057. Azure Hawker – Aeshna caerulea – UK – European Dragonfly phot
These Azure Hawker (Aeshna caerulea) photos from scanned transparancies are included for historic reasons. In June 1985 I joined an early British Dragonfly Society long weekend field trip to Scotland and then decided to stay on around Loch Maree, Ross-shire for the remainder of the week. One of the sought after species was the ‘Blue’ or Azure Hawker- Aeshna caerulea. Comment had been passed that the exact breeding habitat had still not really been established for this relatively uncommon species. There were references to ‘high mountain bog pools’ in Cynthia Longfield’s 1949 Wayside and Woodland edition of The Dragonflies of the British Isles. Cyril Hammond’s more recent 1983 second edition of The Dragonflies of Great Britain and Ireland mentioned ‘boggy seepages’. My friend, Rod Dunn, then Dragonfly County Recorder for Derbyshire suggested before he left that I should keep a good look out for the species at the lower elevation around the loch. On the morning of the 25th June I found and photographed this emerging Aeshnid above its exuvia. Suspecting it to be Aeshna caerulea I rushed to find the reserve warden but on our return to the site it had made its maiden flight. He asked if he could collect the exuvia and the species was subsequently confirmed. I then wrote up the find for the B.D.S. journal as probably the first photographic proof of breeding.
LOCH MAREE, ROSS-SHIRE, SCOTLAND. UK