Posts Tagged ‘migrating dragonfly’

I was fortunate when the Black Saddlebags dragonfly (Tramea lacerata) that I was tracking finally landed on Monday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and I was able to capture this image. Black Saddlebags spend most of their time gliding and circling overhead and it is rare for me to see one perching. This species is one of only a handful of dragonfly species in North America that migrate and this dragonfly may have been merely visiting the refuge on a southward journey.

As I noted in my posting yesterday, I have now switched to my 150-600mm telephoto zoom lens as my walkaround lens and I captured this image with that lens. The lens was fully extended to 600mm for this shot and I was using a monopod for some additional stability. It is a little unusual for me to try to photograph such a small subject with my long lens, but this shot shows that it is possible to get a reasonably sharp image if I pay a lot of attention to my technique.


Black Saddlebags

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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It’s migration time for Common Green Darner dragonflies (Anax junius) and last week one of my fellow photographers, Walter Sanford, reported a small swarm of Green Darners at my local marshland park.

I was walking in an entirely different area of the park from Walter and was surprised to see Green Darners, which are easily recognized thanks to their coloration and distinctive bullseye on their heads, flying up from the ground as I approached them. Rather than fly off into the distance, which is most often the case when I happen to disturb a dragonfly, these dragonflies moved only a short distance and came to rest again on the ground.

I don’t yet have the ability to interpret the movements of dragonflies, but it seemed to me that these Green Darners were conserving energy, as though they were resting in the midst of a long journey. I tried to be as quiet and stealthy as I could and moved closer and closer to one Green Darner perched near some green moss that was almost a perfect match for the color of the forward portion of her body. Judging from her overall coloration, I think this is probably a female.

My subject was amazingly cooperative and I was able to get shots of this beautiful dragonfly from a number of different angles. Although I normally try to have backgrounds that are must less cluttered than those in these images, I don’t find them to be too distracting here and they do help to show how well this colorful dragonfly blended in with her environment.

Common Green DarnerCommon Green DarnerCommon Green DarnerCommon Green Darner

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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