What a glorious day! Bright sunshine. Brilliant blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds. A pleasant cooling breeze. Absolute perfection.
Today's sunshine was a welcome relief from the grey autumnal weather that we've been experiencing for the past week or so. It also brought out a profusion of insect life: butterflies, hoverflies, bees and dragonflies.
At lunchtime I spotted two southern hawkers (Aeshna cyanea) on my local patch. They were patrolling the edge of the woodland, darting here and there after smaller insects.
I was a little surprised to seem them as they were a long way from the nearest water, but according to The Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland :
Adults spend most of their time feeding in woodland rides, along hedgerows and in urban gardens, occasionally settling to bask or rest in cooler weather.
This afternoon I took my camera for a walk in the Rivelin Valley, which is just down the road from where I live. There were southern hawkers everywhere.
I eventually found one that had settled. It was very obliging and allowed me to take loads of pictures, only taking flight when I got too close and clumsily cast a shadow across it.