Too much winter

Siberian Winter Damsel hibernation habitat

One of the thing I really like to photograph are hibernating Winter Damsels under real winter conditions. As we now have snow for over 2 weeks, I thought this would be a good time to get those shots. So Gert and I visited two known hibernation places for this rare species in the Netherlands. However after searching for two hours we reached the conclusion that they might be hibernating under the snow. Normally they hibernate in between the dense tussocks of Purple Moor Grass. As you can see in the second picture, those dense parts were all snow-covered. We hoped they would have climbed up, making it a lot easier for us to find them, but we couldn’t find any.

Snow covered tussock of Purple Moor Grass

In some tussocks you could see that only the top of the tussock was covered in snow and the lower (inner) parts were snow free. Maybe the damsels stayed in the denser parts and used the snow as a protective cover (less predation, relatively warm, stable temperatures). As we didn’t want to make life for these insects even harder, we didn’t try to remove the snow cover and left the area without seeing any damsel. We’ll be back another time…

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