Monday 8 July 2024

Super Southerns!

I led a private Dragonfly tour over the weekend on Saturday in mixed weather where we visited New Hythe and Cliffe Marshes. Most of our walk around New Hythe was shrouded with cloud and quite a brisk wind which made finding dragonflies and damselflies quite a challenge but we did find quite a few Common Blue Damselfly along with Blue tailed Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle and an emerging Black tailed Skimmer whilst we were looking for exuviae into the reeds. Unfortunately with the weather not improving that much, we failed to find any Lesser Emperor. I suggested with improving weather forecast that we took the driver over to Cliffe to look for the nationally rare Southern Emerald Damselfly. Arriving at 2pm, we walked out along the path in very windy conditions but at least the blue sky was slowly appearing. After a while we arrived at the area to start our search. John had never seen a Southern Emerald Damselfly before so I was under a little more pressure to find one and in the gale force wind, it was not easy. After a good search through the grasses in some sheltered areas we managed to find at least 7 Southern Emerald Damselfly at rest which insured some lovely views and some challenging photographic opportunities. Between us and helping each other out, we managed to grab a few photos and despite the conditions, I am relatively pleased with the outcome of these stunning damselflies photos. With only a few sites to see these in the UK, we really are lucky to have such a good variety of dragonflies and rare damselflies in Kent. We also managed to see Common Emerald Damselfly, Scarce Emerald Damselfly, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter and an Emperor Dragonfly. An excellent day in the end in great company and for John to see a new species, certainly was the icing on the cake.

                               Southern Emerald Damselfly (Lestes barbarus) - female

Southern Emerald Damselfly (Lestes barbarus) - male


  1. More good stuff from you here again Marc. Excellent and I luv'em.

    1. Many thanks Pete. Really good to catch up with this rarity and capture some pleasing efforts. You would never of guessed it was blowing a gale. Take care.