Monday, October 6, 2014

A Trip to Udon Thani

Location: A trip to Udon Thani environs
Date: Saturday 04 October, 2014
Areas visited:  A cluster of small, lowland-forested ponds approx 70 kms east of Udon Thani
 
After a long time out, primarily due to work commitments and lack of funds, it was high time to charge my camera once more and set out dragonfly hunting. Though the Gomphid season has pretty much come and gone, there were surely lots of goodies still waiting to be found. So, where was I to go? Well, I decided to visit a fellow dragonfly hunter whom I had come to know through 'Dragonflies of Thailand' on Facebook. His name is Joe Hartman and he lives approximately 70 kms east of Udon Thani, in Issarn. Using my trusty gps, I arrived in the village where he lives, after driving for around 2 hours ... I then drove down a narrow dirt track. It became narrower and narrower ... and then ... I became stuck ... I had driven over a sandy area and the wheels slowly sank. I couldn't move with the wheels just spinning spraying sand everywhere. So, before I could hunt for dragonflies, I had to hunt for pebbles and it took me about 30 minutes to find enough to get the wheels moving again. Worse still, I was in the wrong place! I called Joe and we decided that it would be best to go back to the hospital and meet up there. Bloody gps! We met and he took me to his house for coffee and a chat, before hitting his local ponds. They were mainly small ponds on the edge of lowland forest amongst farmland, though some where protected in the temple area. We searched as many areas as possible, before finally giving up as the sun began to fade. We were also beginning to wilt as the sun had started to get to us. All in all, it was a fantastic day and, even though I didn't find any new species for my records, I found a few surprises along the way.
 
Joe was extremely kind, friendly and pasasionate about nature and I would like to thank him for such a wonderful time. I will return very soon, Joe!
 
Here are the best photos of the day:
 
Scarce elsewhere, but common around Joe's home, is Brachydiplax sobrina. Unfortunately, the mature males managed to avoid my lens ... for now!
 


B. farinosa was also present, but in smaller numbers.
 

 
The amazingly rare-to-be-photographed female of the ultra common Ictinogomphus decoratus melaenops. Only the second time I have managed to photograph the female in over 6 years.



 
Another uncommon species ... 















... and finally a Ceriagrion sp. I can't quite put my finger on. Probably a strangely coloured or very old C. indochinense.
 


 

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