Brown Hawker (Aeshna Grandis)

A huge Dragonfly which always seems to be on the wing,hunting or defending territory

Now what you see here all the sum total of individual specimens I’ve photographed,and I actually remember each one well

The first one….I was on the path towards the woods at Brandon and saw it land,it was late 2010,well I barely had time to put the camera on the tripod and fire one single shot off,luckily it worked out fairly decently

The second one…I was in the meadow adjacent to the river meadow,a nice sheltered spot which rarely gets any wind,i was snapping anything that moved if i’m honest.Well this Hawker came into view,wings glowing gold in the sunlight,he did a few curcuits then decided to land.About 5 feet away from me,now that was a bonus

The third one..I was at the end of the tip area,a nice spot just to relax in.Well I was watching these Hawkers in flight and hunting,this went on for a while until this female wanted to rest,luckily I saw where she landed which for me wasn’t easy because it was up a small but steep embankment.I got there in the end and the results are what you see here

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female

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Ruddy Darter(Sympetrum Sanguineum)

A gem of a dragonfly which is much sought after….And one of britains smallest

I’d like to say that if you visit brandon marsh to go to specific areas if you want to see Ruddy Darters,but I cant because these can pop up virtually anywhere.So if I get one its a bonus.

The Ruddy Darter is often mistaken for the Common Darter,but the signs to look for are the all black legs and belled body shape

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teneral male

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female

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mating pair

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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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Female

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

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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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mating wheel

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ovipositing female

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Common Darter (Sympetrum Striolatum)

Britains commonest Dragonfly,and one of the smallest.

The male is orange-red and the female buff brown darkening with age,it hunts by landing on a favourite twig or other convenient place and simply darting up at its intended prey

This is a fantastic little Dragonfly,if you manage to approach one while hunting it’ll often use you as a perch to hunt from,during these times its often possible to get your camera within a few inches of its face.it really is that bold

These can be found all over Brandon Marsh but are most plentiful in areas surrounding the Tip area

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female

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An Introduction

Featured

For a while I’d been thinking about a site of my own,but did nothing about it.that was until I was speaking to a colleague Mr Hassan Haybe,who gave me alot of encouragement and ideas.

For a while now I’ve been taking wildlife pictures,but developed an interest in dragonflies and damselflies..My main area to visit is a nature reserve near Coventry called ‘Brandon Marsh’.Its a site that can boast 9 different species of Dragonfly and numerous Damselflies.
My intent of all this is not a scientific study but a brief description and a few pictures,all of which will be taken by me..I also dont want it to turn into a ‘how to do it’ type of thing,because each Dragonfly is an individual in each given circumstance,be it the weather,species or time of day.I want it to be more of a ‘how i do it’ type of thing,mainly because we’re all different and use different equipment in different locations

People often tell me that I must be patient or have a good camera,well patience doesn’t really come into it in that if someone puts theirselves in a position to photograph something where that something exists they have a chance(No point in trying to take football pictures at a cricket match)….And where i dont exactly use a point and shoot the equipment actually plays less of a role than people might think,the important thing is knowing a little about the subject.

Ian Harris

The Dragonfly species…Emperor,Brown Hawker,Southern Hawker,Migrant Hawker,Broad Bodied Chaser,Black Tailed Skimmer,4 Spotted Chaser,Common Darter,Ruddy Darter

The Damselflies so far include..Common Blue,Azure,Large Red,Blue Tailed,Emerald,Red Eyed,Banded Damoiselle

***as spring arrives this will be changing,an ongoing thing if you like…watch this space***

 

the river avon wildflower meadow

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the tip area

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the 9 species