The Southern Migrant or Blue Eyed Hawkers have appeared again at Wat Tyler Country Park. Here is a statement that needs reading before going any further.
We are pleased to say that the Southern Migrant Hawker dragonfly has been seen once again in Wat Tyler Country Park. Due to issues in previous years with the areas in and around the pond suffering damage from trampling we would like to remind visitors that it is against the park bylaws for you or your dog to disturb the wildlife or damage their habitat in the park. This includes not entering the ponds themselves. Wardens and staff will be keeping a close eye on situation.
No person shall on the land intentionally kill, injure, take or disturb any animal or fish, or engage in hunting, shooting or fishing, or setting of traps or nets, of laying of snares.
No person shall, without the consent of the council bring, into or permit, to remain within the Park, any animal unless it is kept under proper control and is prevented from worrying or disturbing any animal.
2 immature/females were seen on the 28th June (earliest year date UK record?) and they were patrolling an area of meadow/scrub well away from any ponds and they were seen sporadically in different areas of the park for the next 2 or 3 weeks and also some were seen at Hockley Woods a few miles away as the crow (or should that be dragonfly!?) flies.
Then last week I was told a male or 2 were patrolling the Marina pond at the concrete ramp, and I finally saw a patrolling male there last Thursday. I finally photographed one when it landed on Tuesday.
This is the best place to see them both for best views/photos and minimising trampling issues.
If you wish to visit as mentioned in the first part the park is very busy in the holidays and the car parks can fill up. You are best arriving at 10am or 11am at the latest to beat the rush. There is a cafe on site and in previous years the SMH tended to show from around about 11/11.30 am, but sometimes earlier on warmer days
Here is a printable map with the pond pointed out
I will be putting up signs warning people of the bylaws, please report to the wardens anyone you see breaking them.
And please send me your sightings, I am at some point going to finish the paper I’ve been working on, on this species in the UK. Leave them in the comments here or send me and/or email me