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.

  • 15th Jun 2017
    Norfolk
    SM

    Upton Fen: Ruddy Darter 1 female freshly emerged, my first of the year. Large Red Damselfly 1, Emerald  Damselfly 4 teneral female, Blue-tailed Damselfly numerous, Azure Damselfly 10+ Common Blue Damselfly 5+. Also good numbers of Four-spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Norfolk Hawker & Emperor Dragonfly. A gorgeous Eurasian Swallowtail also put in an appearance.

  • 14th Jun 2017
    Berkshire
    MHT

    Very hot walk around Cookham Common this morning looking for Variable Damselfly along Strand Water and White Brook. Found one along the path by Strand Water and at least 6 (including pairs in tandem) on the White Brook in the corner of Widbrook Common where the Green Way crosses the stream. Also plenty of Common and Azure Damselflies and a single Emperor.

  • 14th Jun 2017
    Lancashire
    PJM

    A single sweep of nine males over the water on middleton model boat pond - the largest number over the water at the same time I have seen at this site.   This happened after a period when the sun was hidden on the first decent day for ages.   Also black tailed skimmer and emperor.   No time for detailed search

  • 14th Jun 2017
    Norfolk
    TCN

    Odonata spectacular at Sutton Fen today with Azure, Blue-Tailed, Emerald, Large Red, Red-Eyed and Variable Damselflies plus Black-tailed Skimmers, Broad-Bodied Chaser, Emperor, Four-Spotted Chasers, Hairy and Norfolk Hawker Dragonflies and to top it all several Swallowtail Butterflies made an appearance.  It's amazing what a little sunshine can do! 

  • 14th Jun 2017
    Hertfordshire
    SRJ

    Rye Meads RSPB - 5m Emperors, 1f  Emperor ovipositing, 2 Black tailed Skimmers, 2 Hairy, 50+ Azure, 20+ Blue tailed

  • 14th Jun 2017
    Gloucestershire
    SB

    Today I saw a damselfly with a bright blue body and jet black wings, flitting around outside a shop in Cheltenham. It was approximately 3-4 inches long, with a thin, light blue body and beautiful black wings, completely solid black.

    The only insect I've been able to find that matches the description is an Ebony Jewelwing but they're only native to North America, so that's confusing. The fact it was in the middle of a town was also confusing as the nearest standing water or stream of any reasonable size was a good half mile away at Pittville Park. Sadly, it wouldn't sit still so I couldn't get a good look at it.

    [The insect you saw was almost certainly a Beautiful Demoiselle - Calopteryx virgo. Follow the link to see more information about it. Editor]

  • 14th Jun 2017
    West Sussex
    AWS

    River Arun at Bury West Sussex: Lots of Banded demoiselee including females, azure and blue tailed damselflies, half a dozen variable damselflies in the churchyard, southern hawker, brown hawker, emperor, at least one male and one female club tailed, male scarce chaser, and a male broad bodied chaser

     

  • 14th Jun 2017
    Norfolk
    JM

    At least 80 Ruddy Darters flying from the pond on Sculthorpe Common today, emerging a few days earlier than last year.

  • 13th Jun 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    South Hanningfield Reservoir EWT reserve - m+f Broad Bodied (female ovipositing),m+2f Black tailed Skimmer, 20+Azure, 10+Blue tailed

  • 13th Jun 2017
    Berkshire
    MHT

    My first Common Darter of the year - one teneral and an exuvia on a pond in Wargrave.

  • 13th Jun 2017
    County Antrim
    DJP

    A short trip to Montiaghs Moss NR in Northern Ireland to find Irish Damselfly was successful with six males patrolling over old peat workings and perching on nearby vegetation.

  • 13th Jun 2017
    Berkshire
    JWS

    Rather belatedly adding records for a brief but successful visit to Crowthorne Woods last week. Dragonflies: Keeled Skimmer x 8, Emperor x 5, Four-spotted Chaser x 5, Common Darter x 1 (teneral), Broad-bodied Chaser x 2, Black Darter x1 (immature). Damsels: Large Red x 15, Azure x 14, Red-eyed x 2 (copulating pair), Common Blue x 5, Small Red x 3 (1 teneral), Blue-tailed x 1.

  • 13th Jun 2017
    Somerset
    MAH

    Ham Wall RSPB reserve Lesser Emperor frequenting a channel along the edge of  the Loxtons part of the reserve

  • 11th Jun 2017
    Devon
    DS

    Only six of us turned up for a Devon Group day in the Axe Valley. At Seaton Marshes our attention was soon diverted by great views of a Barn Owl hunting around Blackhole Marsh in the mid-morning sun! A few Emperors and Beautiful Demoiselles stood out amongst lots of commoner damselflies nearby and masses of White-legged Damselflies were sheltering from the strong breeze along the River Axe. We failed to find Scarce Chaser here, but at least four were found in the afternoon at Lower Bruckland Ponds, including at least two mature males. The only other dragonflies here were Emperor and a few Black-tailed Skimmers, but masses of Common Blue Damselflies were both emerging and swarming in sheltered spots. A total of 10 species was seen during the day.

  • 11th Jun 2017
    Somerset
    MAH

    Aller Moor highlights of afternoon spent on the moor Scarce Chaser 35+, Hairy Dragonfly 10+, White legged damselfy 25+, Banded Demoiselle 300+ and a few of Variable damselfy, Beautiful demoiselle and Red eyed damselfy.

  • 10th Jun 2017
    Kent
    MH

    I made  a visit to Kent's only location for the Keeled Skimmer at Hothfield Common this morning and was rewarded with c12 individuals. All were males including some newly emerged ones but just one female was seen ovipositing. Also noted were a few Large Red Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, 1 Emperor Dragonfly and 1 Banded Demoiselle.

    On another note, I managed to photograph the whole sequence of a Banded Demoiselle emerging this morning.  Not sure if this has been done before but photos will appear on my blog in due course.

  • 9th Jun 2017
    DURHAM
    SL

    Single Four-spotted Chaser seen at Harvey Wood.

  • 9th Jun 2017
    Lincolnshire
    PJR

    A visit to Crowle Moor, Lincolnshire, produced 1 female Black-tailed Skimmer and 1 male Hairy Hawker, many Four-spotted Chasers, LargeRed Damselflies.

  • 9th Jun 2017
    Cumbria
    JR

    A single mature male Red-veined Darter was briefly seen, and photographed, by Judith Rogers at the RSPB's Campfield Marsh Reserve on 9th June. She was not able to re-find it subsequently. This is the first record of the species in the north of VC70 since 2006. [submitted by David Clarke]

  • 5th Jun 2017
    Devon
    SGE

    At least 10 Southern Hawkers have emerged from my garden pond in Teignmouth this week, with the first teneral and exuvia seen on Sunday 28th May. Also 4 Large Red damsels and 1 Azure damsel here.

  • 4th Jun 2017
    Lincolnshire
    SRo

    A visit to Crowle Moor NNR in North Lincs today,saw the following being recorded: Large-red Damselfly - 505; Azure Damselfly - 68; Common-blue Damselfly - 10; Blue-tailed Damselfly - 19; Four-spot Chaser - 188; Common Hawker - 1,my earliest personal record and a bit of a surprise! 

  • 4th Jun 2017
    Oxfordshire
    DMF

    Male Hairy Dragonfly, Whitecross Green Wood, SP604143. Perched 3m from ground on bush on N side of main E-W ride of wood. Just in Oxon. Photos taken.

  • 4th Jun 2017
    Suffolk
    DFW

    A visit to ‘The Sink’, in the south-west section of Redgrave and Lopham Fen NNR, was highly productive.  11 species of odonata were seen. Azure Damselfly and Four-spotted Chaser were numerous; small numbers of Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies were also noted, along with 3 Emperors, 2 Black-tailed Skimmers, 2 Norfolk Hawkers. 2 Large Red Damselflies and singles of Broad-bodied Chaser and Hairy Dragonfly.  Last but not least: Ruddy Darter.  I was very surprised to see this species on this early date.  Three individuals were seen, all apparently having emerged that morning, with shiny wings and fluttery flight: all left the vegetation close to the water for the sanctuary of the nearby bushes and trees.

  • 3rd Jun 2017
    Norfolk
    DJM

    At least three Norfolk Hawkers on the wing at Alderfen Broad, NWT reserve with an abundance of Four Spotted Chasers and Black tailed Skimmers.

  • 3rd Jun 2017
    Essex
    AWS

    Woodham Fen EWT

    blacktailed skimmer, broad bodied chaser, emperor dragonfly, 50 azure damselflies, 15 blue tailed damselflies and a red eyed damselfly

  • 3rd Jun 2017
    Essex
    AC

    Langdon Hills (EWT Marks Hill/Willow Park)

    Common blue damselfly: many

    Large red damselfly: many

    Blue tailed damselfly: at least one

    Emperor dragonfly: two- one male, one female (egg-laying)

    Hairy dragonfly: one

    Four spotted chaser: one

    Broad bodied chaser: four (two males & two females)

    Black tailed skimmer: one (immature)

     

  • 3rd Jun 2017
    Essex
    AC

    Thorndon Park (South):

    Hairy dragonfly: one

    Four spotted chaser: two

  • 3rd Jun 2017
    Lincolnshire
    SRo

    A visit to Messingham Sand Quarries in North Lincolnshire today,revealed the following species & numbers involved: 

    Azure Damselfly - 533

    Common-blue Damselfly - 396

    Blue-tailed Damselfly - 468

    Large-red Damselfly - 2

    Red-eyed Damselfly - 3

    Hairy Dragonfly - 8

    Four-spot Chaser - 19

    Black-tailed Skimmer - 6

  • 3rd Jun 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    Sth Hanningfield Reservoir EWT reserve - M+F Broad Bodied Chaser (female ovipositing), 3m Black tailed Skimmers, 4 Blue tailed, 10+ Common Blue

  • 3rd Jun 2017
    Cambridgeshire
    IMW

    Cambourne WT reserve lakes and meadows of the new reserve running South from the tri-County BCN Wildlife Trust HQ - I saw many Common Blue damselflies and Blue-tailed damselflies (surprisingly high proportion of Violaceae form females), several White-tailed Damselfly at the dried out Northern end of the reserve and several Red-eyed Damselflies, Four Spot Chasers, 2 Hairy Hawkers, a Broad Bodied Chaser and a teneral Black Tailed Skimmer around the two main lakes.

  • 3rd Jun 2017
    Cambridgeshire
    HJV

    Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB: 52 Scarce Chasers, 23 Four-spot, 1 Broad-bodied Chaser, 2 Black-tailed Skimmer, 4 Emperor, 15 Hairy. Thousands of Common Blue Damsleflies, also Variable, Azure, Red-eyed, Blue-tailed Damselfly and Banded Demoiselle

  • 3rd Jun 2017
    SURREY

    Thursley Surrey: Amongst the large numbers of dragonflies and damselfies on the wing, notable findings were 6 Brilliant Emerald exuvia at the Moat pond in a different part from most of our May findings. Also near Pudmore a darter type exuvia was found which on closer examination at home has revealed it to be that of a Black Darter. 

  • 3rd Jun 2017
    DURHAM
    SL

    10 BANDED DEMOISELLE SEEN ON THE RIVER WEAR AT LOW BURNHALL WOOD.

  • 2nd Jun 2017
    Surrey

    We visited Boldermere today with many dragonflies emerging and on the wing, not to mention the thousands of damselflies including good numbers of Red-eyed. Notable sightings of dragonflies were :- Several Hairy Hawkers ( a first for us at this sight - including 2 exuvia ), Emporers, Downy Emeralds, Four-spotted Chasers, Black-tailed Skimmers including several teneral ( and lots of exuvia ) and a nice surprise - about half a dozen teneral Common Darters ( including one exuvia and a Ruddy Darter exuvia).

  • 1st Jun 2017
    Bedfordshire
    REM

    Two more Southern hawkers emerged from my garden pond this morning, 1st June (after the first three on 30 May). They were covered in dew at 5.30am but had flown by 8.20am. There were none yesterday - I think it was too cold.

  • 1st Jun 2017
    Devon
    RNM

    Male Red-veined Darter amongst 309 flower spikes of Southern Marsh Orchid at East Soar late morning.

  • 1st Jun 2017
    Surrey
    MB

    River Blackwater, Surrey. SU 886E 517N. Scarce chasers, hairy dragonfly. Banded demoiselles. Large red-, azure-, and blue tailed damselflies.

     

  • 1st Jun 2017
    London
    RC

    On Walthamstow marshes, I saw a male broad-bodied chaser sunning itself today, over the same spot of water that I'd seen six newts in yesterday. 

  • 1st Jun 2017
    Kent
    MH

    A trip to Sissinghurst today produced c12 Downy Emerald, c20 Beautiful Demoiselle, c10 White legged Damselfly, c6 Emperor Dragonfly, c6 Hairy Dragonfly along with good numbers of Four spotted Chaser, Large Red Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Red eyed Damselfly and Blue tailed Damselfly. 

  • 1st Jun 2017
    Devon
    DS

    In the first decent bit of weather we've had for a while, Bovey Heathfield held very active Broad-bodied and Four-spotted Chasers, an Emperor ovipositing and a male which attacked a passing Golden-ringed Dragonfly. Little Bradley Ponds held at least four territorial Downy Emeralds at each pond, with a Hairy Dragonfly briefly at the western 'new' pond.

  • 1st Jun 2017
    Durham
    SL

    Four-spotted Chaser and Blue-tailed Damselfly on wing at Thrislington NNR.

  • 31st May 2017
    Norfolk
    JM

    Four male Red-veined Darters flying around together on a large lake on a private estate in North Norfolk. Also Black-tailed Skimmers, Four-spotted Chasers, one Emperor and many hundreds of Red-eyed Damselflies and thousands of Common Blues. 

  • 31st May 2017
    Hampshire
    PDW

    There were at least two male Red-veined Darters at Southampton Common boating lake this afternoon.

  • 31st May 2017
    Essex
    AWS

    Blue House Farm EWT North Fambridge: 2 Emperor dragonflies, Hairy dragonfly, 5 Fourspot chasers, Black tailed skimmer

  • 31st May 2017
    Lincolnshire
    PJR

    Another visit to Crowle Moor nature reserve, Lincolnshire, resulted in more Four-spotted Chasers that you could shake a stick at! (hundreds!) but the highlight for me was 2 Black-tailed Skimmers (link to photos attached)

  • 31st May 2017
    Kent
    MH

    5 Norfolk Hawker were seen today along the river at Westbere. Also noted were 12 Scarce Chaser, 7 Hairy Dragonfly, c50 Banded Demoiselle along with good numbers of Azure, Variable, Blue tailed and Common Blue Damselfly. A few Red eyed Damselfly were seen along with the odd Large Red Damselfly.

  • 31st May 2017
    Warwickshire
    PJR

    Red-veined Darters have been observed at Marsh Lane Nature Reserve, Hampton-in-Arden. Roy Ledbury saw two or three males on 1 June and Dave Hutton & Donna Mallon saw three (the same ones?) on 1 June.

  • 30th May 2017
    Bedfordshire
    REM

    This morning I found three Southern hawker exuviae on stems in my garden pond. This is very early for this site in Linslade, Leighton Buzzard. Unfortunately the adults had flown away by the time I found the exuviae.

  • 30th May 2017
    Devon
    AR

    Several male scarce chaseres seen on the great western canal between the swing bridge outside Tiverton  and Halberton.

    Pictures taken if helpful/required

  • 30th May 2017
    Norfolk
    JM

    First male Emerald Damselfly emerged on Hempton Common, nr Fakenham.

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