Having been camping for most of the weekend and a brief session out yesterday it was very welcome this afternoon when I received a tweet from Derek Smith alerting me that he had found a Norfolk Hawker dragonfly at Westbere Lakes in the Stour Valley. I was soon en route hoping to connect with this very rare Kent dragonfly, there only being 3 records so far in Kent with me luckily finding the 3rd record last year at Chislet, not that far at all from the Stour Valley. I arrived somewhat out of breath and saw Derek Smith and Mike Gould ahead looking at something. As I walked alongside the ditch I caught sight of a dark dragonfly and as it turned I could see the big green eyes looking at me, brilliant, a Norfolk Hawker. It patrolled up and down a small ditch c30 yds north of the river T-junction before finally coming to rest and allowed me to grab a few shots before again it moved off along the ditch, returning occasionally to its favored perch.
Male Norfolk Hawker (1st Individual)
As I took the shots Derek and Mike were still photographing something and shouted to me that it was still showing where they were. At this point the penny dropped, there were 2 Norfolk Hawkers, both males. The individual they had was showing very well and in the sun made a great subject to photograph.
Male Norfolk Hawker (2nd Individual)
Sue Morton joined us and everyone had lovely views and grabbed a few shots. These 2 constitute the 4th and 5th records for Kent as far as I know and almost certainly show that they have probably bred in the area. 4 out of the 5 records have been very close to the Stour Valley area with 3 seen within the area.
Male Norfolk Hawker
Are they the Norfolk ones moving south or migrants from the south flying north. Whatever the outcome, it is just brilliant news that this rare dragonfly could be breeding in East Kent and I have had the privilege to find and photograph these lovely dragonflies. A big well done to Derek Smith for finding them and putting the news out so quickly.
Male Norfolk Hawker
As ever after publishing, some of these shots appear noisy and drained of colour unlike when I did them in photoshop. Click on the Flickr photos to hopefully see some better quality images!!