During the past few years of photographing and studying dragonflies and damselflies, you start to build up a picture of what species are very approachable, quite approachable, approachable with care and you don't really stand a chance. For me and others I have spoken to, the Brown Hawker falls into the latter category. I have normally always found this species hard to approach and photograph. My normal experience with them is a buzzing of wings exploding from the grasses, reeds etc ahead as they see you before you get a chance to see them. When you do see them land, there brown colour can mean you are looking at them without even registering them before they take flight again. My only real shots of any quality I have of this species have seen me stalking ninja style through grasses on my chest to achieve my goals. I am told that my best chances of approaching for a decent shot are when the female is occupied during egg laying at the waters edge but up and till now, I am still waiting for this chance. Having waited for me chance during this season, I thought that it may be another blank year for shots until last weekend when I encountered a couple of Brown Hawkers during a sunny/cloudy spell. Even then, they only landed a few metres away on the far side of the stream at Nethergong which resulted in my using the Canon f4 300mm lens and 1.4 converter.
Brown Hawker (male)
Although this got me much nearer, Its most definitely not my chosen way to photograph this species. My brief second encounter was at least a bit sunnier and I was able to use the Canon f4 300mm lens to achieve a few shots.
Brown Hawker (male)
As well as the adults, this species generally continues to elude me as I have only photographed the nymph once and I still need to find and collect a Brown Hawker exuviae despite looking for one on a good number of occasions. Despite their almost impossible willingness to land for me and in flight I normally always give up as they are a tough species to photograph, I still enjoy the challenge every year and already look forward to my next encounter....... Whenever that will be!