He was trying to balance on fishing line strung across our pond.
The line, stretched about a foot above the surface of the water, is meant to deter herons by acting as a visual puzzle and a 'fence'. Apparently herons prefer to walk into ponds, especially if there are tall hedges, trees or shrubs nearby. They need to lift their feet to move forwards and also stoop/bend their neck forwards to catch fish.
The general idea of using fishing line is that they can't see it from a distance so can't plan ahead. Once (if) they land then the line's meant to make it difficult, or for it to take too long, for them to catch our fish - and persuade them to go somewhere else for their breakfast or evening meal. As you can see it isn't tightly stretched, so if they do push against it it'll 'give'. So far it seems to be effective, but last year we lost our fish after the lily leaves had died back so we'll have to wait and see.
The line doesn't seem to faze the bats that visit the garden most evenings, and it doesn't stop smaller birds (even crows) using the pond as a bath - they walk underneath it.
The dragonfly eventually gave up trying to balance on the too-smooth line and decided to rest on the top of one of the canes it's tied to. Watching him made me realise how very good insects' eyesight is, and how huge fishing line must be when you're only a few inches long.
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