Friday, 18 July 2014

Taking on the 'Brown' Challenge!

After finishing work this afternoon I cycled down to Westbere Lakes where I wanted to continue the challenge of trying to get a few images of the Brown Hawker. I have tried for a few years to get a decent image but to date, I have not achieved this. I think this species has got to be one of the hardest dragonflies to photograph and although seen easily at Westbere, getting views of them perched is pretty hard indeed. I spent a couple of hours walking up to the river and then towards Fordwich in what can only be described as 'very hot' conditions and managed to see c15 Brown Hawker. Like most occasions when I have seen this species, I had excellent views of them in flight and when they did catch some large prey they would fly up high into the trees where it was too far for the camera to achieve anything of any quality. If I didn't see in flight first I had the added problem of walking down the path only to hear a rattle of wings a few metres ahead before a Brown Hawker would emerge and fly off and despite walking slowly and checking ahead of me, I still couldn't see them, they really are a hard species to pin down. After watching a few individuals hunting one finally landed in a tree and this gave me the chance to get my first shots of the day, despite the horrible background and parts of the Hawker missing, this is about a good as it got. 

Brown Hawker

Moving on I managed to capture one in flight and despite many other shots, all were just out of focus and this will at least present another challenge for another day.

Brown Hawker

As I made my way back the temperature was slowly dropping and a couple of groups of Brown Hawker were hunting over the path and passing within a few feet of me. I waited patiently for one to land but they just kept on flying around and finally I moved on and it wasn't until near the end of my walk that one passed me and seemed to fly into a bush and land. I slowly moved around and scanned the bush and eventually I could see it hanging. It wasn't the best angle but at least I managed to get a few shots of this so far nearly impossible species to photograph. 

Brown Hawker

Also noted today were 2 Norfolk Hawker, a few Black tailed Skimmer, hundreds of Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue and Blue tailed Damselfly. The challenge continues and I will be back to try again for a decent flight image or one posing in the sunshine with hopefully a better background than todays effort. Hopefully a visit out over the weekend although the weather may have other ideas!

Brown Hawker

5 comments:

  1. I have seen one Brown Hawker in my life, and it was. You have a precious touch with the camera.

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  2. Marc,
    They are frustrating little blighters aren't they! Ive been trying almost every day for a decent shot of one, but they dont often come to rest, as you found out :-)

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    1. I think I might have to do a late session as they seemed very active about 6pm last night. Maybe I can get one to come down to roost as the temperature drops, thats my theory anyway.

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  3. I couldn't agree more. I've had 2 near misses this year with them perched up, only for them to fly again long before I was in range!! Considering how common they are. Early morning is the other option!!

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