After a handful of unsuccessful visits since the beginning of June to Westbere Lakes to see if any Norfolk Hawkers had emerged, I made another visit after work tonight in warm conditions but with a stiff breeze. At the entrance I noted 1 Hairy Dragonfly along with good numbers of Variable, Azure and Blue tailed Damselflies. I then walked up to the dyke near the river where initially I could not see any sign of any Norfolk Hawkers despite a good search of the area. I continued on along the river where I saw a few Black tailed Skimmer and 3 Scarce Chaser. About 400 yards along the river path, I spent some time watching a number of Banded Demoiselle when I caught sight of 2 Norfolk Hawker flying around over the river. What a brilliant result to have these nationally rare dragonflies back flying in East Kent. They spent most of their time flying low over the water and landing in the reeds where I was able to get nice views through the binoculars, the fresh wings glimmering in the sunlight and the green eyes standing out well. They were too far for any photos and with foliage in the way, I just enjoyed watching them. Happy with this result, I walked back the way I had come and back down to the dyke to check again. As I walked down I saw a Hairy Dragonfly and chasing it was a Norfolk Hawker. This time it come back and landed a little nearer. This time it was in range of the camera and I was able to take a few photos using the Canon f4 300mm lens. Occasionally it would fly up and then I noticed it was joined by another, thats 4 NORFOLK HAWKERS seen today at Westbere. They all appeared to be males and I spent some more time watching and taking a few photos which turned out quite pleasing. Hopefully as the days and weeks go on, I will get a number of chances to photograph them with the Sigma 150mm macro lens and capture some nice detailed images. I would imagine their numbers will build up now so a visit in the next few weeks should give you some nice views of this stunning species. A great rewarding session and a good day when you see a Norfolk Hawker in Kent!
Norfolk Hawker (male)