With some nice sunshine forecast for today I planned to go a little later in the hope a few dragonflies would be on the wing for the first time this year. I left home at 9.30am where I then drove over to Shuart and parked up. This is one of the best areas in the Reculver recording area for the Hairy Dragonfly and I hoped that today would be my lucky day with them. After parking up I had a look around the area but it was still quite chilly and I didn't hold out much hope for them in these conditions. There were a few butterflies just about on the wing but I decided to do a circuit down to the sea and west along to Coldharbour before walking back to Shuart in the hope that a few hours later the temperature would have warmed up nicely. It was generally quiet but I did see 1 Great spotted Woodpecker, 4 Blackcap, 2 Marsh Harrier, 2 Kestrel, 2 Common Buzzard, 3 Sedge Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Red legged Partridge, 5 Reed Bunting, 1 Redpoll and 4 Whitethroat. It was nice to hear and see 2 Reed Warbler, the first of the year in the Reculver area at Plumpudding stables. Also seen were 5 Ringed Plover, 5 Shelduck, 6 Skylark, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Green Woodpecker and 1 Willow Warbler. After arriving back at the car I removed a few layers and as planned the temperature had warmed up so I walked again down the drove at Shuart. As can be seen in the photo, trees and bushes line both sides creating a sun trap in the middle and it is along here I spent an hour or so wandering and checking trees. After walking up and down a few times I at last caught sight of a dragonfly in flight as it left a bush. It was of course a Hairy Dragonfly, a female which soon come to rest again briefly allowing me to grab a rushed shot.
Female Hairy Dragonfly
I tried to get around behind it but it took off every time. As I continued to wander I ended up seeing 3 Hairy Dragonfly, 2 females and 1 male. I took a few shots using the Canon f4 300mm lens but with the dragonflies seemingly very wary I did not attempt the Sigma 150mm macro, it will have its time soon.
Male Hairy Dragonfly
Feeling very satisfied having seen my first of the year I wandered on back to the car. It was also a good day for butterflies with plenty of Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Green veined and Small White, 4 Orange Tip and 2 Holly Blue. Its supposed to be warmer tomorrow so I hope to get a few hours again at Shuart trying for more photos and maybe a visit to Stodmarsh to look for Large Red Damselfly.