Posted by: Ross Gardner | April 22, 2014

First Flight

It would seem that our mild winter is bringing forward some of the spring cycles.  The Odonata season already appears well underway.  The inaugural species is often the Large Red Damselfly, no stranger to the later days of April.  I saw my first back on the 13th, which whilst not being improbably early, is nevertheless a good 10 or 12 days, even a fortnight earlier than I would normally expect to see them take flight.  I will look forward to seeing them emerge from my own pond over the coming weeks.

And the dragons proper are also on the wing.  The Hairy Dragonfly is always the first.  While early-May might be considered the more usual time for their first appearance I was perhaps only half-surprised to see a female hawking the abundant flies along a path on the RSPB’s West Canvey Marshes reserve in the warm sunshine at the weekend.  Half-surprised, but fully-delighted at the rare opportunity to find her at rest and grab a couple of decent shots.

Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense).  Copyright 2014 Ross Gardner)

Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense). Copyright 2014 Ross Gardner


  1. Beautiful photo and what a depth of focus — most impressed! I can never get everything so crisp and anyway the dragonfly has usually gone!

    • Thank you for your compliments. I’ve got to admit though, that there are plenty of shots that aren’t so crisp and where the dragonfly disappears before I get myself sorted out. That’s what makes shots like these all the more the rewarding I guess. I’ve just enjoyed reading some of you posts. Keep writing.

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