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Welcome to Hampshire Dragonflies

Inside you will find details and photographs of the 17 species of dragonfly and 13 species of damselfly which currently breed in Hampshire along with a few migrants and rarities found elsewhere in the south.

You will also find a useful library (currently) listing 49 prime locations for observing and photographing these wonderful insects,, from moorland ponds, streams and flushes to lowland lakes, fens and rivers.

Each location has its own unique habitat to explore and enjoy. Whether you are a naturalist, enthusiast, photographer or just simply curious these pages will help you achieve a more fulfilling experience..

Don't forget to visit the blog for up to date information on what's flying where..

About Hampshire Dragonflies

My name is Paul Ritchie and I am an amateur photographer and wildlife enthusiast who is passionate about Dragonflies. Over the past few years I've developed a deep fascination and respect for these beautiful insects, spending many hours hunting and photographing them in their natural habitats. Luckily we are blessed with a fine selection of species here in Hampshire; the New Forest in particular is nationally recognised.

My passion does not restrict me to Hampshire alone. Indeed to do so would be churlish and prevent me from observing dragonflies on the heaths and rivers of Dorset,, Berkshire, and Surrey or the flooded plains of the Somerset Levels or the fens of Norfolk. It is my desire to build a working knowledge of the best dragonfly locations in the UK, be it for specific species or for sheer diversity, and share my discoveries for other enthusiasts to enjoy.
There are still a great deal of locations for me to discover and several species I've yet to encounter, so this site is a work in progress which has room to grow. I also keep a blog which is updated frequently during the season where you can follow my progress as I continue my journey of discovery, and hopefully inspire one of your own. 

Where To See Dragonflies
I have now added several other locations I've had the pleasure of visiting, including some other notable sites in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset, Surrey, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Norfolk and South Wales. Each location now has its own page with a brief description, links to maps and a list of species you are likely to see. The new locations can be accessed directly by clicking the sites link above.

When to see dragonflies
Our UK dragonfly fauna flies from April to November, although you are best to concentrate on their peak times for maximum satisfaction. Species are roughly broken down into Spring, Summer and Autumn although some species have a larger window.

I 've included an at-a-glance
Flight Chart for common UK species.
Additionally there is a species-specific guide on each species page.

Dragonflies are sun-worshippers and are at their most active in warm and calm conditions. On cloudy days they are more likely to be found feeding or resting in meadows and woodland clearings rather than water bodies. In extremely inclement weather they seek shelter either in the tree canopy or buried deep down in the undergrowth.

Dragonflies are most active from mid-morning to late afternoon, although on particularly warm days they can fly from as early as 7.00am and well into dusk. If you observe a pond for many hours you will notice a calming down of activity during the middle of the day or when temperatures are at their highest. During these times they are either feeding or at rest away from water.

Recommended Books

A Photographic Guide to Insects of the New Forest and Surrounding Area

All Content   Paul Ritchie 2010