With the forecast looking good today with warm sunshine and light winds, I had a few hours out where I visited a few sites to see what was about and hopefully a photographic opportunity would come my way. I started off spending a few hours at a site near Reculver where I saw good numbers of Common Blue and Blue tailed Damselfly along with Common Emerald Damselfly, a few Black tailed Skimmer and hundreds of Common Darter in tandem over the water. A look for Migrant Hawker produced 4 individuals and there were good numbers of Ruddy Darter. I stood watching for a while on some higher ground where I saw good numbers of Emperor Dragonfly involved in keeping territories and chasing rivals away. It was here that I decided on today's challenge of trying to get a decent image of an Emperor Dragonfly in flight, something that has really eluded me so far this year. For once, rather than just pick a random individual, I looked at which way the wind was coming from and made my way round the water so the at the wind was blowing at my back. In this way I hoped that I would find an Emperor Dragonfly hovering into the wind which would give me the chance I wanted. After a brief scan, I found a willing target working a small area of water and got into good position. I spent the next hour taking a good number of photos from different distances but occasionally he would come in quite close enabling me to grab a few pleasing shots. It certainly worked I think with the wind making the Emperor hover nicely and these are by far my best images I have of this species in flight. I then moved on visiting two more sites where I noted 10 Willow Emerald Damselfly, 1 Brown Hawker, 1 Southern Hawker as well as a few more Emperor and Migrant Hawker. A great session again in nice weather and all the more pleasing to have captured some very pleasing shots, mission accomplished!
Emperor Dragonfly (male)