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 British Dragonfly Society Recording Scheme 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.
By logging your sightings here you agree to the BDS storing the details you enter and that you may be contacted by a County Dragonfly Recorder or by the Records Officer if they are of particular interest.
See also Sightings from Previous years and Archived sightings from long-past years.
f Norfolk Hawker dragonfly at preston garden centre today and yesterday 05/07/18, around mid afternoon.
Also 1 m Emperor dragonfly, 1 m Southern hawker dragonfly, 5 Azure damselfly and 2 blue-tailed damselfly.
At Mow Cop in SE Cheshire still 3m and a pair in cop of Scarce blue-tailed Damselflies.Also at this sensitive site:1 Emperor,1 Brown Hawker,1 Common Hawker,5 Broad-bodied Chasers,3m Emerald Damslflies,4 Large reds,20 Azure and 6 Blue-tailed Damselflies.Photos of the SBTD can be viewed on the Sandbach Flashes website (Latest photos-11th June)
Five or six Small red-eyed damselflies on floating vegetation around the boardwalk at Borrow Pit on Seaton Wetland. At the far end of the field by the R. Axe, to the south side of Whitford Road at Whitford - around a dozen White-legged damselflies, M F and Imm.
Three males patrolling the model boating lake. Also Small Red-eyed Damselflies and good numbers of other species.
Langdon Hills (Marks Hill & Willow Park): Emperor: At least four males. Southern hawker: two immatures/females. Southern migrant hawker: Four adults, all in Willow Park: male by pond in Rough Piece Field; also a mating pair here. Another male along the Chase. Common darter: many. Ruddy darter: at least one.
Sighted on Epsom Common about 100mts from Great Stew pond flying & resting on gorse ID by Adrian Parr
On a late morning walk at Tyttenhanger Gravel Pits I was pleased to a large number Small Red-Eyed Damselfly alongside the causeway as well as several Emperor, Black-Tailed Skimmer, Ruddy Darter, Brown Hawker, Four-Spotted Chaser, Azure and Common Blue Damselfly. Along the River Colne it was good to see the return of the Emerald Damselfly as well as Banded Demoiselles, Blue Tails and Large Reds.
A male Lesser Emperor Dragonfly was patrolling the shoreline of Powell's Pool, Sutton Park. It was by Graham Evans on nine occasions over a period of over 2 hours during the afternoon of 5th July. Graham said it was very difficult to photograph due to it's speed, however an image showing the important features can be seen on the Warwickshire Dragonfly Website.
Plenty of Small Red-eyed eyed Damselflies on pond by the hill top cafe and easy to photograph.
2 Brown Hawkers, 4m + 3f Emperors (all females were ovipositing), 6m Black tailed Skimmers, 6 Common blue, 7m Emerald (in long grasses & nettles along river), 50+ Red eyed.
Amongst several four-spotted chasers, some ovip and some occasionally in cop, one praenubila - not seen here for ten years. Other species - emperor dragonfly, black-tailed skimmer, common darter (several emergent), ruddy darter, banded demoiselle, azure, common blue, blue-tailed, red-eyed and small red-eyed damselfly.
Please note: Ledburn Pit is closed to the public at present. Tiddenfoot Waterside Parkon the other side of the road is open and has similar species, but not all of them.
Another round of surveys of freshwater parts of Steart WWT Reserve revealed a Small Red-eyed Damselfly and several each of Scarce Chaser and Ruddy Darter, all species not seen there before this year.
Good day out at this site which is so close to Swansea but often overlooked. 50 + Variable Damselfly , 50 + Keeled Skimmer which seemed to be every where. Others in attendance were , Golden Ringed , Southern Hawker , Black Tailed Skimmer , Common Blue , Azure , Large Red and Blue Tailed. Sadly no Scarce Blue Tailed to round the day off.
july 3rd 12.30 -3.00 pm very hot but windy
up to 20 Southern migrant hawkers , all male except 2 females . Photographed male and female in Tandem . Large numbers of scarce emerald damselfly sticking to the vegetation low down in very windy conditions . One speactacualr site was a male SMH attacking a pair of Ruddy Darter in Tandem and eating the male !
An attempt to count every insect along the ditch as far as the dog-leg. Southern Emerald (1m. Photo), Southern Migrant Hawker (11m, 2f, 1 teneral. Pair in cop), Scarce Emerald (51+. Underestimate), Ruddy Darter (128), Azure Damselfly (1), Blue-tailed Damselfly (3).
3m +1f Emperor, 4m Black tailed Skimmers, 1 deceased f Black tailed Skimmer, 2m Broad bodied Chasers, 50+ Small Red Eyed (all over the large pond and nearby hedgerows) 4 Blue tailed,
7m + 1f SMH's on the wing, (incl 1pr in cop), 1 Southern Emerald (images taken & on Flickr seen by double clicking my initials), 100's Scarce Emerald (many in tandem and cop)
Langdon Hills: EWT Willow Park & Marks Hill: Emperor: At least six males; Southern migrant hawker: One male in Willow Park. Pond in the NE corner of Rough Piece Meadow.; Common darter: many, mostly immatures; Ruddy darter: many
On a visit to Fir & Pond Wood today at the 'Secret Pond' it was great to see very many Emerald Damselflies and Azures. Also seen Broad Bodied Chasers, Emperors, Brown Hawkers and many Ruddy Darters.
1m + 2(pos 3) teneral Southern Migrant Hawkers (images on Flickr, just click on my initials), 4m+3f Black tailed Skimmers (incl pair in cop), 2 Emperor, 1 Southern Hawker, 200+ Ruddy Darters, 3 Blue tailed
2 July 2018
As no one else seems to have reported this amazing record, here it is. Andrew Easton found a Yellow-Spotted Emerald at Carlton Marshes, Suffolk on 2 July. It was seen by very few and missed by quite a few! Excellent photos of it have been posted on the Lowestoft Lounge Lizards web site. What else is going to be discovered in this unusual spell of hot weather?
Seen over my garden pond on the West Sussex/Surrey border late afternoon
5 ebony jewelwing dragonflies spotted flying around river in Widecombe in the moor, England [Another mis-identification! Ebony Jewelwing is a North American species. Insects seen were probably Beautiful Demoiselles! GHM]
1 Common Darter, 3 Brown Hawker and 1 Southern Hawker,
Darryl and I took the 2 hour drive from Northants to Canvey Island, and at the ditch opposite the recycling centre saw ~25 Southern Migrant Hawkers, mostly males at territory with 1 female and 1 emergent take its first flight, along with 5 exuviae. Also present were 100's of Scarce Emeralds including cop and ovipositing as well as Ruddy Darter. Along the wetter parts, we saw Azure Damselflies and the odd Red-eyed and Blue-tailed. At Wat Tyler Country park, we saw 1-2 Southern Migrants, but the ditches are so overgrown that it is next to impossibe to see anything.
1 male Lesser Emporer, 2 Emperors, many black-tailed skimmers and downy emeralds. The LE was seen at the north east corner of the lake, patrolling. Never seen “perched” but photographed in flight. Seen 30.6.18 and 1.7.18
Excellent weekend in the New Forest with 15+ Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies and 2 Southern Damselflies along Latchmore Brook, together with Small Red, Large Red, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselfly, Beautiful Demoiselle, Keeled Skimmers, Black-tailed and Broad-bodied Chasers, Common Darter, Golden-ringed and Emperors. Additionally, White-legged Damselfly on Ober Water and Downy Emerald, Four-spotted Chaser, Red-eyed and Emerald Damselfly on the excellent Furzley Common pond
2 males patrolling low over water at Moss Eccles Tarn, Cumbria SD371967
In garden resting on edge of deep vegitation. Not far from Whixall moss and Whixall school. Large pond has been created as part of the million ponds project. So much wildlilfe is moving in. Visit by appt only as also has a building site. Happy to welcome anybody by appt
This morning's BDS meeting saw 8 folk searching the stretch from Budleigh Salterton to the aqueduct. Few were seen in the stretch below White Bridge, but the dragonfly highlight was the first record of Scarce Chaser for the valley, with a male along the ditch to the west that runs parallel to the river. Almosty as strange was a very early almost-red Common Darter on territory - weeks before I normally see that! Other sightings were of Hairy Dragonfly, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Emperor and the expected damselflies (both demoiselles, Large Red, Azure, Common Blue and Blue-tailed). However, no sign of any White-legged Damselflies (or Clubtail!). A bird highlight was a pair of Water Rails feeding out in broad daylight just south of White Bridge: they were getting worms from the riverside and feeding them to chicks in the reeds. Amongst plenty of butterflies was a Purple Hairstreak.
Sitting on the tip of a branch in the garden.
No significant water in the garden.
A productive visit today in good conditions,albeit a tad breezy,saw the following being recorded: Emerald Damselfly - 7; Common-blue Damselfly - 119; Azure Damselfly - 112; Blue-tailed Damselfly - 126; Emperor - 6(5m 1f); Common Hawker - 1 male,an exceptional record here.; Southern Hawker - 4; Brown Hawker - 22; Black-tailed Skimmer - 17; Four-spotted Chaser - 15; Common Darter - 4
I had 3 Southern Migrant Hawker (1 male) this morning at Cliffe, north Kent. My first I've ever seen in my home county. Photos are on my Blog. Also hundreds of Common and Ruddy Darter present.
4 Brown Hawkers and several Banded Demoiselles along the river, also many Common, Blue Tailed and Large Red damselflies. Only 26C today and a breeze so walking a little more bearable than 30C of past week!
RSPB Fen Drayton - records for today relate to approximately 1/5 of the reserve. Emperor Dragonfly x6, Brown Hawker x6. Common Darters and Ruddy Darters are beginning to show (less than 10 of each). Small numbers of Blue-tailed, Red-eyed and Azure damselflies. 1700+ Common Blue damselflies.
Seen at Buxton Heath late afternoon, beautiful long yellow pterostigmas.
While standing in the shade of large Oaks watched 4 Black Tailed Skimmers flying around in the hot 30C sunshine. They flew then came to rest occasionally on twigs and fallen logs. Also Common and Blue tailed Damselflies.
Canvey way ditch had 12 SMH Males on the wing. Also counted 11 freshly emerged tenerals making their maiden flights. Interestingly it was 20 days ago i found my first few emerging and there has been reports of emerging SMH most days since, so a very large population has emerged from from this ditch to date. 200 + Scarce Emeralds, 200 + Ruddy Darter, 2 Black tailed Skimmer, 2 Blue tailed, 4 Azure. At the end of the canvey way ditch where the wall turns right if you continue to walk on with the hedge and the road to your left you will eventually come to another wide ditch at right angles to the hedge. Two more male SMH were patrolling here with a few Scarce Emeralds and Ruddy Darters. Also in the same general area is a pool about 10 x 6 metres. This had one male SMH, 2 Broad bodied chasers, several Ruddy Darters and Scarce Emeralds and 6 Azure.
A single norfolk hawker is signted in Bassett green woodpath, Southampton. A photo is attached in this link. Hopefully this is not a misidentification. [Checking photo this is not a Norfolk Hawker. It is probably a Common Darter. GHM]
Again , at home in Camberley, the Large Red Damselfly over my pond...they have been very active for several weeks now. Today, went to Thursley Common and saw both Small Red and Large Red damselfly and was able to photo the 2 together. Others seen and identified a Four Spot Chaser, Emporer,Common Darter, and Keeled Skimmer. Not sure so possibly...an Azure Damselfly and Southern Hawker?
Disturbed what looked like some type of blue tailed damselfly when watering balcony tubs on 4th floor apartment on side of Thames (tidal; Wapping). A complete surprise as I thought damsel/dragonflies' habitat was freshwater.
4 adult SMH males on the wing, 2 tenerals also found hiding in bushes. 50+ Ruddy Darters, 100's Scarce Emeralds,
A mid afternoon trip to Esher Common turned up my first small red damselflies of the season, around the new ponds below Black Pond. Also seen were an emperor and four-spotted chaser over the smaller pond, as well as large red damselflies and both common blue and azure damselflies in the reeds. On the nearby heather were a male black-tailed skimmer and a very obliging ruddy darter that was obelisking to keep cool. Up on Black Pond, a downy emerald was patrolling the water margin. Surprisingly not much else was seen, except a souther hawker hawking the rather dark path back to the car park.
3m + 1f Emperor, 5 Black tailed Skimmers, 25+ Azure, 10+ Blue tailed.
The male Lesser Emperor still present for its 3rd day at the west end. The 4th site record following 3 in 2006, 1 in 2011 and 1 in 2017.
A great day spent walking around this vast site produced 100+ Common Blue , 50+ Large Red , 100+ Red Eyed , 20+ Emerald , 10+ Small Red , 50+ Keeled Skimmer , 50+ Black Tailed , 50+ Banded Demoiselle , 10+ Emperor and my first 10+ Brilliant Emeralds of the year. Sadly to early for any Black Darters.
26/06/2018 - Whilst having lunch in my articulated lorry, a Downy Emerald landed on the carpet next to me. It rested for a while. I carried it out on a document and I watched it fly around the tops of the buildings before turning back towards the River Lea. What an amazing sight and a wonderful, unique encounter. Photo available.
In hot sunshine 29C many Beautiful and Banded Demoiselles all along the river Winster near Low Low Wood. Also large Red and Blue tailed damselflies.
10+ Four spotted Chasers, 4 Emperor (incl female ovipositing), 20+ Black tailed Skimmers (pairs in Cop), 2 Brown Hawkers, 100's Azure, 25+ Blue tailed
2 Emperor, 1 Brown Hawker, 10+ Black tailed Skimmers, 10+ Ruddy Darters, 10+ Azure, 10+ Blue tailed