A Living Flash of Light

On a bright, clear morning the slow-witted naturalist has a chance at a half-decent photograph because the temperature is dropping.

Southern Hawker at Rutland Water last week.

As the year progresses, the remaining dragonflies are slowing up, getting up later, flying less frenetically and sitting around more — low in a bush in the morning sun, trying to warm up.

The only other chance is very early in the morning or shortly after they have emerged, as Tennyson wrote,

“…An inner impulse rent the veil

Of his old husk: from head to tail.

He dried his wings: like gauze they grew;”

Broad bodied chaser

The broad bodied chaser is common around our little pond in Mid-Wales — appearing early in the summer and active for a long time. The southern hawker is more dramatic and is aggressive, indulging in arial skirmishes with intruding males along the closely guarded stream-side territory along which he patrols. Passing by every few minutes, easily seen but almost impossible to photograph. “A living flash of light…”

I do my best!

The southern hawker (above) looks so alien with his “plates of sapphire mail” — it is only the fact of scale that prevents me running from this sci-fi inter-stellar gunship as he casts his sinister shadow then disappears in a flash to another dimension.

This pristine brown hawker was drying his wings at Woodwalton fen last summer.

Brown Hawker

Not to be confused with this rare bird!

The rare Norfolk hawker, with his green eyes and tell-tail little yellow triangle on the first abdominal segment, between his back wings.

We spotted him at Hickling broad this year while we were looking for swallowtail butterflies.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.