It’s already mid May and I’ve hardy written anything about dragonflies… Yes, I wrote a few words about my first damselfly in the Kings Day Tour-post, but that was it. This spring has been unusually cold and wet for the Netherlands, which means that nature is around two weeks later as normal. Something that can clearly be noted in the emergence of the dragonflies. Especially in the north, it’s still very calm.
However, last week we had a few good days and I decided to try my luck in the Bargerveen, one of the last remaining raised bogs of the Netherlands. It’s an area where I had only been once before, but I knew it should be good for the early dragonflies. And I was right.
The first one we saw, an unidentified damselfly, didn’t want to pose for us. The second one, a Four-spotted Chaser almost hit me in the face, but was gone as well before we could take a picture. Maybe third time lucky, as they say? Yes, the third one was a Ruby Whiteface that was very willing to pose and didn’t mind having us taking a few pictures. A good start!
During the rest of the walk, we saw several more Ruby Whitefaces and some Downy Emeralds. It turned out this area was indeed good for the early dragonflies. There was one more species I was hoping for though: the Crescent Bluet. A species that isn’t doing well in the Netherlands and only has a short period of flight each year. When we had almost returned to the car, my mom found one! While we were trying to figure out which species of bluet this was and how we could take the best picture of it, more and more appeared. In the end, we estimated that there were at least 30 of these nice blue damselflies in a small area. Giving us ample opportunity for photography.
All these dragonflies also attracted the attention of a special predator: the Red-footed Falcon. A species that is not common in the Netherlands, but sometimes can be seen during migration. This one seemed quite content with catching crane fly larvae, but they are also specialists in catching and eating dragonflies in flight. Fortunately for us, he left them alone, for now.