Elusive and beautiful winged creatures on Southampton Common

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It’s difficult to drag myself away from the cygnets, but I’ve been trying my best this week to adopt a slightly wider perspective on Southampton Common. There has been plenty of opportunity to do just that, because the season of elusive winged creatures is here in earnest, and I have been delighted by the increasing number of butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies that have been studiously avoiding my camera.
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The dragonflies, whose appearance I await impatiently from about October til May every year, are now established in abundance. They skim the water not caring one bit about the risks I am taking trying to photograph them. The female Emperor Dragonflies have been laying eggs in abundance on the Boating Lake, where, despite the mass of water available to them, everyone seems to aspire to that one perfect spot, leading to a few disputes.

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The damselflies are also busy and plentiful, and to my extreme delight I have seen two demoiselles this week. I don’t see these beauties very often on the Common, so it gave me a ridiculous amount of pleasure that I not only saw them, but that one sat still long enough for me to take their photo.
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However hard I try though it’s difficult to not mention those four little grey cygnets on the Boating Lake who continue to draw the crowds. They are growing fast, and looking more like miniature swans every day.
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So, the babies are growing fast, the insects are getting me into my summer exercise routine, and as ever, there is plenty to see and enjoy on Southampton Common!

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