The following statement was issued by the British Dragonfly Society regarding the collection of the Southern Migrant Hawker. I think the outcome should be beneficial for all – especially future migrant Dragonflies.
The BDS has now concluded its investigation of this incident and the following statement should appear on our website soon.
Since so much discussion about collecting has happened on this group, I thought it only right that you should be some of the first to be informed.
Best wishes to all
Dr Pam Taylor
Southern Migrant Hawkers, including ovipositing pairs, have been found in Essex and Kent in recent weeks. There have been only four previous records of this species in Britain. It has come to our notice that one of up to ten present at Hadleigh Country Park, Essex, was collected on 3rd August. The BDS had no prior knowledge of the individual’s intent, but has now fully investigated this incident.
The individual concerned has written to the BDS and admits collecting the Southern Migrant Hawker, but had no idea it would upset so many people. He now realises that he has transgressed the Members’ Code of Practice on collecting dragonflies and has offered to resign his membership of the BDS. He has also offered his most sincere and humble apologies to the BDS and to everyone else he has offended by his actions. As a result of this incident, he has decided to put away his net forever and take only his binoculars into the field with him in future. The BDS hopes that others who might be tempted to consider collecting dragonflies, other than for valid scientific purposes in line with the Code of Practice, will take note of the adverse reaction that this incident has generated. This statement and the apology above from the gentleman involved should bring this matter to a close.
What the fuck is going on these days? A pager message today read as follows: Essex Southern Migrant Hawker till 12.15 Hadleigh Castle Ctry Park when taken by a collector claiming it was ‘for the British Museum.’ I doubt that the British Museum would do something so reckless… please someone from the BM please deny you collected it.
It really beggars belief that someone would still do this today. It’s not as though the ID was in any doubt. I think, I’d have be hard pressed not to push the cunt into the water… accidentally of course, ‘for the good of society.’
On a slightly different note I managed to get to see the Common Hawkers at New Lount. They are now firmly on my County list. I was pretty sure I had a male a few years ago but couldn’t get it settled to clinch the ID.
Meeting up a Colin Green’s this morning at 07.00 I had been keen to be away. Looking at the weather though and the offer of a coffee seemed ok. Colin, Dave and I were then on our way sarf through initially improving weather. As we approached the M25 though the weather really deteriorated. Plans had to change. I was confident the weather would improve, question was, when?
Our first stop was Rainham Marshes, the newish RSPB reserve. What a fantastic urban space. The RSPB have got to congratulated for creating such a brilliant place and Londoners should be forced to visit at least once in their life… Catholics should be told that one pilgrimage to Rainham is worth three to Rome.
After a (rip-off) bacon sandwich at the cafe, my only quibble (£3.10 with hardly any bacon and ditch the salad girls) we set off round the reserve. Sadly we didn’t see any Water Vole but I added Marsh Frog to my (non-existent) amphibian list. Plenty of Reed Warbler, mostly juveniles and a good range of large white-headed Gulls. A 4th summer proved tricky but the well marked tertials probably relegated it to Herring Gull. A 1W Yellow-legged Gull was non so controversial. By the end of the walk Colin had had his first lesson in Dragonfly id… the Common and Ruddy Darter debate.
I was keen to move on up the A13 (cue Billy Bragg sing-along) to Hadleigh Castle and Downs Country Park for our target species. After a meandering walk adding loads of butterflies including Marbled White and Brown Argus we found the right area. A few Migrant Hawkers in a ride revealed a female Southern Migrant Hawker Aeshna affinis which landed briefly but flew again before I could record the event. A shout came up further down and a few hardy souls who had been searching for about 5 hours had found a stunning male Southern Migrant Hawker.
A stunning and fucking rare insect. Which performed brilliantly. So blue, so brilliant. It finally landed and I was able to get two shots, only one in focus before it was off – I was also the only photographer there to get a shot too…
Southern Migrant Hawker
Looking again at the photo, this affinis has a deformed wing. It didn’t seem to affect the insect but I wonder if it managed to migrate with such a deformity or is it locally bred? That’s an intriguing thought.
A fabulous Wasp Spider was a diversion while trying to relocate the SMH.
Plenty of Migrant Hawkers too…
Other good dragons were Small Red-eyed Damselfly and Scarce Emerald Damselfly. An excellent day out that also included a diversion on to Canvey Island… birthplace of Dr Feelgood.
Posted in Birding, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Music
Tagged Billy Bragg, Brown Argus, Canvey Island Hadleigh, Dr Feelgood, Marbled White, Migrant Hawker, Rainham Marshes, RSPB, Southern Migrant Hawker