It was good to add an Odonata species to my life list so late in the 2014 season. Maldon in Essex, specifically the area around the confluence of the rivers Chelmer and Blackwater, appears to be a southern outpost for dragonflies and damselflies more widely found in Suffolk and Norfolk. In other words this location is within my preferred range for a day trip.
In June I came here to see my first Scarce Chaser dragons. Today it was Willow Emerald, a seriously beautiful damsel. Yes he likes those, some readers will no doubt be thinking. Both are found along a footpath that follows a waterway Langford Cut that skirts the edge of Maldon golf club. I found just two Willow Emerald here today, which must have been a pair because after searching the site for more I came back to that first spot and they were busy getting it on. Job done the male then perched very still for a long time in dappled shade, and I was able to capture this insect reasonably well with my Tamron 90mm macro lens. The right hand picture shows the diagnostic features clearly of pale brown pterostigma (coloured wing spots) and the appendages at the end of the abdomen (see the Brooks and Lewington field guide for detail).