It was one of those days today in a very good way.
After a reasonably successful morning seeing lots of Purple Hairstreaks I was clearing out some rubbish to the dustbin when I saw a strange dragonfly patrolling over the garden.
What was strange was mainly the size and colour as all the dragonflies that would normally be seen in the garden were either larger or smaller. I was just hoping it would settle to allow a closer look but it didn't look as though it was going to do that.
Eventually though it stopped and settled on the ivy covered fence allowing a closer look. I was frankly none the wiser as it wasn't a dragonfly I recognised. Fortunately the camera was still to hand so I quickly got the camera from the kitchen and went back, unfortunately though I hadn't made enough of a mental note of the exact spot and the camouflage was so good it took me several moments to see where it was still sat.
After getting a few shots I could then check the books and it turned out to be a female Southern Migrant Hawker, also known as the Blue-eyed Hawker due to the bright blue eyes the male has. Although this species is expanding rapidly in the UK especially in Essex and Kent I certainly wasn't expecting to see one in the garden.
To think that Matt and myself went all the way to Canvey Island in Essex in 2017 to see this species and then one turns up in the garden!!
That day in 2017 I think we only saw males, apart from perhaps a few flight views of females.
Last year I did see a male at Pevensey Levels and the year before one at Rodmell.
Female Southern Migrant Hawker.