Monday, May 25, 2009

Digiscoped Scarce Chasers at Woodwalton Fen

It was very warm on Sunday, and we had a few insects in the garden, including Broad-bodied Chaser, Azure Damselfly and Blue-tailed Damselfly at the pond. We also had a Red Admiral (a migrant) in the garden and a few Painted Ladies were passing through, seemingly heading north-west. I figured it would be a good idea to head out to Woodwalton Fen, which is famed for its Scarce Chasers at this time of year.
SO, down there I went, and the place was buzzing with the beauties, seemingly along every ditch, including the Great Raveley Drain where you park. There were also a whole load of Painted Ladies passing through, also heading NW, like the ones at home. It turns out that this movement of migrant PLs was far from local, with probably millions passing through the country on that day.
The Scarce Chasers were very obliging, comprising largely orange-toned sub-mature males and females, but with one or two males gaining pruinescence (powdery blue). I started with some digiscoping, but later moved onto DSLR (see below the Kazakhstan posts).

Pair in tandem. The male (left) is not quite fully mature, with still some orange tones in the veins of the wings. He has clasped the female round the back of her head, and she in turn is grasping the male's abdomen, which causes black patches among the blue in this species. Note she has a bit of black in the wingtips and a hint of pruinescence of her own on the underside of her abdomen (facing up here).

Maturing male

Maturing male

Maturing female (note broader abdomen than male and black wing tips)

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