With some early sun forecast I made a visit out to a site near Reculver this morning followed by a trip to Westbere Lakes. Early on near Reculver, I managed to find 5 Migrant Hawker resting up in the bushes in the sunlight which provided some nice photo opportunities. I shall post these in the next few days. Also noted here were 2 Emperor Dragonfly, 1 Black tailed Skimmer, 1 Small Red eyed Damselfly, a few Common and Ruddy Darter and good numbers still of Common Emerald Damselfly, Blue tailed and Common Blue Damselfly. About 9am I drove over to Westbere Lakes where I wanted to see if I could find and photograph one of the hardest dragonflies in my opinion, the Brown Hawker. The past couple of years has seen me trying to capture some photos of this species, most of the time unsuccessfully but with some perseverance last year, I did manage some pleasing shots. With the temperature warming up nicely but with a stiff breeze I walked up to the river and west towards Fordwich for a few hundred yards. The Norfolk Hawker ditch was all quiet, their job is done for another year but hopefully under the water, this species is more than alive in nymph form. I was very pleased however to find my first Willow Emerald Damselfly for this site. I checked a few likely areas for Brown Hawker and expected one to burst from the reeds as I passed but for some time, this did not happen until the inevitable happened and one surprised me as its wings brushed against the reeds and off it flew out of sight. I wandered on seeing 2 Brown Hawker and spent some time waiting for one to land but it never did. Feeling I was beaten again by this species, I walked back and saw a Brown Hawker in the distance looking like it wanted to land. I crept a little nearer and saw it disappear into a sheltered area. I hoped it had landed slowly moved nearer until I could see the area. I kept looking but could not see nothing until a few minutes later, I could see a male Brown Hawker resting in an awkward position. For once, it didn't fly off and I was able to take a few photos of this stunning species. As ever, their choice of perch was not brilliant for me as it was partially sunny and shady and I was shooting into a dark area but I was just happy to get a few images. Most of the time it was side on but ever so briefly it turned around in the sun and allowed me to grab a couple of shots before it flew off never to be seen again. I'm hoping to have another go with this species soon and maybe improve on today's shots. I shall hopefully post some of the Migrant Hawker shots tomorrow.
Brown Hawker (male)