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.
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.
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30th Jun 2018CambridgeshireEmperors, Brown Hawkers and 100's Common Blue Damselflies
30th Jun 2018NorfolkFemale keeled skimmer
Seen at Buxton Heath late afternoon, beautiful long yellow pterostigmas.
29th Jun 2018North Lancs/South CumbriaMyers Allotment Silverdale
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.
29th Jun 2018EssexAeshna affinis, Southern Migrant Hawkers,Canvey, Essex
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.
28th Jun 2018United KingdomNorfolk hawker in Bassett green, Southampton
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]
28th Jun 2018SurreyCamberley and Thursday
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?
28th Jun 2018LondonBlue tailed damselfly by Thames
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.
28th Jun 2018EssexCanvey Way ditch, Essex.
4 adult SMH males on the wing, 2 tenerals also found hiding in bushes. 50+ Ruddy Darters, 100's Scarce Emeralds,
28th Jun 2018SurreyFirst small reds on Esher Common
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.
27th Jun 2018EssexHyde Hall RHS, Essex.
3m + 1f Emperor, 5 Black tailed Skimmers, 25+ Azure, 10+ Blue tailed.
27th Jun 2018StaffordshireLesser Emperor Belvide Reservoir Staffs
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.
27th Jun 2018HampshireWarren Heath
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.
26th Jun 2018HertfordshireDowny Emerald Trucker
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.
26th Jun 2018North Lancs/South CumbriaRiver Winster South Cumbria
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.
26th Jun 2018EssexWake Pond, Epping Forest, Essex.
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
26th Jun 2018EssexConnaught Water, Epping Forest, Essex.
2 Emperor, 1 Brown Hawker, 10+ Black tailed Skimmers, 10+ Ruddy Darters, 10+ Azure, 10+ Blue tailed
26th Jun 2018EssexGoldings Hill Ponds, Epping Forest, Essex.
2 Downy Emerald, 2 Emperor, 4 Black tailed Skimmers, 100's Azure, 25+ blue tailed
25th Jun 2018EssexBeautiful Demoiselle hanging on in Hillhouse Wood, Essex
Today I made my first visit to Hillhouse Wood, West Bergholt, Essex since June 2014. Beautiful Demoiselle was discovered here in 2006, not far from its main Essex site in the Roman River valley. The stream is on the west side of the wood and the habitat is becoming more and more overgrown. I found just one female Beautiful Demoiselle, as well as two male and two female Banded. In 2014 I had also just located a single female, whilst in 2013 I had found two males and one female. I wonder how long the species will manage to survive here.
25th Jun 2018NorfolkNorfolk, Fellbrigg Hall Lake
Three male Norfolk Hawkers watched and photographed today, a lovely surprise to find them here, although I understand its not the first time they have been seen here. First for me though!! Plenty of Emperor activity, found 38 exuvia along the small walled edge to the lake.
25th Jun 2018KentBanded Demoiselle Emergence
I was very fortunate during the week to photograph the whole emergence of a female Banded Demoiselle at night. Photos of this rarely seen event can be viewed on my blog.
25th Jun 2018DevonDartmoor
Catsdor Down Gulley: Scarce Bluetail 5, Large Red Damselfly 200+, Keeled Skimmer 30+, Golden-ringed Dragonfly 4, Broad-bodied Chaser 1
Cadover settling pools: Four-spotted Chaser 15, Bluetail 200+, Azure Damselfly 200+, Keeled Skimmer 10, Beautiful Demoiselle 10
25th Jun 2018EssexIngrebourne valley EWT reserve, Albyns Lake, Essex
4 Emperor (incl 2 females ovipositing), 6 Black tailed Skimmers, 25+ Azure Blue, 10+ Blue tailed
25th Jun 2018Highland (Inverness-shire)Brilliant Emerald
1 male in birch and pine woodland at NH981176
24th Jun 2018GwyneddFirst time I've spotted a southern hawker in our field
I believe I saw and photographed a southern hawker in our field. I think it was a male. We are turning our field into a meadow and it seems to really be improving the wildlife there. We live in Snowdonia and it's usually a bit cold for too many dragonflies - so I was very excited to see this today and to get a few nice pics as well
24th Jun 2018ScotlandBrilliant Emerald Argyll Scotland
Female seen sitting on tree branch. Clear sunny day, mild breeze
24th Jun 2018Essex7 Lestes barbarus found in Essex today.
Today I found 7 Lestes barbarus on Canvey island. 3 females and 4 males. Photos taken.
24th Jun 2018North Lancs/South CumbriaRiver Conder near Lancaster
50+ Banded Demoiselles on the River Conder. Warm sunny day. More on the nearby Lancaster Canal along with Blue Tailed Damselflies and a male Emperor Dragonfly flying over the water and resting occasionally on the reeds.
24th Jun 2018EssexWanstead Park, Essex
My wife and I had an excellent day on Sunday helping out at a Bio-Blitz at Wanstead Park (organised by the local Wren Conservation Group). It was a blistering hot day with dragons and damsels everywhere. I was carrying out pond-dipping at the Perch Pond and, in the afternoon, on the Shoulder of Mutton Pond. Loads of youngsters came along and seemed to enjoy themselves, and the Perch Pond had at least 6 x Emperor (Anax imperator), Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis), loads of Four Spots (Libellula quadrimaculata - at least 20), Black-Tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum), Large Red Damsel (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), clouds of Common Blues (Enallagma cyathigerum), Azures (Coenagrion puella), Blue-Tails (Ischnura elegans) and Red-Eyed Damsels (Erythromma najas). There were smaller numbers at the Shoulder of Mutton but the gravel edges attracted many more Black-Tailed Skimmer including several breeding pairs, and I was delighted to find my first Small Red-Eyed Damsels (E. viridulum) of the year with at least 15 males basking on the floating algae and several tandem pairs. Thanks to my wellies and the shallow water depth I was able to approach them quite closely, and there's no doubt as to identification - the blue along the sides of segments 9 & 10 at the tip of the abdomen was quite distinct. We also had numberous water beetles and bugs (including Water Stick-Insect) and several larvae including Migrant Hawler (Aeshna mixta). Best of all, the parents of one of the children I was supervising found a White-Letter Hairstreak butterfly in the surrounding vegetation - the fist time I've ever seen this species.
24th Jun 2018Ross and CromartyAzure Hawker Dragonfly, Wester Ross. Scotland.
A very hot day in Wester Ross, our search for the Azure hawker dragonfly started off at Benn Eighe, where we managed to glimps a male a few times, and ending our search at the bridge of grudie, where we had some great views of another male Azure hawker and some brief ones of a female.
1 m Azure Hawker, 3 Northern emerald dragonfly, 1 Golden-ringed dragonfly, 9 large red damselfly.
2 Highland Darter, 3 Golden-ringed dragonfly.
m Common Hawker, Golden-ringed dragonfly.
Bridge of Grudie
2 Azure Hawker 1 male and 1 female, 5 Four-spotted Chaser.
23rd Jun 2018CambridgeshireGreat Ouse Backwater downstream from The Rhymers Weir
The Norfolk Hawker was present again from 11:20 this morning - when the sun broke through and it began to warm up - near the bridge over the backwater at TL27307186. Also present were 12 Red-eyed Damselflies, a couple of Common Blues and half a dozen each of Scarce Chasers and Banded Demosielles.
Incidentally this is the same site at which I recorded Lesser Emperor on 2nd July last year!
23rd Jun 2018KentNorfolk Hawkers in east Kent
A quick look at Grove Ferry prior to 9am produced 10 Norfolk Hawker in a brief search. Also 3 Black tailed Skimmer and 1 Emperor Dragonfly.
23rd Jun 2018LincolnshireCrowle Moor NNR
An excellent visit today,in fairly good conditions,saw 14 species being recorded,with 5 first records for the year,the following are species and numbers observed: Azure Damselfly - 55; Large-red Damselfly - 54; Common-blue Damselfly - 9; Blue-tailed Damselfly - 14; Emerald Damselfly - 7; Southern Hawker - 3; Brown Hawker - 1; Common Hawker - 9; Hairy Dragonfly - 2; Ruddy Darter - 5; Black Darter - 2; Common Darter - 1; Black-tailed Skimmer - 10; Four-spotted Chaser - 16
23rd Jun 2018OxfordshireDry Sandford Pit
30 + Southern Damselflies , 10 + Keeled Skimmers and 6 Broad Bodied Chasers made this short visit worth while.
23rd Jun 2018North Lancs/South CumbriaNorth Lancs\South Cumbria
. At least 12 Keeled Skimmers at Birk Bank near Lancaster. Males, females and tenerals Warm sunshine but windy.
23rd Jun 2018Argyll and ButeGolden-ringed dragonfly at Glenbranter
Golden-ringed dragonfly at Glenbranter, Loch Lomond, Scotland
22nd Jun 2018EssexLangdon Hills
Langdon Hilss (EWT Marks Hill & Willow Park): Large red damselfly; Common blue damselfly -Many; Azure damselfly- At least one; Blue tailed damselfly- Several; Emerald damselfly- One, Black tailed skimmer-One; Common darter- Several, all immatures.; Emperor-At least five (three males, two females); Southern hawker- One (female/immature); Four spotted chaser-One; Broad bodied chaser-One; The last two perched within a couple of feet of each other.
22nd Jun 2018EssexCanvey Way ditch
8 Southern Migrant Hawkers (all recently emerged), 1m Broad bodied Chaser, 100+ Ruddy Darters, 1m Emperor, 50+ Scarce Emeralds, 25+ Blue tailed
22nd Jun 2018MonmouthshireCalopteryx virgo in urban garden
A male Caloptery virgo flitted into my garden in Newport Gwent today, we are quite an urban area and I can't imagine where it had come from or where the nearest suitable habitat might be. They are unmistakable so i cant imagine it would be anything else.
22nd Jun 2018CambridgeshireGreat Ouse Backwater downstream from The Rhymers Weir
A male Norfolk Hawker was watched patrolling a short stretch of the backwater north-west of the bridge at TL27307186 for over an hour. Also seen from the bridge were a Brown Hawker, Scarce Chasers, Red-eyed Damselflies, 20+ Common Blue Damselflies and Banded Demoiselles. Needless to say, I was concentrating on the Norfolk Hawker so didn't really get an accurate count of the other species!
22nd Jun 2018BuckinghamshireSouthern Emerald Damselflies
56 Southern Emerald Damseflies in scrub near a small pond that dried up last year. The site is 1km east of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire.
22nd Jun 2018DevonCordulegaster boltonii f Golden-Ringed Dragonfly
Cordulegaster boltonii f Golden-Ringed Dragonfly in a gorse bush on Dartmoor beside the B3357 close to the Cherrybrook bridge.
Picture via my initials link.
22nd Jun 2018East SussexWhite-legged Damselfly in Sussex
I visited Piltdown Pond in East Sussex on Friday afternoon. This is a decent-sized pond in the Low Weald with some good patches of floating vegetation. In a couple of hours I recorded eight species including my target species, the White-legged Damselfly. One of the two 'Featherlegs ' I saw was caught in a stray strand of spider silk, which I picked off with no harm done. I had a nice view as it perched on my finger.
Species and numbers seen were as follows: Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) 2; White-legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes) 2; Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) 2; Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) 29; Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) 5; Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) 120; Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas) 5; Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) 12.
22nd Jun 2018DevonKeeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens. Mating.
Several mating pairs along a roadside ditch/stream adjacent to Challacombe farm, East Dartmoor.
pic link via my initials.
21st Jun 2018North Yorkshire20 June 2018
Two or three Keeled Skimmers seen at Fen Bog, North Yorkshire in very breezy conditions.
21st Jun 2018EssexSouth Hanningfield reservoir EWT
4 Black tailed Skimmers, 20+ Ruddy Darters, 10+ Common Blue, 6 Azure, 4 Blue tailed, 3 Emerald
21st Jun 2018EssexCanvey Way ditch
25+ Scarce Emerald, 50+ Ruddy Darters, too windy for SMH's although they have been reported here already
21st Jun 2018HampshireLatchmore Brook , New Forest
Going upstream from Ogdens Farm there were 50 + Beautiful Demoiselles 50 + Azure Damselflies , 30 + Blue tailed Damselflies , 30 + Large Red Damselflies plus 2 Golden Ringed Dragonflies , 2 Broad Bodied Chaser and 4 Keeled Skimmers.
21st Jun 2018KentNorfolk Hawkers in east Kent
Having visited Grove Ferry a few weeks earlier and collected a few Norfolk Hawker exuviae, I was somewhat shocked to find some fresh ones during the week and a few nymphs under the surface. I returned during the evening till midnight and managed to photograph a female Norfolk Hawker emerging (photos on my blog). 3 .ore female Norfolk Hawker were also seen emerging.
20th Jun 2018EssexBenfleet Downs,Essex
3 Male Emperor, 4 Male Black tailed Skimmers, 50+ Ruddy Darters, 50+ Azure, 10+ Blue tailed, 10+ Red Eyed
20th Jun 2018BerkshireWhite-legged Damselfly Berkshire
Visited Butter Bottom Ponds, Crowthorne, Berkshire, where Broadmoor Staff Angling Club is based, with DM. Conditions were overcast with occasional brief sunny intervals, far from ideal. After an interval of six years since visiting this permit-only site, the mission was to check that White-legged Damselfly (WLD) were still present. Searching the edges we found 12 emergent or teneral specimens, including one emergent with its exuvia. Eight mature adult WLD were also recorded. Other species seen were Red-eyed, Common Blue, Large Red Damselfly, 2 x Emperor Dragonfly and 3 x Downy Emerald, including an ovipositing female.