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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Flutters and Dragons

I've added some useful photography links down the side.

All though I'm primarily a birder over the past few years I've gained an interest in Dragonflies and Butterflies. Its at this time of year I miss those flashes of colour and I am really looking forward to seeing them out and about.

It may interest you to know that there are already sighting of Butterflies. The UK Butterfly already has reports of Comma, Red Admiral, Brimstones and Peacocks! And these were in January.

Whereas there are plenty of books about birds there are a lot less about Butterflies and Dragonflies. One of my bugbears is that some books lump in European species and butterflies and dragons are much less likely to cross the channel.

There is a new book called Watching Britsh Dragonflies by Steve and Caroline Dudley with illustrations by Andrew McKay. Two book is in two parts the first is a field guide with the second being a detailed site guide (with timings that key target dragons are likely to be on the wing) with an additional selection being found in a gazeteer of sites.

I am sure that the authors know LOTS more than me but I have some doubts about this book. I'm not sure how many of the sites were visited or visited recently. For instance in my local area it includes Rye Meads and Hatfield Forest but does not include Kings Mead (which HMWT consider one of the best sites for Dragons in the county). Also I think the Lee Valley visitors centre moved some years back.

The illustrations are not up to the standard of the Lewington and Brooks field guide. This isn't to say they are bad just that there are better available.

For these reasons I am a little unsure of this book especially as it is priced at £27.50. It certainly will point you at some good sites and so perhaps deserves a place on your bookshelf if you holiday a lot and want to find sites and have maps to hand. Then again you could do this via the web to a certain extent.

The same team have a similar book on butterflies due out.

Oh there is a DVD out showing footage of the 42 most common British Dragons together with tips and hints. It costs £19.95.

1 comment:

Mary said...

I love dragon and damsel flies but I find them so difficult to identify. I use british Dragonflies by David smallshire and Andy Swash