Chasing Dragons

I have a confession to make: I’ve gone off birds a bit.

As a result, I risk being cast out from certain factions of our island community. I’ve fallen for a new order. How does it feel? Superb.

Mull has around 10 species of resident Odonata, give or take. These include both the mighty Dragonflies, and their smaller [tastier] relatives the Damselflies.

On Glengorm, they have helicoptered their way deep into my affections. Nothing else gets me splattering about in a bog [and enjoying it] for an entire day. The most wonderful thing is their disregard for human observers. Once they have labelled you as a slow and hopeless terrestrial being, it’s business as usual for the Odonata.

This is not an excuse for inconsiderate behaviour. Rather, it is licence to observe some remarkably intimate and alien deeds at close range. The vibrancy, ferocity and diversity of Dragonflies are just three of their most charming attributes. In some cases, their scarcity is also exciting: a female Northern emerald at the start of June looks set to be a highlight of my Glengorm year.

Stephanie Cope

Glengorm Wildlife Steward

Gold Standard: the ovipositor of the female Golden-Ringed Dragonfly makes  this species the joint largest dragonfly in Britain! 

Golden Ringed Dragonfly