On this page you will find a selection of images I've taken over the last few years, my approach to this Photo Gallery is casual, I have just added what I consider interesting and of reasonable quality. I have decided to include them in random fashion, simply scroll down the page to find something that might interest you and left click for larger image.
Please be aware that all images seen here are Copyright owned.
Did you know that larva can tolerate being frozen solid during hard winter weather, this happens during the stage known as diapause - just one more fascinating fact about these incredible insects!!!
Golden-ringed Dragonfly spend up to 5 years in the larval stages!!!
Darters are the most highly evolved of our dragonfly species.
I watched fascinated, waiting patiently for an age without movement, would the female Black Darter fly-off and avoid becoming a meal for the Common Lizard or would the lizard pounce and take the hapless insect...well I watched for almost half an hour and neither critter moved a twitch...both seemed quite content to bask in the summer sunshine and I managed to capture a few images before quietly leaving them together in peace!
Beyond taking photographs of dragonflies to capture a pleasing or interesting image comes a certain artistry that I'm going to highlight here by presenting three wonderfully crafted images of darters taken by my good friend and fellow dragonfly enthusiast Gary Howells - copyright remains the property of Gary...just enjoy!
www.dragonfly-days.co.uk © Bill Jones 2008-16
Adventures further afield...
In July 2015 I decided to travel up to Whixall Moss which straddles the border between Wales and England, although the moss is usually referred to as being in Shropshire, in fact the majority of it is actually in Wales! My quest was to see the endangered White-faced Darter on the Welsh side of the border, I'm more than pleased to say my quest was successful with more than ten individuals found. Below I have included a few images of the insects seen, including a pair I discovered during my search 'in-copula'.
Outside the Scottish Highlands this fascinating darter is restricted to just a few locations, Whixall, Bettisfield and Fenn's Mosses in Denbighshire and Shropshire are the species main stronghold, these mosses were once extensively worked for peat extraction, the three mosses are now accorded National Nature Reserve status and jointly managed by Natural Resources Wales and Natural England, this joint habitat management has proved very beneficial to this Nationally Scarce dragonfly and the species is assessed as Endangered on the British Red Data List.
It gave me great pleasure to spend an entire day in the company of this wonderful little dragonfly and to know that we have the species breeding in Wales!
South Wales next new species?
If I were a betting man I would put a few bob on Scarce Chaser becoming the next species to colonise South Wales, I would think it might well enter via the Wye Valley from the Severn/Avon River area, the species is already found near the Tewkesbury area of Gloucestershire, the alternative would be colonisation from across the Bristol Channel. I spent several days with this lovely species on the Somerset Levels during May and June 2016 and although there is a slight chance of confusion with some other species I doubt it would escape identification.
There have been vagrancy records of Scarce Chaser (pre 1991) from South Wales, however, there doesn't appear to be any recent records associated with the species for the region, slow flowing waters in particular appear to attract the species and special consideration and inspection of any chaser appearing to resemble the above is recommended.