Wicken Fen Dragonflies Feature On BBC's Springwatch

PUBLISHED: 15:41 21 May 2010 | UPDATED: 13:34 02 June 2010

Wicken Fen dragonflies feature on Springwatch

Wicken Fen dragonflies feature on Springwatch

BBC Springwatch cameras have been at Wicken Fen this week filming the fens dazzling dragonflies for the forthcoming series of Springwatch. Springwatch presenter and Wicken Fen patron, Chris Packham, spent a day on the fen with world renowned dragonfly exp

BBC Springwatch cameras have been at Wicken Fen this week filming the fens dazzling dragonflies for the forthcoming series of Springwatch.

Springwatch presenter and Wicken Fen patron, Chris Packham, spent a day on the fen with world renowned dragonfly expect Ruary Mackenzie-Dodds capturing on film all aspects of the dragonfly's amazing life cycle.

The camera's filmed Chris Packham pond dipping for dragonfly larva, while a slow motion camera captured more than 2000 frames a second of dramatic images of dragon and damselflies in flight, mating and even fighting.

Wicken Fen is one of the best locations in the United Kingdom to spot Dragonflies with 21 species such as the Emperor Dragonfly, Hairy Dragonfly, Emerald Damselfly and Red Eyed Damselfly breeding on the fen. On a warm summers day thousands of these beautiful highly coloured insects can be seen performing their aerobatic flying displays along the waterways and ditches.

Most of the dragonflies life cycle is spent underwater, first as an egg and then as a larva. The larval stage can last two years or more, whilst flying adults mostly only survive a couple of weeks.

Wicken Fen is home to the only Dragonfly Centre in the United Kingdom. The centre staffed by knowledgeable enthusiasts is open at weekends throughout the summer. An ideal way to discover and learn about dragonflies is on a Dragonfly Safari held throughout the summer.

The 2010 series of Springwatch starts on Monday May 31 at 8pm on BBC2.

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