• Barbara Copperthwaite

Glittering air

Male beautiful demoiselle, Barbara Copperthwaite, Go Be Wild

Female beautiful demoiselle, Barbara Copperthwaite, Go Be Wild

Juvenile beautiful demoiselle, Barbara Copperthwaite, Go Be Wild


After my Swift encounter, I didn’t think my visit to Essex could get any better. Still, I plunged into the Roman River Valley site, which is run by Essex Wildlife Trust, and drank in the tranquil sights and sounds. Bees hummed gently, the air was full of the sound of various birdsong, and the sun beat down deliciously. Along the pathway I went, until I reached the river.

It is a medium-flowing river, clean and clear, and often surrounded by reeds, nettles and brambles on the banks. Perched high on these was what I sought: Beautiful Demoiselles. In fact, I had never seen so many of this damselfly in one place. The air seemed to glitter as they flew, or twitched their wings while they rested. There were magnificent males in their full cobalt blue and bottle green finery, their wings appearing black until they caught the sunlight to show off their stunning colour; there were juvenile males and females, still coming into their full colours, with the females looking as though they had been dipped in gold.

This magnificent sight rounded off perfectly my trip to Gosbecks Archaeological Park in Colchester, Essex. From Kestrel to Skylarks, Swallows to Beautiful Demoiselle, I feel I’ve been spoiled rotten during my visit. I really hope you’ve enjoyed my travel tales, and the photographs I took along the way.


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