Strange name as it's not that common though is widespread. A large hawker which might be confused with Southern or Migrant Hawker in flight, and unfortunately is not a renowned percher so not easy to pin down, especially as in the main it is also very wary and unapproachable.
In Gateshead the bog pools at Kibblesworth and Burdon Moor hold small populations and I've also seen a female ovipositing at Stargate. 2013 also saw males visiting Thornley Woods Pond and searching for females for the first time (to my knowledge) so will be interesting to see if that is due to the deforestation there and whether it will be repeated.
It can also be seen at Far Pasture and Gibside, or can be encountered along woodland rides. I've even had a few visit the garden, one in particular was hawking a mosquito swarm quite late in the evening.
|From this view the combination of thin antehumeral stripes, yellow costa|
(line along front of wing) and blue abdominal spotting
confirm a Common Hawker male.
|The two broad stripes on the thorax are|
easily distinguished from the apple green
panels on that of the Southern Hawker.
|This male actually tried to seize a Southern Hawker female, but as the|
claspers don't match the foreign species properly, she soon struggled free.
|They form a mating wheel and copulation ensues,|
taking about an hour, usually low down in vegetation.
|Once copulation is over, the |
female is released and she goes
to the pond to oviposit alone.
Eggs spend the first winter unhatched, and the larval stage lasts a further three years, one of the slowest development cycles among dragonflies.