As I, and the first of the attendees, arrived at the Denham Country Park visitors centre ready for the introduction to identifying and recording dragonflies and damselflies which I had been asked to give, the heavens opened - not the ideal conditions for going out to search for odonata! The intention was for me to give a short talk about the behaviour and identification of dragonflies before we headed out into the field, so we crossed our fingers and hoped that the weather would improve.
Thankfully the rain had stopped, and it had brightened up somewhat, by the time that we went out in search of some live dragonflies and damselflies, and we were soon finding numerous Common Blue Damselflies, and the larger, more spectacular Banded Demoiselles. One or two Brown hawkers also showed well, although only in flight, and Red-eyed Damselflies again showed well on the Grand Union Canal. It took a while to find the first Red-eyed Damselfly, but after I had found one we went on to see several, both perched on floating vegetation and skimming low over the surface of the water, and I think that most of the participants were soon confidently picking them out from the Common Blues by themselves - even in flight.
A single Emperor Dragonfly was found hawking over a small field in a wooded area as we walked back to the visitors centre, and while watching this we also had good views of a Kestrel, which kept returning to its chosen perch on a dead branch high up a tree. A few butterflies, including Speckled Woods, also caught peoples eye while we were out.
We avoided the rain and managed to find a reasonable number of species despite less than ideal weather conditions, and hopefully everyone enjoyed the event (feedback certainly seemed positive).
I didn't have a chance for any photos today, so here's one from the talk - a Four-spotted Chaser covered with early morning dew: