As there is not a lot of variety in the garden and the weather is not ideal for venturing further afield here is a selection of some of the dragonflies and damsel flies I have observed both at home and on trips to various nature reserves. Incidentally I am informed that one difference between the two types is that the dragonfly has its wings at right angles to its body when resting whereas the damsel fly’s wings rest along its body. Also, in my experience, dragonflies are generally bigger.
Damsel Flies: Clockwise from top left: male damsel fly, female damsel fly, large red damselfly and banded demoiselle. Click on each image to see the intricate detail on the beautiful insects, particularly in the wings.
Dragonflies: Clockwise from top left: black tailed skimmer, female southern hawker, female common darter and male common darter. Again it is well worth looking at the detail in the enlarged view.
As you will have gathered from the above I have had no success in getting even moderately good images of these creatures in flight. They seem to find a handy place to catch their breath for long enough for some sharp images. Incidentally dragonflies are preyed upon by one of our smallest birds of prey, the hobby. So, if there are lots of them about look out for a large version of a swallow chasing them – see photo below.