After a very busy week at work with clubs and fixtures most nights after school, it was pleasing to receive and email from John Cullen alerting me that there were a good number of Norfolk Hawker dragonflies on the wing at Westbere Lakes. After finishing work on Thursday I made the 1 minute cycle ride down to Westbere and headed for the area near the junction by the river. On arrival there were hundreds of damselflies flying and it wasn't long until I got my first views of c10 Norfolk Hawker seen during my visit. Most were in the left hand ditch ever 5 metres or so and I counted 7 here with a few near the river. I seem to have an obsession with these rare dragonflies and it was nice to sit on my own undisturbed and watch and photograph them. They were slightly out of reach for the Sigma 150mm so the trusty Canon f4 300mm lens was given its chance to produce the goods, which I think it did. With little wind the Hawkers were perching for most of the time but the sound of their wings beating could be clearly heard as they flew by me.
I returned after work tonight at 3.30pm meeting Mike Hook at the entrance eating his sandwiches. Mike had seen a few on the wing and hopefully got his shots. After a chat I was on my way where I spent the next couple of hours mostly on my own with the odd person passing through. Again I found c10 Norfolk Hawker at rest but also seen were 2 pairs of Norfolk Hawker mating, I just about managed to grab a shot before 1 pair flew off.
Mating Norfolk Hawkers
I suspect there are a lot more in the dykes and ditches on site and hopefully numbers will continue to build. The management have done a great job here and it looks like the colony will hopefully grow from strength to strength with mating pairs seen and John photographing a female ovipositing during the week. This has so far turned out to be a great success story for this species of dragonfly. Also seen today were 1 Scare Chaser, Banded Demoiselles everywhere and a few Hairy Dragonfly. Hopefully out during the weekend if the sun shines, I have to improve on the Hawker flight shot at some stage but a few images below of the Norfolk Hawkers taken yesterday and today.