Saturday, 26 May 2012

White-faced Darter

White-faced Darter
(Canon EOS 60D, Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS @ 250mm, 1/320s @ f/8.0)
Today, in beautiful sunshine, I was able to attend a BDS visit to Chartley Moss between Stafford and Uttoxeter. This is the Southernmost location for the rare White-faced Darter dragonfly. Chartley Moss is a National Nature Reserve (NNR) and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) looked after by English Nature. Access to the site is by guided permission only as it is a dangerous "Quaking Bog" or Schwingmoor; a mat of sphagnum moss and partially decomposed vegetation overlying an underground lake, in places 30 meters deep. In places, the vegetation mat is too thin to bear a human's weight. The White-faced Darter is now found in only a handful of sites in England but is more widespread in Scandinavia and Northern Europe. The individual in the photo is quite newly emerged and hasn't yet got its full adult colouration. The pale, yellowish-green "face" will soon turn pure white.

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