Demoiselles on the River Arrow.

06th August 2017
Yesterday Susan and I were driving in Herefordshire and on our journey back home we thought we’d stop off at the very picturesque village of Eardisland. This is a very nice village with some lovely quaint old cottages leaning at odd angles and the village is part of what is called the ‘Black and White’ trail. Named so because of the design and decoration of the old black and white cottages that can be found in these villages. This is a very nice part of the country and driving the above ‘Trail’ is a most pleasant day out.
The beautiful River Arrow meanders slowly through this area and in Eardisland it can be viewed from a bridge at the end of the village where it gently flows under Weeping Willows in a very attractive setting. Standing on this bridge for half an hour you will probably see a Kingfisher, because this stretch of river is prime habitat for these beautiful birds with foliage overhanging slow moving water teeming with small fish.
However, the main reason for our visit to Eardisland was to see the Odonata, and near the aforementioned Weeping Willows on the Arrow is a favourite haunt of principally the Beautiful and sometimes the Banded Demoiselle. The weather was grey and overcast when we arrived and these insects like sunshine so we went for a cup of coffee until the clouds lifted. After about half an hour the sun came out and shortly after, right on cue, the Demoiselles appeared.

First on the wing were the Beautiful Demoiselles;

These insects fly from late April until early September and they favour streams and rivers with gravelled edges with dappled shade.






Then we spotted a pair of Banded Demoiselles;

These near relatives of the Beautiful Demoiselles favour slower moving streams and rivers with a muddy sediment and they are often found in meadows near open banksides.
Both these insects are almost 50mm in length with the Hind wings about 35mm and are the UK's largest Demoiselles.







Both these superb insects looked stunning in the dappled sunlight and we enjoyed watching them flitting back and fore along the river bank.

There was also the added bonus of a Blue Tailed Damselfly.



This insect is so small and delicate it was barely visible as it flew from leaf to leaf. It was a very pleasant couple of hours spent in lovely surroundings and is well worth a visit.

All images taken with a Sigma 150-600 Contemporary lens.