Posted by: Ross Gardner | July 27, 2015

The hopefully not so scarce chaser

The above title might not make too much sense taken out context and could well be a bit grammatically dodgy.  The context is one of dragonflies and the subject matter one Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva).  Scarce it indeed is, but is something that is hopefully expanding its UK range.  Even so, it is still an insect hardly known north of a line running roughly from the Shropshire Hills in the west and North Norfolk in the east.

They are a species most often associated with slow-moving rivers, if not always the river itself, then the surrounding floodplain with its water meadows and ditches.  This one I came across about a week ago along the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation near Paper Mill Lock  in Essex, technically a canal, but often gently winding below bankside willows and with a wild air so as to scarcely seem like one at all.  I had only ever seen these chasers no closer than River Stour further north, where it provides a natural border between Essex and Suffolk.  It was a welcome surprise, especially given that their flight period (having started in late-May) will often barely take them into the end of July.  With this in mind, I think we can forgive him are rather ragged appearance and one still with some of his dashing graces still intact.

Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva). Ross Gardner 2015.

Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva). Ross Gardner 2015.

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