Photo of the week: Aurora bluetail (Ischnura aurora)

Photographing Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) can be a challenge at the best of times. Your best chance at seeing a range of species is in and around wetlands, and while you wade gently through the shallows, gripping your fancy camera as you try to sneak up on that brilliant streak of colour sitting on a sedge or leaf, it’ll patiently wait for you to focus before taking off just before you press the shutter.  The best time to get a good photo is usually in early morning sunshine, as they perch and dry the overnight dew.

The Aurora Bluetail (Ischnura aurora) below is flying now and should be through summer. A few weeks back, NGT ecologist Bryan wrote a great introduction to Odonata species here and shared an invaluable guide to their flying times based on years of observations, available here. Getting close to one however is another matter altogether…!

Jonathan Tuck