Sunday, 1 October 2017

Hunting for autumn migrants

Talk of autumn migrants brings to mind the annual influx of birds from Scandinavia and Europe but this is a dragonfly that I have been looking out for in the last couple of weeks.  It is the migrant hawker (Aeshna mixta) and is the last of the hawkers to appear.  Despite its name it is an established resident.  As soon as I got to the pond this time I spotted a female in the reeds.

She was busing laying eggs close the the water's edge and I watched for 15 minutes or so,  hoping she would tire and rest in a more classical position.  But she didn't.

Eventually she moved out of view so I set off to look for a male.  There were several on the wing but to start with none of them settled within range of the camera.  Eventually I saw one go down into the scrub some metres from the water.  I ran over and found it at rest.

Later there was another that let me get close with the 100mm macro lens.  I could only get this one view but was able to experiment with the aperture (and depth of field).  The first photo is at f/16, the second at f/5.6 and the third at f/2.8. You can see the effect on the depth of field.

I also tried a few flight shots without much success.  These were the best I could manage.

Migrant hawkers will be around for a few weeks yet.  There are still common and ruddy darters to be seen but everything else has now disappeared until next year.

1 comment:

  1. Love the depth of field pictures! And the last shot is a terrific picture, even if it's not a detailed shot of the dragonfly. Fabulous Chris!