We've had some absolutely fantastic finds during the last month at RSPB Sandwell. Although the weather's been touch and go, summer one day and autumn the next, nature has bloomed all around us and many species have made a home at the reserve. This week we were greeted by some absolutely beautiful dragonflies! This one here is a female southern hawker who's recently hatched and should be with us up until mid-September. However, if the weather stay warm, she could stay until October.

         'Female southern hawker'

         Photo credit: Andy Purcell

Southern hawkers (or Aeshna Cyanea in Latin) are mostly black, but have brilliantly bright green spots all along their body. They’re often found in heathland, woodland, towns and gardens, and are most common in southern and central England and Wales. Southern hawkers are also known for their inquisitive nature and aren’t afraid to fly up to humans for a quick nosy around.

Did you know...

  • There are more than 6,000 known species of dragonfly
  • Hawker Dragonflies are super fast with a top speed of almost 30 miles per hour!
  • Dragonflies catch their prey and eat whilst in flight
  • Adult dragonflies have almost 360 degree vision and can detect ultra-violet light
  • Dragonflies can’t bite humans as their teeth aren’t strong enough

We'll start getting some migrant hawkers soon between now and November, and the brown hawkers have also been seen on the far side of Forge Mill Lake.

Why not pop down for a visit and see if you can spot one? Don't forget to keep an eye on our Facebook events page for all our summer activities: https://www.facebook.com/pg/RSPBWestMidlandsWarwickshire/events/

- Emily, RSPB Sandwell Volunteer