Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii)
This dramatic looking insect is the longest, though not the biggest, of our native dragonflies. It has strong, purposeful flight and is not easily deflected from its route as it hawks up and down its preferred track.
My reference book says this is a species of the west and north preferring flowing, well oxygenated, acidic water. Here in Dorset I have seen it in a range of habitat but it does seem to be more catholic in its taste and I have seen it quite regularly on heathland without fast flowing water anywhere nearby.
This particular specimen is a male that has not long hatched. You may notice the slightly 'wavy' body as it gradually expands from the compressed environment of what was its larval form.
This is a very distinctive species and one that cannot really be mistaken for anything else. At it says on the label, it is golden-ringed!