Dragonflight: In Search of Britain's Dragonflies and Damselflies Hardcover – 6 Jun 2013
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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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Top Customer Reviews
There are some errors e,g. the chapter on the Keeled Skimmer (the name of my band coincidentally) - initially I thought here we go again more repetition, as she had already seen this species before, but in fact the chapter is about the Southern Damselfly in the New Forest. Oh and by the way you cannot turn off the A31 to get to the Ornamental Drive (well not unless you make an enormous detour, I think it's the A35 she meant).
With better editing this would have been a much better book in my opinion, bit of a shame.
Despite these comments I certainly recommend the book and I must say it has made me think that I must make a bit more of an effort to go where there be dragons.
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.
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.
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.
Disclaimer: I do know the author, however, I really do think this is an excellent book!
Enjoyable and some interesting observations recorded by someone passionate about her target species. Planning akin to a military manouvre is needed for odonata and Taylor's determination was eventually rewarded and recorded in this fascinating account.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pleasant enough reading if a little disjointed and rambling. Reads as it is, a series of blog stories stitched together. Read morePublished 7 months ago by J. Lees
This book will not be everybody's cup of tea by a long way as it is based on a very niche subject matter. Read morePublished 9 months ago by John D.N. Siviter
As someone who has very recently come to Odonata from bird-watching I was really looking forward to reading this book. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Patrik
It’s OK, bit hard going and the writer likes to repeat herself quite a lot, which makes the book quite hard going. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Hawk
A very readable account of persistence and patience wins the day.Published 22 months ago by heilanman
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