Friday, April 26, 2019

California Darner

On 24 April 2019, I found my first dragonfly of 2019. This California Darner flew in circles about six feet from the ground in a clearing in our backyard in Olympia, Washington. Occasionally it landed in brush piles or bushes at the edge of the lawn. This relatively small darner is found across wide areas of the western United State and in southwestern Canada.

The day was warm and sunny. I wandered from the house, despite having a long list of chores. When I saw the darner, I ran back inside for my camera. I relocated the dragonfly, onbly to discover my camera’s battery was completely spent. Back to the house for a fresh battery. I was only able to capture a couple of images before the dragonfly flew.

The California Darner is a new species for my list. I was searching for one, since I knew that this dragonfly is one of the first darners to fly in the spring. By mid-summer they become uncommon, replaced by later species (Paulaon 2009). This individual is an immature female. Dennis Paulson writes me that they often occur surprisingly far from the ponds in which they breed.

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