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Odonata and us (still in Poland, but not for long) (1 Viewer)

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
Yesterday, I had to drive 200 kms to get my second Pfizer shot and as the direction was Bialystok, we thought it's a good opportunity to add Aquatic Warbler to our yearlist - which we easily did at their most famous spot at Bagno Lawki. The following acoustic night search for Baillon's crake turned out to be pointless as expected, but it gave us the opportunity to look for some insect in the morning - well, we also looked in the evening, but the Dragnoflies wouldn't cooperate and the "best" photo looks like this - Emerald Dragonflies (Family Corduliidae) .

In the morning I first jumped the gun a bit after seeing a Damselfly with prominently blue eyes and thus declaring it Blue-eye. Eventually I realized that the body pattern was completely wrong and it was a good old White-legged - White-legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes) - ... but why is Blue-eye called so, if its blue eyes aren't that unusual?

We then paid a visit to a marsh near Zajki, the central point of which is a structure that we jovially call "the mosquito hide" - but the mosquitoes were actually not that bad in the daytime (while they were absolutely insufferable in the night visit for the crakes). This has proven a good idea, because the place was rather rich in Large White-faced Darters - Large White-faced Darter (Leucorrhinia pectoralis) . That was basically the last Odonata species that we did not have which is commonly reported in Poland these days on ornitho.pl, so now the hard part begins ... or the wait for more species to start flying around?

Then the trip abruptly ended, because unlike the first dose which I did not feel at all, the second one got me good and mostly lost the ability to stand, not to mention to walk somewhere.

Of the 62 species reported in Poland on iNaturalist we have now seen 28 (even though not all necessarily in Poland).
 

pdwinter

Paul Winter
Yesterday, I had to drive 200 kms to get my second Pfizer shot and as the direction was Bialystok, we thought it's a good opportunity to add Aquatic Warbler to our yearlist - which we easily did at their most famous spot at Bagno Lawki. The following acoustic night search for Baillon's crake turned out to be pointless as expected, but it gave us the opportunity to look for some insect in the morning - well, we also looked in the evening, but the Dragnoflies wouldn't cooperate and the "best" photo looks like this - Emerald Dragonflies (Family Corduliidae) .
With those appendages and that abdomen pattern I would be thinking female Epitheca bimaculata Eurasion Baskettail rather than an Emerald species.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
Would you be thinking that strongly enough to count yourself a lifer? Because that's what a Baskettail would be, which would obviously be nice!

The ID given there is just iNat's AI guess, I always go with it when I don't know, expecting people to set it straight later.
 

pdwinter

Paul Winter
Would you be thinking that strongly enough to count yourself a lifer? Because that's what a Baskettail would be, which would obviously be nice!
Well not from that picture! There are supposedly three similar species:- Four-spotted Chaser, Scarce Chaser and Yellow-spotted Emerald. I have plenty of field experience with the former 2 but not the latter. If I had watched this flying I would have been able to eliminate the chasers but with no experience of Yellow-spotted Emerald it might have been difficult to get an ID - depends how good the views were. That said the anal appendages of Baskettail are quite distinctive in the photos I've seen.

I don't do flight shots as they turn out even worse than your pic ! Because there are so few of them and they are large insects, my approach for dragonflies is to do a lot of research beforehand, watch, identify and then, if I can, get a photograph. Doesn't always work :)

My approach with other insect orders such as hemiptera is to take pictures and identify later!

In the morning I first jumped the gun a bit after seeing a Damselfly with prominently blue eyes and thus declaring it Blue-eye. Eventually I realized that the body pattern was completely wrong and it was a good old White-legged - White-legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes) - ... but why is Blue-eye called so, if its blue eyes aren't that unusual?
As I carry out dragonfly surveys in the UK and Spain I tend to use the scientific names as it gives us a common language to talk in (although the spaniards do seem to pronounce the scientific names differently!)

The previous 'english name' for Blue-eye was Goblet-marked Damselfly. When Dijkstra wrote his European Guide he decided that he would make up some new 'more sensible' english names. There are three european species in the Erythromma genus:- E. najas (Large Redeye), E.viridulum (Small Redeye) and E.lindenii (Blue-eye) and my guess is that he chose Blue-eye to distinguish it from the other two species of the genus. Of course, Small and Large Redeyes are not the only damselflies with red eyes and White-legged Damselflies are not the only damselflies with white legs :) and as you have found Blue-eyes are not the only damselflies with blue eyes.
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
A lot of stuff happened in our lives since the last update with the most notable event being us moving to Prague, which consumed a lot of our free time. We manage to do one last trip to NE Poland, which was quite productive. A relatively random area around the upper Narew river near Bondary was particularly great for butterflies, but it also had Scarce Chasers - Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva) - which have later the same day turned out to be not so scarce at all - and above the river itself was a fantastic Blue Emperor - Blue Emperor (Anax imperator) - which we have seen before in Spain, but quite badly and I have never realized how huge those things are before. I am not great with females, but people tell me there was also a Southern Migrant Hawker - Southern Migrant Hawker (Aeshna affinis) - another lifer.

Moving on a half an hour east to Siemanowka, Ruddy Darters were everywhere - Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) - but more importantly, we have finally found some spreadwings - Common Spreadwing (Lestes sponsa) - I was always loosing my belief in their existence and then suddenly there was this area around the dyke that was full of them!

For the completely final Polish trip, done in the last few days before we moved out our last things, we headed just to a nearby area, as it was raining elsewhere anyway. The lush green temporary wetlands along the endlessly wild course of the Bug river have produced a Norfolk Hawker - Norfolk Hawker (Aeshna isoceles) - and apparently a Brilliant Emerald - Brilliant Emerald (Somatochlora metallica) - which I mis-IDed originally.

Then we went for two weeks to Costa Rica, where we also found a lot of Odonata, but I haven't even looked at them yet, so the only other thing to report is the Southern Hawker - Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) - seen last weekend in the Ore Mountains of the Czech Republic. I am not sure if I will ever stop being impressed by these huge ones!
 

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