Latest Sightings

Recent items of hot news about Odonata are published here frequently. The most recently received items of news are at the top of the list. Each entry has the date, county and observer's initials (with a link to the observer's website where appropriate). Check back here frequently for information about the progress of the dragonfly season.

Please note that if you want to submit your sighting as a record to the Dragonfly Recording Network database you will have to create a new record for each species seen on the online recording page of the BDS website. 'Latest Sightings' have for many years been part of the BDS website and are unmoderated, meaning that they are not checked for accuracy before appearing. Online recording is an independent system. Please enter your sightings in both places.

To add new sightings to this page, click here.

See also Sightings from Previous years and Archived sightings from long-past years.

  • 25th Jul 2017
    London
    AM

    Vagrant Darter. Sunning itself happily on a bench at the WWT in Barnes, London. [Photo requested] [Id confirmed from photo as an unusually brightly coloured Common Darter by Adrian Parr]

  • 24th Jul 2017
    County Down
    RS

    Two Brown Hawker Dragonflies spotted for the first time today, there was one flying around garden pond for about 10 minutes and then it went away, only to return again after about 5 minutes with another one. My Son and I spent about two hours watching them over and around the pond and garden. One of them was very enquisitive and kept coming really close and hovering in front of us, they also spent a lot of time chasing each other. We then came back in and left them to it. Hopefully they will be back tomorrow.

  • 24th Jul 2017
    Suffolk
    TPC

    On a walk across Walberwick Heath,( Church to Bridge) Suffolk in a cold wind and just the odd quick sunny spell i counted 23 Migrant Hawkers still in their immature teneral colours, 2 Southern Hawkers and 11 Common Darters. Saw my first 2 Migrant Hawkers of the year yesterday at Canvey Island.

  • 23rd Jul 2017
    Norfolk
    JM

    Two Migrant Hawkers and one Southern Hawker on Bullock Hills, Hempton, Fakenham this afternoon.

  • 22nd Jul 2017
    Kent
    MH

    A visit to Nethergong to survey the Willow Emerald Damselfly colony produced just over 100 in a 150 yard stretch of stream. An excellent total with many seen making their maiden flights and a few seen emerging. Plenty of photos on my blog. Also seen were c40 Emerald Damselfly, 1 Large Red Damselfly and a few Azure and Blue tailed Damselfly. It was also nice to see my first Migrant Hawker of the year. 

  • 21st Jul 2017
    Essex
    TPC

    Canvey Island: Revisited the ditch from the 9th where i found the large numbers of Aeshna affinis (Southern Migrant Hawker), yesterday, 2.00pm - 4.30pm. In less than ideal conditions with sunny spells and a strong wind i still found in excess of 20 males and two ovipositing pairs just walking half the length of the 1.6 km ditch. With the less than favourable conditions lots were found perching. Large numbers ( 100 +) of Common Blue Butterflies were sharing the ditch and on a couple of occassions i observed a male Blue chasing off a SMH when it entered their territory! A risky tactic in view that i saw a a male SMH take a Darter in flight then landed to devour its prey, abdomen first with the unfortunate Darter's head sticking out. (Photo on my rb site). One observaion that occurred to me from both my vists to this ditch was the lack of any sightings of Emperors which are usually seen on other ditches in area. So does that mean the large numbers of SMH present are able to see off intruding Emperors and they don't bother to come back? Or perhaps for whatever reason the ditch is unsuitable for Emperors hence why a large SMH population is successful? Plenty of Scarce Emeralds seen and Ruddy Darters and a handul of Commons.

  • 20th Jul 2017
    Cornwall
    CAM

    Menadarva/ Bell Lake: Some sunshine between passing bands of cloud with light rain, strong gusty wind, cool. 

    1 m Emperor.  6+ m , 5 f Southern Hawker mostly imm. colouring.  1 f  Common Hawker very imm. colouring.  5 m, 2 f Golden-ringed.  2 m 4 Spot.  1 f  Broad-bodied Chaser ovi.  7 m, 1 imm. m, 4 f Keeled Skimmer.  15 + Common Darter.  4 m, 6 f Beautiful Dem. 1 f Large-red. Azure and Blue-tailed damsel in good number. 

  • 19th Jul 2017
    Essex

    I counted 12 Red-veined Darter tenerals at Hanningfield reservoir, Essex today and estimate there is probably around 40, because some of the area l cannot access. I should add the area is permit only.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • 18th Jul 2017
    Surrey
    MB

    Tongham Pool, Surrey at SU8840 4933. Black tailed skimmers, including one cop pair. Emperor dragonflies, including 2 ovipositing females. Ruddy darter. Common blue damselflies including cop and ovipositing pairs. Red eyed damselflies. Small red eyed damselflies including cop and ovipositing pairs. Blue tailed damselflies. White legged damselfly. Banded demoiselles.

  • 18th Jul 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    Rainham Marshes RSPB reserve - 1 (m) Southern Migrant Hawker, 3 Brown Hawkers, 1 Southern Hawker, 5 Ruddy Darters, 2 Blue tailed

  • 18th Jul 2017
    London
    Djp

    just wanted to say had a lovely day today in Barnes and hope Kevin and. Nigel will allow me to post the dragons we saw and shared with visitors.

    Male and female Brown Hawkers..the male patrolling for hours and competing with an Emporer but also chasing off the Common Darter. Many Red Eyed Damsells. Two tired Black Tailed Skimmers perching to be photod, as well as an active male. And then an Emperor posing on the reeds. Didn't see but a visitor had photod. Southern Hawker.

     

  • 18th Jul 2017
    County Durham
    EV

    Spring Gardens Wetlands, County Durham: This week I have noted only a couple of Blue Tailed Damselfies and maybe 4-6 Male Blue Azures. 

  • 18th Jul 2017
    Devon
    DS

    A visiting Polish entomologist is certain that he saw a Common Clubtail by the River Otter north of Tiptoin St John on 18 July. This would be the first record for Devon of this species, which has never been seen within at least 100km of the county! The weather is currently (21 July) hopeless (to put it mildly) for checking this, but local observers should keep an eye open over the coming days (and years!). Interestingly, he also saw a male Lesser Emperor nearby in Ottery St Mary on 15 July.

  • 18th Jul 2017
    Perthshire
    LB

    A well developed dragonfly - it was easy to spot even through the windscreen! -, possibly an Azure Hawker was moving above one of the car paths of Three Lochs Forest Drive, Aberfoyle (Perthshire), at 12:41 (fourty-one past noon) on 18/07/2017, Tuesday. The sighting happened between the forest drive's main entry point where the ticketing machine is and the Trail E parking lot (viewpoint), in a dry and very warm weather. 

  • 17th Jul 2017
    Devon
    DS

    I was surprised to find over 40 Small Red-eyed Damselflies at Little Bradley Ponds (DWT Reserve) today: this is a new site record and the first west of the Exe. At the old (eastern) pond, I counted 17 pairs egg-laying plus about 7 additional males, but only one male at the 'new' pond (which is becoming very overgrown and and access to the shore is limited). Both counts were done with a telescope from the dipping platforms. Also present: Emerald Damselflies and a late male Downy Emerald (probably my latest in Devon).

  • 17th Jul 2017
    Hampshire
    KD

    I was just sat in my garden when i spotted something large fly into my house, before i could get into the house my 3 year old grand daughter ran in to investigate. Within seconds she was screaming and running back out of the house. When i went in i saw a huge yellow and black dragonfly which i have now with the help of the internet discovered was a golden ringed dragonfly. With some gentle persuasion we got it out of the house and it flew away.  

  • 17th Jul 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    Gunners Park pond, Shoeburyness - 1 Brown hawker, 1 Emperor,2 Ruddy Darters, 4 Blue tailed, 

  • 17th Jul 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    Wat Tyler Country Park, Basildon - 1 Migrant Hawker, 6 Blue tailed, 6 Azure

  • 17th Jul 2017
    Staffordshire
    SN

    A male Lesser Emperor at Belvide Reservoir Staffordshire showing well in front of Hawkshutts hide and  settled on bund on 3 occasions I was there. The 3rd record for Belvide. Photo viewable here  http://www.surfbirds.com/community-blogs/Belvide84/  Also 5 Red-veined Darter.

  • 17th Jul 2017
    North Lancs/South Cumbria
    SJB

    On a sunny day in Brigsteer Wood near Levens S Cumbria while watching Silver Washed Fritillaries saw 2 Southern Hawkers, 3 Common Hawkers and large numbers of Common Darters, males,  females and tenerals.  

  • 16th Jul 2017
    Kent
    MH

    I made a trip to Canvey Island where after parking at the Waterside Sports Centre, I walked 10 minutes to the entrance to the Recycling Centre, crossed the road and into the field which contains the dyke where the SMH's are. In mostly cloudy with occasional glimpses of sunshine, I saw 20+ Southern Migrant Hawker in the dyke. All were males except 1 pair in tandem and a female seen ovipositing. Despite the cloud, a few pleasing photos were obtained which will appear on my blog shortly. Also seen were c30 Scarce Emerald Damselfly, lots of Ruddy Darter, Common Darter and a few Blue tailed Damselfly. A superb site for this species and hopefully a good area for them from which to continue to spread. 

  • 13th Jul 2017
    North Lancs/South Cumbria
    SJB

    Seen regularly over the last two weeks on the  Lancaster Canal near the bridge before Glasson Marina 2 male Emperors and 2 females ovipositing on the water lilies.  Also one Brown Hawker and Common and blue tailed damselflies.

  • 12th Jul 2017
    Suffolk
    CAM

    North Cove SWT. Suffolk: After torrential rain of previous 2 days, sunshine and passing clouds on a strong, gusty wind, therefore only sheltered places visited. 2 teneral Migrant Hawkers.  20+ Brown Hawkers, 10+ Southern Hawkers, 3 Black-tailed Skimmers. 2female 4-Spot, 1 female om Scarce Chaser, 5+ Ruddy Darter, 10+ immature Common Darter, 1female Banded Dem, 1 Willow Emerald Damsel, 2 male Large-red, many Azure and Blue-tailed Damsels. White Admiral Butterflies. 

  • 11th Jul 2017
    Cumbria
    SL

    First ever visit to Foulshaw Moss was met with persistent drizzle but very little wind.  Managed to see Azure, Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Emerald Damselflies and female Black Darter.

    Visit to Meathop Moss in similar conditions although rain did stop and allow some sunny spells.  Managed single Four-spotted Chaser and both male and female Black Darter, along with Azure, Emerald and Blue-tailed Damselflies.

    Poor weather did mean that we could view the insects close up and we could discuss the id features of each species.

  • 10th Jul 2017
    Dorset
    BS

    Male Red-veined Darter at Radipole Lake today, with it or another on 2nd July, with a male Lesser Emperor there on 4th July. A single imm male Beautiful Demoiselle, uncommon in Weymouth, on 2nd July was first time I'd seen this species on reserve. Also, Small Red-eyed Damselflies well established on reserve.

  • 9th Jul 2017
    Essex
    TPC

    Canvey Island, Essex. 11.30 - 2.00pm Decided to check out a new area for me today on Canvey island. A 1.6 km long ditch that runs parralel with the main road, West Canvey Way going into Canvey. I walked to it from the car park behind Benfleet Railway station, along the road, left from station until you come to the Council Civic recycling site. Crossed the road here where public footpath sign is onto the sea wall. Directly on the left down from the wall is the ditch.  Straight away i sighted my first Aeshna affinis (Southern Migrant Hawker) male of the day. Little did i know this was going to be an exceptional day for this scarce species.In all i counted over 30 males holding territory along the ditch with  battles with neighbouring males. Also a first for me i encounted a pair in mating wheel and was able to get photos. One other female seen. Huge numbers of Lestes dryas (Scarce Emerald Damselfly) (100 +) also present in this ditch with maybe 30 pairs in tandem. Good numbers of Ruddy Darters as well and a few freshly emerged Common Darters. 20 plus Blue tailed Damselflies. Later in the afternoon went to West Canvey marshes and four male SMH seen. The large numbers of affinis seen today raises some questions.They are much earlier than last year. Usually in past few years mostly seen late July/early August. Migrant influx perhaps? Perhaps warmer weather of late and ditches drying out prompts ealier emergence perhaps?

    Photos of pair in mating wheel can be seen on my Redbubble site. Still cannot access my Flickr account.

  • 8th Jul 2017
    Kent
    MH

    An early morning visit to Nethergong for a few hours produced 21 Willow Emerald Damselfly. Most were still with their exuviae and others were seen making their maiden flights into the long grasses and up into the trees. Also seen were c30 Emerald Damselfly, 2 Variable Damselfly, good numbers of Blue tailed Damselfly and 1 Brown Hawker.

  • 8th Jul 2017
    Hampshire
    PS

    An hour in the Tern Hide at Blashford Lakes, Hampshire, produced a brief sighting of a Lesser Emperor, which patrolled the posts in front of the left hand part of the hide before heading off further round the lake, to the left. Also numberous ovipositing Common Blue Damsels & a Four-spotted Chaser.

  • 8th Jul 2017
    Cambridgeshire
    IMW

    Cambourne WT reserve: Scores of blue males with the white female White-Legged Damselfly amongst wild carrot flowers on west side of Lake Ewart and fourty-plus male Black-tailed skimmers each holding territory at the fishing spots around the lake;  a dozen Emerald Damselflies skulking amid rushes at southern end of Redgrave Water,  along with swarms of hundreds of mating wheels of Blue-tailed Damselfly (and all colour forms of immature females), seven 4-spot Chasers, two Brown Hawkers, a Southern Hawker, three Emperor Dragonfly, several Red-eyed Damselfly and scores of ovipositing Azure and Common Blue Damselflies.

  • 7th Jul 2017
    Essex
    JRM

    16:45 at Long Running, Epping Forest, on the small area of heathland, off of main footpath close to the small ponds, two emperors, mobbing a male Lesser Emperor dragonfly, they were quiet intent on seeing it off, but I got to watch it for serveral minutes before it disappeard during a cloudy interval. It returned again around 17:40 but only to be mobbed again, after a few minutes it flew high toward the main car park and I did not re-find him. 

     species seen: m Lesser Emperor dragonfly.; 3 Emperor dragonfly.; 2 Brown hawker.; 3 m broad bodied chaser.; m Black-tailed skimmer.; pr Common emerald damselfly.  4 Azure damselfly; 2 Blue-tailed damselfly.; Common blue damselfly.; 

    + Red kite (over) and Greater bladderwort in the small pond.

     

     

     

  • 7th Jul 2017
    Kent
    MH

    A visit to Nethergong early evening produced my first Willow Emerald Damselfly of the year along with c40 Emerald Damselfly. 1 Brown Hawker also noted.

  • 7th Jul 2017
    Hampshire
    SFB

    Crockford Stream, 7 July 2017: Absolutely buzzing with activity in the continuing hot weather. Numerous Southern Damselflies and Keeled Skimmers all along the stream. Also plentiful Beautiful Demoiselles. Other species included Small Red Damselflies, Blue-tailed Damselflies, Golden-ringed Dragonflies and teneral Common Darters. Some photos here 

  • 6th Jul 2017
    Surrey
    KH

    I'm a volunteer warden at Hare Hill Open Space near Addlestone, Surrey. TQ032637.  On my rounds this morning, I was making my way along a overgrown path and was regularly getting buzzed by a dragonfly, to the extent that it literally eyeballed me. Unable to ID it at first, because of the sun, it returned and promptly landed on my finger, where it stayed for a couple of minutes before flying off again. Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera or phone with me, but it was a male Golden-ringed dragonfly. I have never seen one here before since I started two years ago, and to the best of my knowledge it hasn't been recorded on site before.

  • 6th Jul 2017
    Berkshire
    PRL

    Decoy Heath: 1 Black Darter, 3 Ruddy Darter, several each of Blue Emperor, Four-spotted Chaser and Common Emerald damselfly; 1 White-legged Damselfy and numerous Common Blue damselfy

  • 5th Jul 2017
    Surrey
    MB

    Thursley NNR, Surrey: Brown hawkers, four spotted chasers, broad bodied chasers, keeled skimmers, black tailed skimmer, black darters. Banded demoiselle. White legged damselfly. Large red damselfly. Small red damselflies. Emerald, azure, common blue and blue tailed damselflies.

  • 5th Jul 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    Whet Mead EWT reserve, Witham - 7 Brown Hawkers, 4m +1f Emperor, 100's m+f Banded Demoiselle, 5 Azure,

  • 5th Jul 2017
    Somerset
    MAH

    Glastonbury Tor:  Red Veined Darter single female in area of rough grass at base of Tor also Several Emperor Dragonfles, Brown Hawkers and Common Darters seen

  • 4th Jul 2017
    Surrey
    SJD

    As well as the usual large number of blue-tailed damselflies seen at dawn in Bushy Park (Surrey/London border), I was pleasantly surprised to find a female willow emerald damselfly amongst them. As far as I am aware this is a first for Bushy Park after seeing them in nearby Home Park last year.

  • 4th Jul 2017
    Essex
    KT

    West Canvey Marsh: Not a lot today but plenty of Blue Tailed Damselflys and Ruddy Darters. On the way home stopped about a mile or so away 4 ponds layed back and down off A1245 just before the A130 were half a dozen or so Black Tailed Skimmers plus 1 Emperor

  • 4th Jul 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    Hockley Woods, Essex. - 1 Male Emperor, 1 Brown Hawker, 5 Common Darters, 1 Medium sized female Hawker only seen in flight possibly SMH?

  • 3rd Jul 2017
    LANCASHIRE
    JP

    Martin Mere: 1 Emperor, photo in website

     

     

     

  • 2nd Jul 2017
    Devon
    RNM

    Soar Mill Valley, South Devon: Two very dull Red-veined Darters over grassland this morning. Also 3 Golden-ringed Dragonflies & Emperor.

  • 2nd Jul 2017
    Essex
    KT

    Today at Backwarden EWT  reserve  i saw 3x Four Spotted Chasers, and Ruddy Darters,1x Emperor,Banded Demoiselle,Blue Tail and Azure Damselflys

  • 2nd Jul 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    Marks Hall Estate, Marks Tey - Male Southern Migrant Hawker. First time seen here and first one this year! (photo on Flickr), 3 Brown Hawkers, 4m Emperors, 8 Four spot Chasers, 2 Black tailed Skimmers, Azure, Blue tailed, Red Eyed, 1 Large Red

  • 2nd Jul 2017
    Kent
    MH

    A visit to Grove Ferry this afternoon produced at least 15 Norfolk Hawker which included 5 mating pairs and 1 ovipositing female. Also seen were 1 Black tailed Skimmer, 1 Four spotted Chaser and 4 Emperor Dragonfly.

  • 2nd Jul 2017
    Essex
    TPC

    Foxearth nature reserve (Rocha), Essex.

    After recent publicity about this newly opened reserve managed for Odonata and a recent posting here indicating very early sightings of Willow Emerald Damselflies, 26/06, prompted me to visit the reserve this afternoon for my first visit.

    The species list seen today is as follows; Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Emporer, Four spotted Chaser, Black tailed Skimmer, Ruddy Darter, Common Darter, Banded Demoiselle, White legged, Azure blue, Common blue, Red eyed (Petite form), Small Red eyed, and Blue tailed Damselflies. Despite extensive searching over the course of 2.5 hours no Willow Emeralds were located or any other Lestes. I also checked Alton water yesterday and Sudbury water meadows/river Stour later today, both known Willow sites but nothing seen.

  • 2nd Jul 2017
    Cambridgeshire
    JNW

    Bridge over Great Ouse backwater, Hemingford Meadow: I was watching bird and dragonfly activity here - a warm and sometimes sunny afternoon - when I noticed an Anax species zoom under the bridge and then settle in bankside vegetation. I managed to locate it and spent a few minutes on it with binoculars and then managed a couple of photos through the vegetation. To my surprise it was a male Lesser Emperor - a first sighting for me in the UK.  

  • 1st Jul 2017
    Essex
    KT

    Today at Writtle Collage 2x Small Red Eyed Damselflys and 1x Brown Hawker

  • 1st Jul 2017
    Kent
    MH

    A walk at Westbere Lakes produced C10 Norfolk Hawker in dykes just north of the river.  Nearby at Grove Ferry however, a Red footed Falcon has been around for a while and seems to be going through the Norfolk Hawkers at will. Not the best of news as it continues to establish itself in the area.

  • 1st Jul 2017
    Kent
    Mgb

    Copulating pair of white-legged damselflies on the river darenth at Lullingstone CP, Eynsford, Kent. Also present: small numbers of blue-tailed, common blue damsel and banded demoiselle

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