British Dragonflies By Graham Sherwin | 166 minutes | DVD | Graham Sherwin | 2011 | ISBN http://www.gswildlife.co.uk purchase direct for £18.50p
A DVD guide to the dragonflies of Britain & Ireland
What the film-maker says
The British Dragonfly DVD is now complete and on sale. The video examples still represent work in progress. The DVD starts with an Introduction offering tips on how to us it updated from the Damselflies volume. It continues with a short description of the Dainty Damselfly found breeding again in Britain after the Damselfly DVD had been released. Descriptions of the Dragonflies follow.
I have made a short film on each species which is divided into
four parts, just like the previous DVD:
* an introduction to the species
* male identification
* female identification
* breeding behaviour.
Habitat views are included along with graphics showing distribution and flight seasons. Similar dragonfly species are compared and if you need a longer look at a specific view hit the ‘pause’ button. In addition, all the species in some family groups (eg. Chasers and Skimmers) are compared side by side.
The running time for the Introduction is approximately 6 minutes and the running time for the Dragonfly Species Films is approximately 160 minutes (2 hours 40 minutes). ALL 25 of the breeding and migrant British species are described plus some of the vagrants.
Together with the Damselflies DVD, ALL the breeding and migrant species of dragonflies and damselflies are covered along with the more frequent vagrants and some potential visitors. With only about 60 species in total, learning their IDs is a far less daunting.
Here’s what I said about the first DVD about Damselflies:
In short this is part one of a Odonata visual handbook – not just giving good ID and species accounts but all the background and distribution information one would expect of a Helm bird family account. Furthermore, its visual nature means that it can be reviewed, as the filmmaker suggests, just before visiting particular areas where several species may occur so one can get ID tips and familiarise oneself with habitat and behaviour.
All OK – so far as it goes… but the above doesn’t go way near enough – this is simply the bees knees of all ID DVDs – head and shoulders above anything of this ilk. OK – I admit to only watching DVDs on birds, but it went quiet for a while and a few damsel flies turned up in my postage stamp backyard and I got interested and cast around for help. I found a really good booklet and still found myself struggling then came across this DVD and thought I’d give it a shot – what luck! Its as if I found that Collins Bird Guide had been put on film using my five favourite artists and photographers!
A glowing endorsement I think you’ll agree – which makes it hard to comment on the second installment as the Dragonflies effort is just as good! Moreover even more time is devoted to each species – so much more in fact that the filmmaker ran out of time and had to shorten the intro so as to keep all the extra’s in… if you want a more detailed into then buy the damselfly DVD too! You can get it direct too and its worth every penny!
Since getting the damselfly DVD I had a pond disaster when the lining was pierced at the end of some building work. On the positive side I took the opportunity to extend the pond a bit and add more marginal plantings but I lost a lot of invertebrates and my larger plants were denuded, there is very little for insects to land on. However, I’m happy to say I’ve had my first visitation by a damsel fly – I guess next year will be the test – fingers crossed that a few will drop by!Fatbirder
Created: 14th Aug 2011