Thursday 7 December 2023

2023 Review

Another year seems to have nearly passed by in the blink of an eye so I thought I would look back through some of my shots this year and post a few favourites. A good year for me seeing a number of species including over 400 Willow Emerald Damselfly seen at Nethergong, 70 Norfolk Hawker seen in the Stour Valley, c15 Lesser Emperor Dragonfly seen in west Kent, 5 Golden ringed Dragonfly at a small stream in west Kent and nice to see the Dainty Damselfly holding its own at a few sites in Kent. Add to this a good  range of other dragonflies and damselflies seen and looking back, it wasn't a bad year at all. As ever, I could post quite a few images but I have selected the following either on the composition of the shot, the challenge of capturing the photo or simply the experience of seeing the species. 

Banded Demoiselle - male

Beautiful Demoiselle - male

Dainty Damselfly - male

Golden ringed Dragonfly - male

Hairy Dragonfly - male

Norfolk Hawker - mating pair

Norfolk Hawker - male

Scarce Emerald Damselfly - immature female

Southern Emerald Damselfly - female

Willow Emerald Damselfly - female

I will be running a few dragonfly trips next year through 'Naturetrek' in Kent which I have successfully done over the past couple of years. Please click on the links below to view more information about them:  and

Sunday 19 November 2023

Autumn Delights

With some sunshine mid morning today but clouds starting to build up, I thought I'd  have a quick walk around some of the sunny sheltered areas at Nethergong to see whether any dragonflies or damselflies were still on the wing. I spent an hour searching where I managed to find 4 Willow Emerald Damselfly and 2 Common Darter. I'm sure there would have been more to be found if I had longer to look. With some lovely autumnal colours now on the leaves, these made for a beautiful setting to the shots and some lovely backgrounds. It was slightly more awkward trying to get a clear shot without any foliage in the way but eventually it all come good. These Willows really are quite hardy given all the rain we have and if the weather allows, I'm sure they have a week or so in them yet. If they are to be the last ones I see this year (I hope not) then what a fitting end to their season seeing them posing in the sunshine with electric yellows, oranges and reds in the backgrounds. 

Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis) - male

Sunday 8 October 2023

Autumn Specials

With the weather feeling quite hot over the weekend, I thought I would spend a couple of hours yesterday looking to see what dragonflies and damselflies were still on the wing at Nethergong. With the trees and bushes starting to show the colours of autumn and leaves starting to fall, a few Common Darters were enjoying the sunshine on the floor and were quite hard to pick out unless you accidently flushed them. A single Southern Hawker was seen patrolling low through the trees. Migrant Hawkers were still around and enjoying the number of small flies on the wing but most of my attention was spent watching and photographing the Willow Emerald Damselflies which were still quite numerous, not that surprising really given the weather conditions of late. If the weather continues like this, they will happily make it into late November and maybe, early December. I found a few individuals which were posing nicely and showing off their autumnal colours and settled in to get a few images. What was a little more challenging was trying to either get a clear background or some autumn colours in the background. It was simply pleasant to sit in the warm sunshine really and just watch them go about their lives. It would be nice to think I can have a few more sessions with them this year before their time is over. 

Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis) - male

Sunday 10 September 2023

Late Southerns in the Sun

A few weeks ago a few Southern Emerald Damselfly were found at a new site at Seasalter in North Kent and being a nationally rare damselfly, I was keen to have a visit and see them for myself. Yesterday I met up with Mark Chidwick who watches this area and we were able to find 2 Southern Emerald Damselfly, a male and a female which were in a suitable area where they may possibly breed or indeed may have already bred last year. This however we do not know and it is hoped that they may have already mated and egg layed in the pool which has now completely dried up but fills with water during the winter months. as far as I'm aware, 3 have been seen there in the past few weeks. It will be interesting to see whether any appear next year at this location. With sun and very hot conditions, I was able to spend some time capturing a few pleasing images of this lovely species which can be identified by their bi-coloured pterostigma on the wings. It would be nice to think that this species can slowly spread in the county as there are only a few other sites for this species. I look forward to hopefully a visit next year where fingers crossed, they manage to emerge and continue to build in number. 

Southern Emerald Damselfly (Lestes barbarus) - female

Southern Emerald Damselfly (Lestes barbarus) - male