We had two long dragon-seeking trips to make, one to Glen Affric and the other to Bridge of Grudie by Loch Maree. Between them these two sites apparently represent the cream of Highland dragonfly-watching. We began with a visit to Glen Affric on the Tuesday.
Chaffinch fed, we set off along the 'yellow trail' towards Coire Loch, at first following a lively, rocky river, and then hiking up and away from the river into the glen.
Besides the emeralds, the loch also held Four-spotted Chasers, Large Red Damselflies and Common Blue Damselflies. I found it particularly mind-boggling that the damsels were here, with so much hilly and dry terrain between this and other suitable sites.
We visited Bridge of Grudie on our last day in Scotland. This was the longest drive of all, almost all the way across the highlands to Loch Maree. With some difficulty we parked in a tiny space next to the bridge and headed off down a sandy track which traversed a huge tract of heathy bogland, punctuated with lots of peaty little pools.
Clouds were rolling overhead, providing intermittent spells of surprisingly hot sunshine. In the first of these, a hawker dragonfly belted past us. I didn't get a great view of it but from Rob's description - 'it was made of blue' - I knew it was our target species, Azure Hawker. Unfortunately it didn't hang around.