After dropping the family off at the beach with some friends about 10.30am this morning I headed over to Nethergong campsite where the plan was to have a wander around and maybe try to find some dragonfly and damselfly larvae in the shallow ponds. After speaking to the owners I made my way off in the sunshine where I had a good few hours photographing and looking at dragonflies. As I walked up the main path a Migrant Hawker was on the wing but I made my way to a ditch where I had a patrolling Brown Hawker the other day and hoped it would still be there and maybe a chance to capture a photo of this camera shy species. On arrival I could see a large Dragonfly flying up and down but this was an immature male Southern Hawker. I don't have many shots of this species so set about trying to capture a flight shot. I only had a few gaps in the reeds to work with but I managed a few shots and a couple turned out not too bad.
Immature Male Southern Hawker
As I watched the Hawker I noticed a small Hawker appear in the ditch and as it flew past I was amazed to see bright blue eyes and a blue abdomen. I straight away new this was a male SOUTHERN MIGRANT HAWKER, a rare dragonfly in this country and a Mega species for East Kent, is this the first I wonder? I have never seen this species before but have been told by others if I saw a male I would know straight away. I was lucky that it flew low down against the reeds making the dragonfly stand out well and how well those bright blue eyes stood out. A few seconds later and it was chased off by the Southern Hawker and gained height and was lost to view. I waited around hoping it would return and despite spending the next two hours walking around checking dykes and ditches I failed to refind it. I later returned to the original ditch where there was now a male Migrant Hawker flying around and it was good to see how different these two species can be and that I had not gone mad. I saw a few more Migrant Hawkers and checked them all but nothing stood out at all. I wonder where this individual has come from and perhaps they are slowly spreading, are more individuals out there and that not many people are looking for them, time will tell I suppose. Although I didn't get a chance of a photo, I at least have a visual memory of the occasion and maybe I will get my chance with this species one year. After the excitement and walking around other species seen today included 3 Brown Hawker, 3 Black tailed Skimmer, 1 Broad bodied Chaser in very good condition still which provided a photo opportunity, quite a few Common Darter with a few Ruddy Darter, 2 Emperor Dragonfly, c20 Banded Demoiselle and lots of Common Blue and Blue tailed Damselfly.
Male Broad bodied Chaser
This evening I spent and hour trying to photograph Brown Hawkers again at Westbere Lakes but despite seeing c6, none posed and when one did catch a female Banded Demoiselle if flew high up into a tree to have its dinner. Anyway a brilliant day with a new species seen being the Southern Migrant Hawker and a few shots in the session. I am camping with family and friends at Nethergong over the weekend and so weather permitting I shall be able to grab an hour or so to see if the blue eyed beauty can be found again.