Southern Hawker

Brenda B writes:

Last Monday as it was sunny and warm I took my lunch outside to eat in the garden. My attention was soon caught by a dragonfly which was flying round the pond.

After I had spent some time watching it and then taking some photographs I identified it as a female Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) by consulting Peter Creed’s book ‘A comprehensive guide to insects of Britain & Ireland’. She certainly fitted the information about this species: ‘Adults are often found hunting along woodland rides and gardens. Although the flight is powerful, they often hover and appear inquisitive, flying close to observers; at times they are easy to photograph, as they readily perch low down.’ She was posed beautifully for me and then as I crept closer to get a good shot she moved to just in front of my feet! She stayed around for a long time and appeared to be ovipositing into some moss on a stone by the side of the pond. We wondered how far she had flown to find our pond.