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The latest odonata species to fly on to my 2022 sightings list is the Southern hawker (Aeshna cyanea), a blue-and-green-coloured male patrolling the woodland rides at a local woodland last Sunday 10 July and, yesterday, a brown-and-green female perched on the bramble poking through a mesh fence bordering a local high school. These beautiful beasties fly from June to October and are often seen quite a distance from water, as mine were.

220716 southern hawkers (1)

Dragonflies fascinate me, especially their ‘flying mechanism’, that part of their thorax where the two pairs of wings are attached to their body. My Europe’s Dragonflies field guide describes how ‘Dragonfly wings are remarkably strong and light, but flexible, with a complex highly evolved structure. They are powered by strong muscles in the thorax, with neurons connected directly to the brain.’

220716 southern hawkers (2)