Tuesday, 22 August 2017


A few days ago, my wife and I went up to Cragside in Northumberland not to visit the house but to find Dragonflies. Slipper Lake was our destination and Black Darter my target, I have never seen as many. My wife sat patiently for a few hours as I filled my boots with not only Black Darter but also Common Hawker Dragonflies. There were also loads of Emerald Damselflies around the margins of the lake. At one point, my wife gave me a shout “what’s that brown thing flying around” it was a bat. I managed to get a couple of rubbish shots before it flew off. It was a cracking day out (at least it was for me).

Male Black Darter

Female Black Darter

In tandem

Mating Wheel

I saw this Hawker drop into the reeds, it caught something and flew up into the trees

I followed it and realised what it had caught.

I don’t know how it happened but the Hawker has both an Emerald and a Black Darter to feed on

Common Hawker mating wheel this was the best I could get

Egg laying

She was laying eggs in a few different places

I had to try for flight shots

Emerald Damselfly

In tandem

I thought trying to get flight shots of Dragonflies was difficult trying to get flight shots of a bat is even harder

It’s a pity the only half decent shots I got was when it went behind a bush



  1. Common Hawkers not Migrant Ron

  2. I'm getting worse at this identification lark. Thanks for keeping me right Michael I didn't even look at Common Hawker in the book.

  3. Yeah Michael beat me to it, males have antehumeral stripes rather than pips and the yellow costa along the front of the wings is visible in most pics. Superb pics though, that Hawker with the double meal is a corker and I reckon your bat is a Daubentons. That's one of my favourite sites to visit, we try to get a couple of times over the summer, its so different from anywhere else I go to regularly, has an atmosphere all of its own, and like you found, marvellous for Black Darters and (ahem) Common Hawkers ;-)

  4. Thanks Alan. It's a cracking place that I will have to go back to.

    1. Getting my bats mixed up, that should be Noctule