A Game of Chance

I read an interesting article on the concept of ‘luck’ recently where,¬†among other things, it concluded luck is predetermined by your choices – essentially lucky people create their own luck by being in the right place at the right time.

Our grim weather systems recently have resulted in very few dragonfly-friendly days. I’m not a gambling man by nature, but I will take a punt where dragonflies are concerned.

On a bleak Thursday afternoon Sue & I took a stroll around Swanwick Lakes Nature Reserve just in case, and were rewarded with sightings of three Southern, one Migrant, one Emperor, a couple of Common Darter and a few Common Blue damsels.

Not a lot and no photo opportunities, but proof that even on a dull day you can get a dragonfly fix if you put the effort in.

Friday wasn’t much better, but we did have fifteen minutes of sunshine to start the day at Bramshill Plantation, enough to tempt a female Brown, a male Migrant, some Common Darters and a few Common Emerald & Common Blue to take to the water.

While this was going on I was busy with a female Southern, roused from her perch by my passing. She didn’t go far, and at first investigated me at close quarters by hovering less than a foot from my face before she perched nearby in a gorse bush.

Southern Hawker - female
Southern Hawker – female

After I grabbed a shot, she moved down to the water’s edge and proceeded to test for ovipositing sites around the margins.

That all-to-brief window of sunlight provided the only real activity of the day and with no other breaks in the cloud we took a walk around the plantation for any further signs, but excepting a male Migrant hawking one ride all we had were Common Blue and Common Emerald down in the undergrowth.

Common Emerald - male
Common Emerald – male

We took another punt on Saturday, this time locally at Cadnam Common. Still that heavy cloud presence and the briefest windows of blue sky to tempt out Common Emerald, Blue-tailed and Small Red, a few Common Darters, a male Emperor and thankfully a male Southern Hawker – the same individual from last Wednesday.

Southern Hawker - male in-flight
Southern Hawker – male in-flight

His presence was all too brief, as was our sunny spell. Once again we had to amuse ourselves sky-watching, searching the gorse thicket or looking desperately across the water for any signs of life.

Common Darter - female in-flight
Common Darter – female in-flight

At least these dull moments makes you look a little closer, Certainly better for observation than photography.

Common Emerald - male
Common Emerald – male

At 4.30pm we admitted defeat, but at least we were there just in case…