Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dragonfly Blitz

One of the guys at MOSP goes on "blitzes" where he goes to a location for a short time, 30 - 60 minutes, and finds as many odes as he can. After Sweet Pea and I dropped the Boyo off at school this morning, we headed over to Foster Arends park to do our first 30 minute blitz. Turns out she has a great eye for tiny little dragonflies and damselflies.  As we walked along the shore she suddenly stopped and pointed at a plant and said "Look Daddy! A bwoo dwagonfly!"
I looked, but saw nothing at first. I was about to move on when I saw this guy landing on a leaf right where she was pointing.

I'm not sure what it is, but it isn't on the list for our county, so if I can get it ID'd then it will be another county record!
UPDATE: This guy is now awaiting confirmation from the Odonata Central website as a Tule Bluet.
She also spotted a whole swarm of other little damselflies. Some I could ID as male Eastern Forktails...

I got some help ID'ing these as immature female Eastern Forktails...

And a mature Eastern Forktail female...
Then we spotted this one...
That I think is a female widow skimmer, since it lacks the white spots on the wings that would ID it as a male.  But the only reference picture I have of a female has a black and yellow abdomen - or "tail". 
UPDATE: Kurt Mead from MOSP wrote this: "This one is a bit of an anomaly. The female does not get the pruinosity on the abdomen, but this male does not have the extensive white patches distal to the black on the wings. The dark patches on the wingtips are unusual, but not unheard of. Despite the oddities, you got it to species!"

In other words, I got a picture of a weird MALE Widow Skimmer.

I have feelers out to people who know much more than me to help me ID the ones I'm not sure of.  Like this last one...

that we saw as we were walking to the car.
UPDATE: Another MOSP member tells me that this is a White faced Meadowhawk. I acutally suspected that and am glad I am starting to be able to ID them a little!
Sweet Pea is an excellent Ode hunter! She even tried to catch them with her hat. I'm looking forward to getting ID's on these, and even more so to going out hunting with the Boyo after school!

More Later

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