Large Skipper, Wicken Fen.

Large Skipper

Large Skipper, Ochlodes sylvanus.

This photograph was taken at Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire, which is a National Trust owned nature reserve with a brilliant Dragonfly Centre that is run by The National Trust, The British Dragonfly Society and The Dragonfly Project.

Hiding at water level amongst the tall reeds on the reserve was a family of Coots, a wary adult leading several lovely fuzzy feathered chicks through the tangle of stems and leaves, while above them a reed warbler busily darted in and out of the uppermost reaches of the reeds to a nest hidden out of sight.

Among all this there were fast glimpses of bright metallic blue as the many damselflies found in the reeds zoomed past, some not stopping as they sped hastily off, flying into the distance and beyond view. Some landed momentarily on leaves before taking flight once more, while others could be seen quietly sitting very still on a favoured leaf or stem, with wings characteristically folded back along a shiny, colourful body. In the clear water beneath these perches, from which the larval form of these damselflies had likely emerged, large shoals of fish could be seen swimming, above dense green underwater vegetation.

These and other damselflies were flitting about all the way around the reserve’s path alongside many other wonderful insects that could be found, including interesting dragonflies and spiders, resting on stalks of grass and zooming or fluttering delicately through the air in the golden evening light, including the large skipper butterfly above, of which there were plenty wandering amongst the grass and wildflowers.

The Large Skipper photograph above and more new, recent, photographs have been added to the gallery. Enjoy!