With the family going shopping yesterday with friends, I was dropped off at Westbere Lakes at 10am where I spent 6 hours walking around the site looking and photographing what dragonflies and damselflies could be found. The weather was not that good with only occasional sunny spells and at one point, it started to rain but with light winds and warm temperatures, there was at least some activity if you were prepared to be patient and find it. Having said that, it ended up being a very good session with 5 Norfolk Hawker seen along the river with one seen landing during a cloudy spell which allowed me to creep up and rattle off a number of shots of this fresh male.
Norfolk Hawker (male)
The main dyke where they have been present the last few years is almost overgrown now and there appears to only be a few open compartments for them to fly in. I hope that this can be worked on during the winter but I suspect they breed in the other dykes nearby.Its just nice to have these views right next to the path and keeps the observers in one area rather than wander to other areas to find them. Also seen were c12 Scarce Chaser with most of them seen at the entrance on the cut trees but a few were along the river where after a good search in the reeds, I managed to find a Scarce Chaser exuviae.
Scarce Chaser (female)
There were c50 Banded Demoiselle along the river providing a lovely spectacle as they rose in large groups from the reeds as you walked by. Also noted were c7 Hairy Dragonfly, hundreds of Azure, Variable and Blue tailed Damselflies with lesser numbers of Large Red, Red eyed and Common Blue Damselfly. As I made my way back to the entrance to be picked up, the sun made an appearance which allowed me to see my first 3 teneral Black tailed Skimmers of the year. Despite the lack of sun, a really nice session and excellent to see the Norfolk Hawkers back on the wing. Hopefully there numbers will build up now and I will have plenty more visits to see them. Today, I made a successful visit to west Kent to Sissinghurst Castle to see some dragonflies and damselflies we do not have in east Kent. I shall post some photos all being well in the next few days.
Hairy Dragonfly (male)