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.

  • 20th Jun 2017
    Wiltshire [VC7]
    TM

    Tony Martin, a friend who is a birder/photographer, emailed me a photo of what he thought was either a Common or Ruddy Darter today. It is in fact a mature male Red-veined Darter. This was at Coate Water Country Park on the edge of Swindon and constitutes the first record of this species for the park and also the first record for North Wilts [VC7] for many years! A record shot he took is on the Wilts Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/441544116004916/?multi_permalinks=832009... He will be going back tomorrow to see if it's still there and obtain better images.

  • 20th Jun 2017
    Dorset
    OJF

    A few hours in scorching heat at Longham Lakes produced at least 2 Lesser Emperors frequenting the SE corner of the North Lake, along with 2 male Red-veined Darters patrolling low over the water about 20m further west along the 'causeway'. Black-tailed Skimmers were seen here in good numbers, & a single Scarce Chaser was the only other highlight.

  • 20th Jun 2017
    Surrey
    NA

    Chobham Common, Surrey. Golden-ringed Dragonfly, 3 male, 2 female Keeled Skimmer, 4 m Broad-bodied Chaser, 8 Emperor, , 10+ Four-spotted Chaser, 100+ Azure Damselfly, 12 Large Red Damselfly 

  • 20th Jun 2017
    North Lancs/South Cumbria
    SJB

    While sitting in the shade beneath a tree on this very hot day beside the River Winster near Low Low Wood (Yes there are two Lows!) watched Beautiful Demoiselles flying over the water and resting on waterside plants.  Males, females and tenerals.  Lots of Red Admiral butterflies around too.  

  • 20th Jun 2017
    Somerset
    MAH

    Dunkery Beacon One Golden ringed dragonfly and at least 2 Common Hawkers seen on moorland

  • 20th Jun 2017
    Worcs
    MTA

    Making a welcome return after two years, 5 Red-veined Darters at Pirton Pool, Worcs today. Mostly seen from the south end.

  • 19th Jun 2017
    Norfolk
    PWS

    At least 3 male Red-veined Darters at Taverham Storm Pond (52.669502, 1.187305), north-west of Norwich this morning. Also Emperor (8+), Black-tailed Skimmer (many), Four-spotted Chaser, Red-eyed Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, and Banded Demoiselle.

  • 19th Jun 2017
    Devon
    SDW

    Fantastic couple of hours at Lower Bruckland Ponds this afternoon. The highlight being a male Lesser Emperor over the top pond at 3pm - the third I've found here over the years. It was soon chased away to the next pond down by a patrolling Emperor, but no doubt some further searching will relocate it (I had to leave soon after).

    Also 5+ Small Red-eyed Damselflies (my first of the year), 9 Scarce Chaser (7 lone males plus an ovipositing pair), 5 Four-spotted Chaser, 20+ Black-tailed Skinner, 1 Broad-bodied Chaser, 3 Banded Demoiselle and 2 Beautiful Demoiselle.

  • 19th Jun 2017
    Essex
    AWS

    Marsh farm cp south woodham ferrers

    In the borrowdykes

    A very restless male lesser emperor giving good close views. Also 31 blacktailed skimmer plus a pair, 10 emperors including two females ovipositing, 3 newly emerged common darter.

    One smallish male emperor made the mistake of going into reed margin where it was ambushed and taken by a reed warbler

    A very hot day

  • 19th Jun 2017
    South Yorkshire
    DJW

    Potteric Carr, Doncaster

    Male Lesser Emperor and Red-veined Darter on Willow Pool. Other species 10Emperor 2Hairy Hawker 1BBChaser 35Four-sp. Chaser 8Black-tailed Skimmer 1Common Darter 8Banded Demoiselle 4Large Red Dam plus lots Common Blue, Azure & Bl-t Dams

  • 19th Jun 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    West Canvey Marshes, RSPB reserve. 2 Black tailed Skimmers, 1 Emperor (m), 30+ Ruddy Darters, 10+ Scarce Emerald (at third viewing point), 10+ Blue tailed

  • 19th Jun 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    Benfleet Downs - Emperor 2m +1f ovipositing, 2f Broad bodied Chasers, 100+ Blue tailed, 3 (Scarce?)Emerald

  • 19th Jun 2017
    Dorset
    MGN

    At RSPB Arne, heathland pond, 2 emperor male; 1 female ovipositing; 2 keeled skimmers; small red damsels in wheel, one unlucky male azure? damsel with last 4 segments of a female stuck to genitalia.

  • 18th Jun 2017
    Cambridgeshire
    HC

    Brown Hawkers (5 seen) on the wing, mature and hunting, at Woodwalton Fen for the BDS walk. Total 11 species, with masses of Azure, and fair numbers of Large Red, Variable, Red-eyed and Blue-tailed Damselflies & Banded Demoiselle. Also plenty of Four-spotted and Scarce Chasers, Emperor and teneral Common Darter. Plenty of beetles too!

  • 18th Jun 2017
    Norfolk
    KT

    Very hot day today at Strumpshaw Fen. In which i saw Many Four Spotted Chasers and Norfolk Hawkers plus 1x Hairy Dragonfly and Scarce Chaser many Common Blue Damselfys  3x Banded Demoiselle 1x Emerald and Blue Tail Damselflys

  • 18th Jun 2017
    Cambridgeshire
    SFL

    RSPB Fen Drayton - clear skies, 29 degrees C, mid morning. 3 Brown Hawkers. This is approximately 2 weeks earlier than previous first sightings I have for this site. 1000's Common Blue Damselflies, 1 Azure Damselfly, 8 Hairy Dragonfly, 20+ Red-eyed Damselfly, 7 Black tailed Skimmer, 1 Scarce Chaser.

     

  • 18th Jun 2017
    Kent
    MGB

    Visited westbere lakes, Kent on Sunday 18th June. In lovely warm weather and bright sunshine we watched up to 20 scarce chasers and at least 12 Norfolk hawkers patrolling the ditches to the north of the river. Smaller numbers of blue-tailed damsel, common blue and azure. Also Banded Demoiselle on the river stour. 

  • 18th Jun 2017
    Suffolk
    DFW

    I returned to 'The Sink' at Redgrave and Lopham Fen NNR today. The pool in the centre of the area is now completely dry.  I searched the area for well over an hour before finding my first Lestes, a female Common Emerald Damselfly.  A little later I found a female Scarce Emerald Damselfly.  Given that the latter species has been on the wing for a while at some of the Norfolk sites, I wonder if 2017 will be a poor year for this species at Redgrave (in contrast to 2015 and 2016)?

    I then travelled to Market Weston Fen and was very pleased to find single male and female Scarce Emerald Damselflies by the main pond (the one with the information board).  These were my first sightings at Market Weston since 2010.

    Looking at 'Suffolk Dragonflies' (Mason and Parr) I believe that these records represent the earliest ever sightings of Scarce Emerald Damselfly in Suffolk.

     

  • 18th Jun 2017
    Lincolnshire
    PJR

    A visit to Alkborough Flats nature reserve produced 2 Emperor Dragonflies, 25+ Ruddy Darter, 2 Hairy Hawkers and 20+ Four-spotted Chasers. We spoke to a Person on the reserve who had seen a Lesser Emperor and had it confirmed by another person ( wish I had seen that!). The weather was hot with a little breeze, temp 29/30c.

  • 18th Jun 2017
    Somerset
    MAH

    At least 15 Scarce Chaser present.

  • 17th Jun 2017
    Norfolk
    JM

    Scarce Emerald's are scarce on Hempton Common at the moment, managed to find the first mature male Lestes dryas today, previous visits produced two female Lestes dryas and two immature males, the first Ruddy Darter taking its maiden flight noted today.

  • 17th Jun 2017
    Essex
    KT

    Hockley Woods: Very hot day today and saw 1 Broad Bodied Chaser

  • 17th Jun 2017
    North Lancs/South Cumbria
    SJB

     In hot sunshine while walking a stretch of the River Conder, Conder Green near Lancaster 30+ Banded Demoiselles.  Males, ovipositing females and tenerals. Also along the nearby Lancaster Canal at least 6 others flying over the water. Also Common Blues and Blue tailed damselflies.

  • 17th Jun 2017
    Lincolnshire

    Norfolk Hawker seen (& photographed) at Deeping Lakes Nature Reserve, (Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust Reserve) South Lincolnshire.

  • 17th Jun 2017
    Dorset
    MGN

    On path to NT hide 2 Beautiful Demoiselles and a Downy Emerald.

  • 16th Jun 2017
    Hampshire
    NM

    Sighting at Bartley Wood Hook 16 Jun 17  2x Teneral Common Darter, 10+ Broad bodied Chaser 6+ Four Spotted Chaser 2 Southern Hawker numerous Common Blue Damsels 2 Large Red Damsels in Tanden  15 Jun 17 spotted  Female Emperor ovipositing

  • 16th Jun 2017
    Essex
    AC

    Langdon Hills: EWT Marks Hill & Willow Park: Emperor: At least two males.; Common darter: one, immature.; Broad bodied chaser: One female, egg laying.

  • 16th Jun 2017
    Nottinghamshire
    PJR

    A visit to Lound nature reserve (part of the Idle Valley nature reserve) produced 3 Common Darters, 4 Brown Hawkers, 2 Southern Hawkers, 25+ Four-spotted Chasers, 30+ Banded Demoiselles males and females and many Blue Damseflies

  • 16th Jun 2017
    Shropshire
    RD

    Several teneral Black Darters seen at Fenn's and Whixall Moss, Shropshire.

  • 15th Jun 2017
    Essex
    SRJ

    Belfairs Nature Reserve, Essex - 2m +1f Emperor, 2m Black tailed Skimmers, 2 Ruddy Darters

  • 15th Jun 2017
    Kent
    MH

    A visit to a private wood in West Kent near Tonbridge produced 1 Golden ringed Dragonfly, 4 Broad bodied Chaser, 1 Four spotted Chaser, 2 Banded Demoiselle, 1 Emperor Dragonfly, 2 Brown Hawker and good numbers of Azure and Large Red Damselfly. A few White legged Damselfly were noted as were c15 Southern Hawker exuviae.

  • 15th Jun 2017
    SURREY

    Thursley Surrey: Highlights of our short visit were :- Moat Pond = 2 Teneral Keeled Skimmers, 3 Brown Hawker Exuvia ( 2 Pristine and 1 older ), Brilliant Emerald exuvia, teneral Common Darter and 1 exuvia. Central Boardwalk = Several Small Red Damselflies, many 4-Spotted Chasers and Keeled Skimmers and a female Broad-bodied Chaser giving good photo opportunities of it ovipositing close to the boardwalk.

  • 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.

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