Crafty Green Boyfriend and I went along to an excellent training day on dragonfly identification today organised by his employers Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). The morning took place at the beautiful (but hard to find) West Moss-side Farm near Stirling and consisted of a comprehensive and clear overview of dragonfly and damselfly species likely to be found in lowland Scotland, given by Daniele Muir of the British Dragonfly Society.
In the afternoon we moved out into the rain on Flanders Moss
It's also home to lots of dragonflies. Unfortunately for us today, dragonflies prefer hot, sunny weather. When it's cold or wet they tend to hide away. So it was very difficult to find any dragonflies today, though we did in fact find three species in adult form: emerald damselflies, black darters and common darters. We also did some pond dipping and found larvae of black darters and large red damselflies and exuvia of common hawkers (the exuvia is the shed skin that a dragonfly leaves after it emerges from the water and changes from a larva to an adult).
Dragonflies are such beautiful creatures and it was lovely to see these individuals brightening up such a wet and dull day. Here's a female black darter