This is my very first Migrant Hawker dragonfly (Aeshna mixta) – isn’t she a beauty?
Before the 1940s, these dragonflies visited Britain but didn’t breed here – hence the name ‘Migrant’ – but they have since become established and are gradually increasing their range northwards. They’re described as small to medium size dragonflies but, at around 63mm long, I think they’re quite big, and this one was certainly quite prominent as she hawked for food along a hedgerow, the nearest standing water probably 500 metres away as the dragon flies. Migrant hawkers have a later flying season than many other dragon- and damselflies, usually ranging from August to October, so there’s plenty of time yet to spot one flying along a hedgerow or woodland edge near you. And I’ll be keeping an eye out for the male of the species.