I've been unable to find a similar dragonfly in any of the online guides so can anyone provide an id please.
I'd also like an explanation as to what it was doing when I photographed it. It was flying around the stems of a plant that I think was a water iris or flag, landing and then pressing what I assume was its ovipostor onto the stem. However, I thought that dragonflies laid their eggs in water and the activity I witnessed was some way above the water level.
Photo taken at Painshill Park, Cobham, Surrey
Thanks for the suggestion - I've also had a reply on my Flickr account which suggested it may be an ovipositing female Hawker, maybe Migrant, but then commewnted on the difficult light conditions and thatthey were not 100 per cent sure.
I can agree with the light conditions - my problem was that ?I couldn't persuade the dragonfly to land somewhere somewhat better lit :-)
I'm not totally convinced by the golden-ringed dragonfly as there's not much evidence of yellow bands on the top of the body, but I have to say I'm a little less convinced by the maybe Migrant Hawker - there's no blue or pale patches on the top of the body so I think I'll keep my options open for a bit.
I think I agree with you Graham. Having looked again I think I rushed into saying it was a Golden ringed Dragonfly and was thinking it looked yellow but it's just reflected colour from the surroundings! D'oh! I think the suggestion of Migrant Hawker is more accurate now I look again, but it's defo a female and the blue is just a lot less eveident. In addition there is the diagnostic white/cream "golf tee" mark on her back just behind her wings which is key to identifying Migrant Hawkers. I should have known better as I have many pics of these!
That pretty much settles it then. I'm happy to go with Migrant Hawker female. It was definitely a female and the only question left now is do they lay eggs on plants rather than in water as that's what it looked like she was doing to me? Unless it was some sort of cleaning activity.