Dragonflies at Peña Blanca Lake
- Thursday, October 2
Hi Ode People (Odists? Oders?),
I'm still just getting into dragonflies and have only barely attempted
damselflies. I try the dragonflies through binoculars approach (using the
book of the same name), but am very often frustrated and am beginning to be
convinced that a net will be necessary for up-close inspection of a lot of
species that apparently don't land. And even if they do land, and I get a
photo, I often end up sending it to Bob Behrstock, Rich Bailowitz, or Dennis
Paulson for identification. Such as a Gray Sanddragon that I recently
photographed near my home, which simply wasn't identifiable using the book.
I'm eagerly awaiting a better book and one that includes damselflies of
I was out yesterday to areas south of Tucson and saw hundreds of dragonflies
everywhere, even far from water. Right now is a very good time here, almost
anywhere. One particularly good place was Peña Blanca Lake west of Nogales.
I recognized my lifer Plateau Dragonlet there, and Widow Skimmers, Mexican
Amberwings, Common Green Darners, and Black Saddlebags were all abundant.
Probable Blue-eyed Darners were in the willow woods, but they are too hard.
(The text and photos in D through B contradict each other in describing
Blue-eyed versus Arroyo Darners.) I'd sure like to know what else was there.
At other places during the day were Spot-winged Gliders and Flame and
Roseate Skimmers. I'm also pretty sure I saw Wandering Gliders. I'm also
still trying to figure out one mystery dragonfly that landed on the ground
at the Green Valley sewage ponds. Best match so far is Hoary Skimmer, but I
don't think that was it. The two yellow spots at the base of the thorax were
the only two obvious field marks, and the whole animal was rather brownish
than gray. Eyes and face were gray. I'm going to spend some time at
http://www.sonic.net/dragonfly/ to see if I get anywhere with it.
If you go to Peña Blanca Lake, be sure to let us all know what you are
seeing. It'll help us newbies figure out what the possibilities are.
Senior Field Leader