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.

  • 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

  • 1st Jul 2017
    Suffolk
    TPC

    Alton, Water, Tattingstone, Lemon Hill North, Suffolk.

    Species today, Black tailed skimmer, Four spots, Ruddy Darter, Emperor, Brown Hawker, Blue tailed, Small red eyed and Azure damsels.

    Sorry no photos on my Flickr site this season, cannot log into my account?

  • 1st Jul 2017
    Kent

    Copulating pair os White-legged Damselflies seen on the river darenth at Lullingstone CP, Eynsford. Small numbers of common blue and blue-tailed damsels also. 

  • 26th Jun 2017
    Lincolnshire
    SRo

    Messingham Sand Quarries,North Lincolnshire.

    A survey around the reserve today saw the following being recorded:

    149 Azure Damselfly

    283 Common-blue Damselfly

    340 Blue-tailed Damselfly

    8 Emerald Damselfly

    1 Red-eyed Damselfly

    4 Hairy Dragonfly

    11 Brown Hawker

    2 Southern Hawker

    2 Emperor

    27 Four-spot Chaser

    4 Black-tailed Skimmer

    7 Common Darter

    1 Ruddy Darter

  • 26th Jun 2017
    Essex
    SME

    Foxearth Meadows Nature Reserve. 21°C, sunny, no wind.

    50+ Banded Demoiselles; 30+ Willow Emeralds, 5+ Brown Hawkers, 100+ Azure Damselflies; 2 x Black Tailed Skimmers; 8 x Four Spotted Chasers, 1 x Emperor, 1 x Hairy Dragonfly

  • 26th Jun 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    Goldings Hill Ponds, Loughton, Essex - 6 Four spot, 1 Emperor (m), 2 Downy Emerald,

  • 26th Jun 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    Connaught Water Epping Forest - 10+m +1f Black tailed Skimmers, 3 Brown Hawkers, 1 Emperor (m), 1 Downy Emerald, 50+ Red Eyed, Azure, Blue tailed

  • 26th Jun 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    Wake Pond, Epping - 3 Brown Hawkers, 3 Emperor (incl female ovipositing), 10+ Blactailed Skimmers (m), 3 Downy Emerald, 20+ Four Spot Chasers

  • 25th Jun 2017
    Yorks/Linc's
    SRo

    Crowle & Thorne Moors NNR

    A pretty pleasing visit to the area today,with the following being seen which included 13 species logged and a handfull of first records for the year:

    15 Emerald Damselfly

    21 Azure Damselfly

    7 Blue-tailed Damselfly

    30 Large-red Damselfly

    9 Common-blue Damselfly

    15 Four-spot Chaser

    4 Black-tailed Skimmer

    1 Ruddy Darter

    2 Common Darter

    17 Black Darter

    3 Southern Hawker

    3 Brown Hawker 

    10 Common Hawker

  • 25th Jun 2017
    Cheshire
    D

    Two male Black-tailed Skimmers and a male Ruddy Darter at a pool with no general access, Frodsham Marsh.

  • 21st Jun 2017
    Surrey
    LP

    Thursley Common, 6am. (temperature 17C, increasing rapidly).

    Seen in vegetation: Female Black Darter, male Small Red Damselfly. Common Darter, Azure damselflies, Common Blue dams, Emerald Damselfly, Small red-eyed damselfly, Downy Emerald, Blue tailed damselflies.

  • 21st Jun 2017
    Devon
    RNM

    Two Red-veined Darters ( one a really bright male ) at Middle Soar this morning, over crops but using hedgerow as shelter from easterly breeze force 3. Also two Golden-ringed Dragonflies on site.

  • 21st Jun 2017
    Cambridgeshire
    HJV

    Stunning male Lesser Emperor on West Cambridge Lake (TL424587, newish lake just west of the Sports Centre). Quite mobile and getting hassle from the Emperors. Also Four-spotted Chasers and Black-tailed Skimmers. Common Blues, Azure, Red-eyed and Blue-tailed Damselflies, no Small Red-eyed yet.

  • 21st Jun 2017
    Essex
    NDP

    Both male and female seen around wildlife pond.

  • 21st Jun 2017
    Norfolk
    JM

    Red-veined Darter's showing well on Kelling Water Meadows, North Norfolk. Between 12 and 15 males, mainly flying over the water, several along the usual dirt tracks. One pair in tandem and ovipositing another female seen along the dirt tracks.

    Black-tailed Skimmers and Emperor's also present

  • 21st Jun 2017
    Isle of Wight
    ER

    Southern Hawker at Walter's Copse, Newtown, Isle of Wight this afternoon.

  • 21st Jun 2017
    Somerset
    MAH

    Shapwick NNR highlights Scare Chaser 30+, Brown Hawker 5+ , Red eyed damselfly 100+ and a few Small red eyed damselfly.

  • 20th Jun 2017
    Isle of Wight
    PJH

    A teneral Small Red-eyed Damselfly and an adult male seen at a garden pond at Shalfleet on the Isle of Wight today.https://www.flickr.com/photos/odonatas/35262371592/in/dateposted/

  • 20th Jun 2017
    Lincs
    PL

    I am pleased to report that the colony of Variable Damselfies is still present on the banks of the River Idle near Haxey Grange Fen. Several were seen today in the company of Common Blue, Azure, Large Red and Blue-tailed Damselflies and literally hundreds and hundreds of Banded Demoiselle along with my earliest ever record for Southern Hawker

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