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Old Jun 11, 2005, 7:41 AM   #1
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In the space of about 300 metres last week I managed to "bag" two species of damselfly, and one dragonfly, boy was I pleased with myself :G

This first one is a "broad bodied chaser", in a classic dragonfly pose. These dragonflies are large enough that I didn't even need my macro for this one!
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Old Jun 11, 2005, 7:44 AM   #2
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And at the other extreme (size wise) this is a "large red damselfy", which is a misnomer really since these are anything but large - to put this into perspective it's resting on some broom flowers, and is no more than about 3 or 4cm long.

Regards, John.
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Old Jun 11, 2005, 7:24 PM   #3
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That broad body dragonfly is incredible. Nice photos John. I've never seen a broad body dragonfly in the wild before. I don't think we have them in our area...I'm in North Queensland (Australia) right now.
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Old Jun 12, 2005, 11:11 AM   #4
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Most excellent. How are you setting yourself up to take these photos? I'm thinking you set up at a particularly tasty looking flower and sitting there immobile for hours at end. In any event, dragonfly and damselfly pictures seem very hard to get. Great job.
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Old Jun 15, 2005, 5:34 AM   #5
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Kenny: I've no idea how common or otherwise these are "down under": around where I live (SW UK) broad-bodied-chasers are not uncommon, especially at this time of year. However so far I've only managed two chance photo's of these (this one and a similar one last year), they do have a tendency to patrol the same territory over and over, and often come back to the same perch (even if you disturb them) which helps, but they also tend to inhabit quite out of the way places - staying out over water well away from the photographers lens. The photo above was taken at full 10x zoom, leaning out across a thicket of thorns with the camera held out in front of me as far as I could stretch: this would have been impossible to take without the use of an LCD screen.

Gadlaw: No I don't hang around for hours at one flower - for one thing dragonflies and damselflies are insectivores so they aren't that bothered about on landing on flowers!
The damselfly picture was relatively easy: there were literally thousands of these in the undergrowth, so it was a case of wandering along the path looking for a likely candidate, they're not strong flyers either, so if there's nothing doing, you can always try stirring them up and see where they settle.

Dragonflys are harder, you either have to:
Spot their territory and work out what perch - if any - they're using: if it's not accessible or they're in full on hunting mode (never stopping) just move on.

Spot one eating - if they have a large insect to munch through they can stop for some time and not care at all if you shove a camera in their face - the pictures can look a little grim though - dragonfly mouth parts at work aren't pretty (and yes I have the pictures to prove it!).

Spot one roosting for the night: almost impossible unless you see their final flight of the day, even when you know exactly where they are they can be hard to find, makes the photos tricky as well as the background is likely to be distracting. I've heard tell of photographers cutting the branch they're roosting on, and moving it - dragonfly and all - to a better more photogenic location. This seems a little rude to me though, given that they can't fly off once they've gone into torpor for the night. Not sure if I should be worried about being rude to a vicious insectoid hunter though :G

Spot one resting on a coolish windy day: come autumn they can't fly off as easily. If it's windy then they won't feel you coming either - when the weathers still they'll feel you move a blade of grass at ten paces and fly off :sad:

HTH, if anyone else has any tips I'd be glad to hear of them, John.
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