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Lakenheath Fen 16-06-2012

Banded Demoiselle Male (Calopteryx Splendens)
It was a very very windy day at Lakenheath Fen. I’m surprised and really pleased how these photos came out as there was quite a bit of movement caused by the wind. This was the only photo captured as it didn’t stay around for long.

Length: 45mm
Only two species of damselfly in Britain have obviously coloured wings. They both belong to the genus Calopteryx. In this species the wings of the mature male have a dark blue-black band across the central portion and those of the female are iridescent pale-green. The body colour is metallic blue-green in the male and green with a bronze tip in the female. The flight is fluttering, butterfly-like and the male often perform a fluttering display flight in front of females.

Mainly found along slow-flowing lowland streams and rivers, particulary those with muddy bottoms.

At Lakenheath Fen, the RSPB has converted an area of arable farmland into a large wetland, consisting mainly of reedbeds and grazing marshes. The new reedbeds have attracted hundreds of pairs of reed warblers and sedge warblers, as well as bearded tits and marsh harriers.

Bitterns have been seen increasingly in all seasons of the year. In early summer, hobbies catch insects high over the marshes. Golden orioles breed in the remnant poplar woods on the reserve, along with blackcaps, garden warblers and woodpeckers. Barn owls and kingfishers are regularly seen during the winter months.

There is a new visitor centre where you can find out more about the reserve, its wildlife and history. An events programme is run throughout the year, and family explorer backpacks and trail guides are available.

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