Saturday, 24 June 2017

Local dragonflies (1)

Absent much in the way of birds, only dragonflies remain, but there are sufficient in their ranks to keep me interested. I wanted more Dog-legged Clubtails Burmagomphus vermicularis this week anyway, so returned to the stream at Xin Hua for them in the morning on Thursday. There were two on a mere ten-metre stretch of stream, with doubtless many others now along the unchecked parts, so they now go down as 'easy to find' following the torrential rains of last week.

Also following the torrential rains of last week, a seasonal pool further along the road in Zuo Zhen held a quite astonishing variety of dragonflies, with one or two choice targets in their number. Chief among these was a pair of Amber-winged Gliders Hydrobasileus croceus, a species I have only seen once before in the south and was obviously keen to photograph. As this species is one which is constantly on the wing, it is a big challenge to shoot; too big a challenge for me, as it turned out, and I would fail completely with it in the heat of Thursday. A return to the same pool Saturday did at least result in a record shot, not the best I've ever managed of dragonfly species!

There was a remarkable twenty species of dragonfly on and around this small pool Saturday morning, and most were much more amenable to having their photo taken than were the gliders! Perhaps best among them were the Island Emperors Anax panybeus, another one which usually does not stop, but which did at least elect to both hover and lay on occasion this morning.

Of greater interest locally perhaps were the Scalloped Spreadwings Platylestes praemorsus and Pied Sapphire Flutterers Rhyothemis regia, both of which are much more localised in terms of their national distribution than any of the other species present. The flutterer in particular has to be one of the most attractive species of dragonfly to occur on the island.

Once again, it was far too hot to extend my search much beyond mid-morning, so I made do with what I had on my camera from this small pool and that was it. Hopefully, the next batch of dragonfly photos will come from somewhere slightly further afield than Tainan! Above photos taken in Xin Hua and Zuo Zhen, Tainan County 22-24/6/17.

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