Sunday, May 31, 2009

Banded Demoiselles in the city of Utrecht

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)

A few years ago (in 2006), during a small walk in my neighborhood, I saw a blue-winged damselfly sitting on a fence. And although I was not so much into odonata at the time, I knew what it was: a Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens). During the next days I bought a DSLR camera and in the following months I devoted much of my spare time at that small canal ("gracht" in Dutch), trying to photograph these Damselflies at the spot. There were many of them. Once I counted over 50 males.

And the end of the season I had many photos and organized a small exhibition at a local environmental centre, also to show the inhabitants at the canal what I had been doing in their area all year.

It surprised me most that these lived here in the middle of a city. I learned from the inhabitants there, that the Banded Demoiselles had been there at least for a couple of years. From other sources I learned that, after a vast decline, the Banded Demoiselle has been slowly progressing along the Kromme Rijn river since the 1980's, and that it had been spotted at several places in the city.

Since then I have been looking for odonata at other sites near (and sometimes in) Utrecht. But of course every year I also take a look at this city population of Banded Demoiselles. Untill now they are there every year, although not in such large numbers as in 2006. Usually I count maximally 10 or 20 individuals. And I still make some photos of them. Like the one below, which I made yesterday.

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)

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Living in the Netherlands.