After a few years in the planning and some decent weather forecast for Sunday I made the long drive down to the New Forest where I had planned to meet 2 local dragonfly enthusiasts there, Paul and Sue Ritchie. The aim of the trip was to hopefully see and photograph 2 new species I had never seen before, Southern and Scarce Blue tailed Damselfly, both quite rare species nationally. I arrived about 9.45am where not long after Paul and Sue arrived and we then took the drive into the forest where thankfully they knew where they were going. By 10am it was already hot and I had already seen an Emperor Dragonfly on the wing. It wasn't long until we were in some superb habitat and dragonflies were seen, namely the first of c7 Golden ringed Dragonfly which were flying up the small streams. We stopped and watched these superb dragonflies and luckily a few settled for photographs. I must admit this species is probably my favourite and I could have spent hours alone photographing these but we pressed on.
Golden ringed Dragonfly
A few Azure Damselfly were noted and not long after Paul found the first of c20 Scarce Blue tailed Damselfly in a small area which had us stopping for more photos. It was nice to see the real deal and a happy man I was having added this new species. Keeled Skimmers whizzed by as did more Golden ringed Dragonflies and we soon entered an area where we started our search for the Southern Damselfly. It felt like ages looking when Paul found a male which I was soon photographing and we later saw c30 Southern Damselflies with a few mating pairs. Photos were quite tricky as you balanced in the bogs and slowly become stuck but a few useable shots were obtained. The clouds rolled in just after lunchtime but we still saw lots of Small Red Damselfly along with a few Emerald Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly and c5 Beautiful Demoiselle. The odd Common Blue Damselfly was seen and Common Darters were noted but by later afternoon the sun had vanished. We made our way back seeing a Golden ringed Dragonfly again before a brief chat and a drink before setting back off for home. A superb day made better by the excellent local knowledge of Paul and Sue and thanks to them, seeing 2 new species was brilliant. I will post some shots of the trip throughout the week as I took quite a few as you can imagine.
Golden ringed Dragonfly