The New Forest contains important wetland areas on the low-lying heath, a type of terrain which supports many rare plants and animals. These bogs and mires can be hazardous for people to wander into, but their inaccessibility is precisely what makes them a haven for wildlife. This is especially true of dragonfiles and damselfiles which thrive here. The New Forest has a superb diversity of dragonfly species and if you know where to go in the forest during summer time then you can enjoy an amazing spectacle of these beautiful insects flying all around you. For a truly comprehensive resource on New Forest Dragonflies check out Doug Overton’s excellent site which has a lot of very useful information.
If you’d like to learn more about how to photograph dragonflies for yourself, why not book your own 1-1 photograpy workshop? It’s your bespoke day, if you want it to be all about dragonflies it can be!
If ever an insect was truly named, it’s the Beautiful Demoiselle damselfly. On a bright sunny day their iridesecent blue/green bodies almost seem to be made of fine metal. Their wings are a dark colour, only the Banded Demoiselle has similar. Beautiful Demoiselles can be seen almost anywhere in South-West England, they aren’t bothered by […]
The Small Red Damselfly is a rarity across most of the UK but one of the best places to see this species is the New Forest where it thrives on boggy heathland as it prefers conditions with acidic soil which are common in the area. These damselflies are quite easy to identify because there […]
The Common Darter is one of the most regularly seen dragonflies in late summer across the New Forest. Often it will still be present through the autumn months long after it has become too cold for other species. It’s also one of the most easily photographed as it tends to return repeatedly to the […]
The Common Blue Damselfly is, as its name suggests, a regular sight across the New Forest. Certainly it’s spectacular blue and black markings stand out although colours can vary in both male and female. It does have a similar species it can be confused for, the Azure Damselfly just to confuse identification. In the […]
The Keeled Skimmer is one of the more common species of Dragonfly to be found in the New Forest. This image shows an immature female with their beautiful metallic gold colouring. They’re relatively easy to identify. But the males can be trickier. They are pale blue and are very similar to the also common […]
Photographing dragonflies in flight is always a challenge. As with most small, fast-moving subjects trying to track a moving dragonfly is often beyond the ability of either the photographer or the camera’s autofocus system. Instead I prefer to approach the issue by looking at subject behaviour and then pre-focussing, i.e. setting the composition up and […]
The Banded Demoiselle is a fairly common sight across Hampshire and easily identified by the dark patch on its otherwise translucent wings. Look for it in the early part of summer near to ponds and lakes. I found this particular individual at the Testwood Lakes nature reserve near Southampton.
The Broad Bodied Chaser is a readily identifiable species of dragonfly which is common across much of the UK. It’s chunky appearance gives it its name, it’s fatter than the Keeled Skimmer, which it can be confused with, but the tell tale yellow patches along the side of the abdomen are another good clue […]