Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandis

Photos

The Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandis, abundant and easy to spot but seldom settles for long. Here are a few photos of male and females, mostly at Felmersham NR, where they are very common.

  • Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandis: Female basking in the morning, this macro photo was taking using flash
    Female, well away from water in Kempston
    This photo shows the brown tint to the wings well, a distinctive feature that's obvious even when flying
  • Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandis: Female in flight
    Female, flying in search of suitable site to oviposit at Felmersham NR
  • Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandis: Female ovipositing
    Female ovipositing at Felmersham NR. Females make probing movements as they oviposit in to the soft material of decaying logs and plants
    In common with other Aeshnidae, Brown Hawkers oviposit alone, without male accompaniment
  • Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandis: Male resting in a woodland clearing
    A resting male, near the Biddenham Country Loop walk
    This particular male was unusually camera friendly, and I managed to get some good macro photos
  • Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandis: Male macro
    A resting male, near the Biddenham Country Loop walk
    This picture shows the enormous eyes, used to great effect in twilight when brown hawkers often hunt
  • Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandis: Female resting at the edge of the main lake at Felmersham NR
    A female near water alone is not a common site, but this particular female seemed quite settled without male attention
  • Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandis: Ovipositing at Felmersham NR
    Female ovipositing into a submerged branch at Felmersham NR. A male Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma najas looks on
  • Brown Hawker - Aeshna grandis: Female resting at Felmersham NR
    Female at Felmersham NR
    Felmersham NR is a good place to see Brown Hawkers, especially on warm afternoons.
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Main features

Classification:

Odonata        
Anisoptera     True dragonflies
  Aeshnidae   Hawkers

Large dragonfly with a predominantly brown body and a definite brown tint to the wings. Males have blue spots along the side of the abdomen, females pale yellow. Both feature a yellow striped thorax. Not easily confused with anything else that occurs in Bedfordshire.

Habitat

Likes slow rivers and still waters, with logs and roots for ovipositing. Often seen hawking up and down clearings in woods and across meadows. A crepuscular flier, active late in the evening.

Where to see

Common throughout the county, abundant at Felmersham NR, and along the River Great Ouse.

Visible from early June to late October.