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Now you can ! | by Chris B@rlow
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Now you can !

Lesser Emperor - Anax parthenope


Saturday morning I met up with Tony for what is becoming our regular walk round the grandly titled Silverlink Biodiversity Park in search of insects. It sits on top of a former rubbish tip but has become a good local place for amongst other things Dragon and Damseflies on three relatively small ponds.


As we reached the ponds Tony commented on how few large dragonflies had been on the wing so far this year then almost as soon as we reached the waters edge declared there was one on the reeds that didn't look 'normal' which I was completely unable to pick out to begin with.


We had speculated the night before via text that with the number of Vagrant Emperors up the east coast over the last few days it would be great to find one here but comments like 'the blue isn't right' and its got Green Eyes as well had me searching even harder until I at last picked it out and as I'd seen them before overseas I could confirm his initial thoughts that we were looking at a male Lesser Emperor. Fortunately I always carry my 600 lens even when I'm doing macro work so a quick switch and I was able to get the proof of what we had found.


It stayed fairly motionless on the reeds for an hour, occasionally curling up its tail when damselflies tried to land on it. It then abruptly took off, collected a few insects off the surface of the pond and was away over the trees.


Appears to be only the second ever record for Northumberland the other back in 2003

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Taken on June 22, 2019