Late summer on Rainham marshes and the ditches are alive with Dragonflies, to be precise, mainly Hawkers of the Migrant variety, my Dragonfly sightings have been pretty sparse this year, apart from the Migrant Hawkers, Brown Hawkers have been seen on occasion, but as usual, never settling long enough for a photograph, no Black Tailed Skimmers, no Emperors and certainly no Southern Hawkers, these are often being reported just not when I'm there.
Its at this time of year when the Migrant Hawkers are at their most numerous, this attracts both young and adult Hobbies, I watched two such Hobbies hawking over the marshes, they swoop down and snatch their unsuspecting prey at both high and low level, eating on the wing and then moving on to the next victim,
Photographing them is not so easy, but watching their flying skills is pretty impressive all the same.
|bad photo of a distant Hobby|
Watching the Hawkers over the ditches is just as impressive, the Migrant Hawkers appear to stake out a particular stretch of water where they hover almost motionless, and then when a meal appears darting after them with an incredible turn of speed, fortunately they often return to the same area, this is the time when you can try your hand at a flight shot.
Nearly all my sightings appear to be of the males, in fact when I think about it, I don't think I have actually seen a female, apart from one occasion when a male and female were seen in a mating wheel a few years ago.
These were my best attempts for this year so far, even motionless still difficult to get in focus or is that just my shaky hand.