British Damselflies by Graham Sherwin | DVD | 2010 | £24.99 from NHBS | 150 mins | Intro 60 minutes & Damselflies 90 minutes – also available direct at £18.50+P&P –

The DVD starts with an Introduction to both dragonflies and damselflies describing their anatomy, life cycle and behaviour. It also gives tips on how to use the DVD and where and when to watch dragons and damsels. The running time of the Introduction is about 60 minutes.

Descriptions of all our mainland breeding, migrant and vagrant damselfly species follows and two potential visitors are included as well. Each species is the subject of a short film, which refers to their range and distribution, habitat requirements, flight season and breeding behaviour along with identification tips for males and females. Where possible, young and old specimens are featured as well. The running time for this section is about 90 minutes giving a total running time of about 150 minutes. 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! The DVD combines an instruction manual with a coffee table folio of pre-Raphaelite art! Superbly filmed, well edited, really informative with a pleasant sound track – terrific.

Just in case I haven’t made myself clear – I luuurrrvvve this DVD!

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