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Dragonflight: In Search of Britain's Dragonflies and Damselflies [Hardcover]

Marianne Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: £16.99
Price: £11.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Jun 2013
This book is an account of two years spent getting to know Britain's most dazzling and enigmatic insects - the dragonflies and damselflies. The quest to find, photograph, watch and learn about dragons and damsels took the author on a tour of diverse and lovely wetlands up and down Britain, from the rugged wild peat bogs of north-west Scotland to the languid meanders of the Oxfordshire Thames. The account describes close encounters with the dragons and damsels themselves, set against backdrops of rich and vital habitats teeming with a range of other wildlife. It is also packed with background detail on dragonfly and damselfly natural history, and wetland ecology in general. The text is enlivened with line drawings and a section of colour photographs.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: A & C Black Publishers Ltd (6 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408164868
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408164860
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

A charming new book by Marianne Taylor, that charts her two-year quest to see all 40 British dragons and damsels. She got within three - thwarted by last year's wettest summer on record. Along the way she met badgers, foxes, hares, ospreys and butterflies galore and showed that this densely populated island still has plenty of magical wild places.The stars are the dragons and their bizarre lifestyle. -- John Ingham The Daily Express A splendid search for all of Britain's dragonflies and damselflies -- Simon Barnes The Times The book is an account of of the author's travels in search of dragons and damsels...the reader is soon captivated by her thoughts and there were sections I could not put down. Highland News Group Dragonflight is more than mere clinical descriptions of handsome insects, it is a series of warm verbal paintings of some of our most charismatic wildlife. BBC Countryfile The combination of aquatic gargoyle nymphs and masterful aeronaut adults provides Taylor with a wealth of narrative and we are let through various watery landscapes, from lowland river and East Anglian Broad to moor mountain and coastal shingle in search of the adult flies . Dragonflight is more than mere clinical descriptions of handsome insects, it is a series of warm verbal paintings of some of our most charismatic wildlife. -- Richard Jones BBC Wildlife

About the Author

Marianne Taylor is a former editor at Christopher Helm and former sub-editor of (and regular writer for) Birdwatch magazine, now working freelance as a writer, editor, illustrator and photographer. An obsessive birder since childhood, her interest in other wildlife groups has grown steadily, and a new passion for dragonflies and damselflies has dominated her summers for the last three years. Her other books include RSPB British Birds of Prey (Bloomsbury); The Nature Book (Michael O'Mara); Photographing Garden Wildlife (New Holland) and Where to Discover Nature (Bloomsbury).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thoroughly Great Read! 10 Nov 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you want a delightful, pleasant slow stroll through the pages of a book about dragons and damsels then this is the book for you.

The author takes you with her on a sometimes difficult, sometimes wonderful jaunt to the far corners of the UK in search for our odonata. Along the way we celebrate her successes and failures. Frustration and disappointment are tempered with highlights and ultimately a fulfilling and rewarding journey of self-discovery.

There are some fascinating insights - for example, did you know that there are 56 species on the British List? Or that nymphs need the temperature of the water to be around 15 degrees before they will hatch?

You will not only learn all about the different types; their life-cycle and the making of a dragon but also the author's evolving obsession and passion for all things odonata. If you don't know your Lestidae from your Corduliidae then this is the book for you.

The photos are fabulous as are all the little sketches.

If you are only just starting out on your own personal voyage of discovery or have been interested in these wonderful creatures for years, either way, then this is a must-read book to add to your wildlife library.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than it says on the tin.... 31 Oct 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you have an interest in wildlife or dragonflies at any level, you'll almost certainly enjoy this book as much as I did. I bought it because I have an interest in these incredible creatures, but the book turned out to be more than just the usual species guide.
It's predominantly about the author's enthusiastic quest to see and photograph all the species of Dragonflies and Damselflies to be found in the UK. But the accounts of the search for each of them reveal stories not just of the dragons and damsels, but lots of other interesting wildlife and human life too, as well as the trials and tribulations that were encountered along the way. Fascinating and entertaining.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book. 6 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Marianne Taylor's excellent book follows in the footsteps of The Big Year by Mark Obmascik and The Butterfly Isles by Patrick Barkham. What the latter 2 authors brought to the world of bird watching and butterfly hunting respectively, Marianne has done similar with the intriguing world of dragonflies.
All 3 books tell the stories of passion and adventure as the authors strive to spot their chosen subjects within a defined timescale. They all give personal insights and amusing anecdotes of the trials, troubles and triumphs they faced along the way as well as scientific data and information of their chosen prey.
Each book tackles the subject with different styles, emphasis and panache.
Each are worthy of a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flight of Fact 30 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Dragonflight is full of information. But it's also well written, easy to read, and fully of stories that flesh out the dragonflies and damselflies and place them in their context. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it; it extended my limited knowledge of the insects a hundred-fold, and it gave me lots of ideas for the kinds of places where I might find them. I had no idea there were so many different species and genera in the U.K.

I've already bought this for a friend. I'm keeping my own copy: it's on the shelf next to Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Annie Dillard) - that's about as high praise as I can give. Even if you're not (yet) intrigued by dragons and damsels, get this book. You soon will be.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Addition to My Dragonfly Book Library! 10 Aug 2013
By Ellen Luhman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book; I felt like the author was in the room with me, telling me about dragonflies. The sketches were well-done, too.
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