Migrant Hawker (Aeshna Mixta)

Similar in size but smaller than the Southern Hawker,when they emerge they are often seen in large numbers,i can be walking anywhere at Brandon and come across this species,and with care they’ll happily stay where they are and have their picture taken

They are most numerous late in the season along with the Southern Hawkers and Common Darters,the female below was discovered well into october.Good because it keeps the Dragonfly season going a while longer.

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2013 is really shaping up to be a great year for these

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Common-Blue Damselfly (Enallagma Cyathigerum)

During the summer months I’ll head straight for the wildflower meadow next to the River Avon,its usually teeming with Damselflies long before the Dragons start to emerge.You can walk through the long grass and theres literally one taking flight with every step.Its hard going at times though because of the swarms of Mosquitos and numerous Clegg Flies,I suppose everything has a price to be paid.

What i tend to do with these is get down to their level,even if it means lieing on my belly and proping the camera up on my elbows,its pretty stable that way,not nice if its been raining though

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Azure Damselfly(Coenagrion Puella)

The Azure is pretty widespread but not as common as the Common Blue which it is often mistaken for

These are normally found in the river meadow at Brandon,the difficulty is trying to identify the males from the Common Blues which are much more numerous..The females though are pretty distinctive being almost all black,and in my opinion more striking visually.

On the matter of identification one of the things to look out for is the dark spur marking on the thorax,which isn’t present on the Common Blue

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Four-Spotted Chaser(Libellula Quadrimaculata)

Usually one of the first to emerge each year,and is the only UK Chaser where the male doesn’t carry the blue colour form

I usually look forward to this species with great anticipation,they tend to herald the Dragonfly season in and start eating alot of biting insects,in a good year you can see a steady procession of newly emerged leaving the river and flying across the meadow looking for a suitable clump of grass to dry out on….so keep your eyes open and you wont be disappointed

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Large-Red Damselfly(Pyrrhosoma Nymphula)

One of the gems of the Damselfly world,it can be seen throughout the summer

Not as plentiful at Brandon as it is at the nearby Ryton Woods,but with patience it can be seen.normally It’ll be found near the banks of the River Avon

its generally thought that this species emerges only from the River Avon,but i suspect that they also emerges from the nearby West Marsh Pool.this specimen is the first i have captured in 2013

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Southern Hawker (Aeshna Cyanea)

One of britains largest Dragonflies,often seen on the wing well into October

A real beauty of a Dragonfly,when these start to emerge they can be found anywhere on the reserve,either on the wing,resting or ovipositing,They actually cant be missed if a keen eye is kept open such is their size.And with care they can be approached when resting.When resting they tend to cling to anything suitable and let the abdomen hang beneath them

2013 has turned out to be a good year for these

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ovipositing female

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2013

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