Whilst I have always had a passion for all aspects of wildlife from an early age including dragonflies and damselflies, it was the 13th June 2012 that really made me start to show more of an interest in these fascinating insects. I was waiting to photograph some local Barn Owls and whilst stood around, I noticed a dragonfly flying up and down a ditch next to me which I thought I would try to identify. I like to feel that I had quite a good idea on how to identify the local dragonflies but in viewing this one through the binoculars, I was surprised to see that it was a brown dragonfly with quite green eyes! It perched a few times and showed an obvious yellow triangle on segment 2. I almost immediately realised that I was looking at a Norfolk Hawker... but I was in Kent. I took a few photos and sent them to a few people who confirmed that I had indeed found a Norfolk Hawker (which I believe was Kent's 2nd individual). Realising how rare this dragonfly was in the UK was probably the single moment that hooked me and started my passion for studying and photographing the different species that occur within Kent and the UK.
The next few years were spent with a basic SLR camera and lens building up my knowledge on the dragonflies and damselflies in Kent and occasionally, I would visit sites outside of the county to see new species I had not seen yet. I soon realised that I was really enjoying the challenges this hobby was giving me and purchased a Canon 7d SLR camera as well as a Canon F4 300mm lens along with a Sigma 150mm Macro lens. The time I was spending in the field soon started paying dividends with my knowledge growing rapidly and it wasn't long until I started to want to learn more about the nymphs and exuviae of the various species.
I purchased a small tank and started to photograph the various nymphs that I collected whilst out pond dipping. Summer months saw me in various reed beds and checking emergent vegetation for exuviae which I was soon able to identify and start a collection of which is slowly growing year by year. I dug a small pond in my garden with an aim to hopefully photographing dragonflies and damselflies emerging and this has proven to be most valuable with a number of species photographed to date.
As my interest has continued to gain momentum, I have made more visits out of the county to photograph various species including a number emerging and also collect their exuviae… but I still await my first visit to Scotland to see the local species that can be seen there. The many hours spent out in the field has produced a number of pleasing images with many of them appearing in my website which will hopefully aid others to help them to identify the dragonflies, damselflies, nymphs and exuviae that I have encountered on my travels as well as hopefully hook other observers to gain an interest in these stunning winged wonders.
I hope you will enjoy looking through the galleries which will be regularly added too and would greatly appreciate signing my guestbook. Many thank for taking the time to look.