spots , and as it's name implies , has a narrow join type line along the top of it's abdomen . Also the male Scarce Chaser , but that has no yellow spots either , but does have dark patches at the wing bases . As well as the Dragonflies above , Azure , Common Blue , Large Red and Blue Tailed Damselflies were also recorded .
Butterflies were few with just Common Blue (3) , Painted Lady (4) and a single Large White being recorded .
I attempted again to photograph the Swallows , which today seemed as if they might have been taking Damselflies off the surface , rather than skimming a drink . As the first shot shows , some of the 'hits' , looked downright dangerous . Walking around , I came across this pair of Garden Spiders , and going with the norm , that the female is bigger , then the male seemed as if he wanted to know , but she didn't , and in the end chased him off . By now it was really warm , and even a passing Hornet stopped on a Lillypad for a drink .My last hour , was spent watching and photographing the latest newcomers . I hadn't noticed them , tucked up on the side of the vegetation in one corner , until I spotted what I think is the male , making repeated dives , then taking the proceeds to the corner just mentioned . I am leaving the remainder of this
post as a series of pictures , so you can quietly enjoy , as I did whilst taking them .