With the last few months seeming quite manic as I try to make the most of the time at the weekends to see and photograph the different species in Kent and out of the county, I decided this morning to stay local and have a relaxed walk at Nethergong and later at Westbere Lakes. I was hoping for a few Emerald Damselflies as they are normally on the wing by now at Nethergong but despite a good search, I failed to find any. I normally see them in the last week of June at this site so hopefully they will emerge during the week. I did have a brief dipping session with the net at the stream and managed to find a few fully grown Emerald Damselfly nymphs and also some Willow Emerald Damselfly nymphs so at least they are there. A few Banded Demoiselle were seen as was 1 Norfolk Hawker. I then moved on to Westbere Lakes where I spent 2 hours having a leisurely walk up to the river and then west towards Fordwich for about half a mile. I saw a good range of species including 11 Norfolk Hawker including 1 female which showed beautifully and allowed me to take a number of photos very close to her and spend a good 20 minutes studying the detail on this species. Also seen were 8 Scarce Chaser, 3 Brown Hawker, 3 Emperor Dragonfly, 3 Black tailed Skimmer, a few hundred Banded Demoiselle and a variety of Variable, Azure and Blue tailed Damselfly. With July with us now, it wont be long until the Willow Emerald Damselfly is on the wing. Hopefully the second week of July will deliver the first emerging from the stream at Nethergong.
Norfolk Hawker (Aeshna isosceles) - showing the 'blade' like ovipositor
Norfolk Hawker (Aeshna isosceles) - female