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The British Dragonfly Society website describes this lovely creature as the ‘UK’s smallest, hairiest Hawker that emerging [sic] before other Hawkers in May’, so the name Hairy dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) seems appropriate. The website also says it is ‘mainly found near unpolluted, well-vegetated water bodies’, though this particular beastie was in a secluded woody clearing, with a probably polluted (as once a quarry), definitely not well-vegetated lake a couple of hundred metres away. So, don’t write off the possibility if you see a potential Hairy dragonfly in an odd habitat! All that being said, this is a species I don’t see very often so I was very pleased to have found one.

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