Hairy dragonfly-1 basking
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.
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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.
20th May 2018EssexWat Tyler
20th May 2018EssexLangdon Hills
Langdon Hills: EWT Dunton Plotlands: Emperor- 1 male, hunting over meadow.
20th May 2018CaerphillyFlatwoods meadows - Broad-bodied chaser and large red
2 males and a female broadbodied chaser and several large red damsels, some in tandem. Also saw some large dragonfly nymphs - possibly emperor
20th May 2018CambridgeshireRSPB Fen Drayton - 100s Red-eyed damselfies, Many Hairy Dragonflies
Warm and sunny. 100s of Red-eyed damselfly, 400+ Common Blue damselfly, 300+ Blue-tailed damselfly, low numbers of Variable and Azure damselfly. 15+ Hairy dragonfly, 5 Four-spotted Chasers, 70+ Banded Demoiselles, 1 Broad bodied Chaser
20th May 2018WarwickshireKnowle locks
One Large Red Damselfly (male), 6 Azure Damselfly (males) and 1 Blue-tailed Damselfly (male)
19th May 2018OxfordshireClubtail Exuviae at Goring
One Clubtail exuvia near to the village and one on the river wall under the railway bridge
19th May 2018Cornwallnewly emerged broad bodied chaser
I'd seen a couple of empty BBC nymph cases on my garden pond plants, but today I spotted a newly emerged broad bodied chaser at the edge of the pond, warming up in the sunshine
19th May 2018Cornwallsmall red damselfly
visited my garden pond today - also saw one 2 last weekend
19th May 2018CheshireFemale Hairy Dragonfly
Seen at Neumann's Flash nr Marston,photos taken if needed
19th May 2018BedfordshireRiver Ouse, Roxton
Large numbers (130 counted) of Banded demoiselle mostly catching and eating prey including even larger numbers of mayfly on the riverside walk. Eight other species - Hairy dragonfly, Four-spotted chaser, Scarce chaser (teneral orange male but with no dark marks at tip of wings), Azure damselfly, Large red damselfly, Common blue damselfly, Red-eyed damselfly, Blue-tailed damselfly. One hairy dragonfly exuvia identified.
19th May 2018SuffolkSightings North Suffolk
First Scarce Chaser L. fulva today at North Cove reserve N. Suffolk. Plus one female B. pratense with a missing hind wing but still able to fly. Plenty more Hairy Dragonflies, Large Red and Azure damsels, Four Spot Chasers, and a few Broad-bodied Chasers.
19th May 2018Southwarkbroad-bodied chaser central London
Redcross Way garden near Borough High Street, a very small pond: 4 common blue damselflies and 2 male broad-bodied chasers.
19th May 2018South Wales, Llandeilo.wales
One immature Beautiful Demoiselle close to the River Towy, Llandeilo, South Wales.
19th May 2018BedsPaxton Pits
Scarce chaser emerging along river also another year with very good numbers of Banded.
Emperor exuvia 1, Many Hairy Dragonfires, 4 spots around dragons pond TL 1984763024
Also LR, Az, CB, Redeye, all cop and ovp
Well worth a visit especially the river walk
19th May 2018WiltshireLower Moor Farm (Cotswold Water Park, Wiltshire)
2 egg-laying hairy dragonflies plus 1 male. Also a 4-spotted chaser and small numbers of common blue, red-eyed and blue-tailed damselflies, at 5.30 on a warm, sunny day.
19th May 2018WiltshireRavensroost Meadow, Wiltshire
At least 5 four-spotted chasers. Two broad-bodied chasers which had several dogfights. Good numbers of large red damsels, individuals of common blue, azure and blue-tailed.
18th May 2018NorfolkNorwich garden pond
For the first time this year, counting exuviae almost daily over the last two weeks in my tiny (less than 1 square metre) garden pond has revealed a surprising 250 Large Red Damselflies now emerged, mainly from a floating mat of lesser spearwort, and still counting.
18th May 2018NorfolkKeeled Skimmer
First Keeled Skimmer of the year at Roydon Common
18th May 2018CornwallWindmill Farm, Lizard, Cornwall
Good sunshine this afternoon after a sharp cool breeze and dull morning. Emperor: 1 m briefly at water, Black-tailed Skimmer: 1 m. teneral, Broad-bodied Chaser: 15+ m. & f. pairs and ovi, 4-Spot Chaser: 25+ pairs and ovi.,Beautiful Demoiselle: 28+ m. & f., Damsels:- Large-red: 30+ m.& f.,Common Blue: 5, Azure: 40+, Blue-tailed: 5.
18th May 2018Co DurhamBroad bodied chaser female, low Barns nature reserve, Co Durham
1 female flying around vegetation not far from a pond. Lots of damsels around, small red and azure mostly but this is the first dragonfly I’ve spotted this year.
18th May 2018NorfolkNorfolk Hawker
Quite a surprise to find my first Norfolk Hawker this year flying along a path at Silfield nature reserve Wymondham - an isolated site which is some distance from The Broads and the main rivers. Also several Four-spotted, 2 Broad-bodied Chasers around one of the ponds and 2 Emperor exuviae found.
18th May 2018ShropshireWhixall Moss
White Faced Darters were emerging all morning at the small pond at ( SJ 494 362 ). Mostly males holding territory around the edges with only 1 female seen ovipositing.
18th May 2018EssexSth Hanningfield Reservoir EWT
1m + 1f Broad bodied Chaser, 4 Four spotted Chasers, 1m Hairy, 2 Blue tailed, 6 Azure,
16th May 2018SurreyGarden pond - Cranleigh, Surrey
6 broad-bodied chasers (2 female and 4 male). The first time more than two have been seen at the pond. 2 large red damselflies.
16th May 2018NorfolkFilby Dragons
On an overcast and rather chilly day, finding insects was to prove difficult. However, a search in the undergrowth around the car park and path to Ormesby Little Broad at Filby found the following: 1 Four-spotted Chaser, 15+ Variable, 20+ Blue-tailed, 1 Large Red and 4 Red-eyed Damselflies.
15th May 2018SurreyFour-spotted and broad-bodied chasers seen on Esher Common
10+ four-spotted chasers (libellula quadrimaculata) and similar numbers of broad-bodied chasers (libellula depressa) seen across Esher Common around Black Pond. Also a single hairy dragonfly (brachytron pratense) was disturbed twice on the heather before disappearing over the trees. Only large red damselfly (pyrrhosoma nymphula) seen in small numbers
15th May 2018GloucestershireCommon Clubtail at Apperley near Tewkesbury
A quick morning visit to Apperley on a sunny morning, yielded a newly-emerged male Common Clubtail, still with its wings closed. The only other species present were our first sighting of the year of an immature male Banded Demoiselle, and an immature male Blue-tailed Damselfly. But it was great to hear two Cuckoos calling - one echoing the other's call! and with a curlew also calling - a species under threat and being monitored this year.
(Our sighting of Beautiful Demoiselle at The Mythe on 14th May was also our first sighting of the year).
15th May 2018EssexBenfleet Downs, Essex.
3m + 2f Broad bodied Chasers, 2m Hairy, 50+ Azure (many in tandem or ovipositing), 25+ Large Red (many in tandem or ovipositing), 10+ Blue tailed
15th May 2018SomersetHam Wall
Good numbers gathering to roost along edge of reedbed 50+Hairy Dragonfly and hundreds of Four spotted Chasers, Blue tailed damselfly and Variable damselfly and a few Red eyed damselfly
15th May 2018BedfordshireFirst Beds White-legged Damselfly
Amongst Downy Emeralds, Four-spotted Chasers Hairy Hawkers, Azure Damselflies and Large Red Damselflies at Sandhouse Lane NR, I spotted a single, somewhat early (for Bedfordshire) White-legged Damselfly (Platycnemis pennipes). I have added it to iRecord for the survey.
14th May 2018West SussexWest Sussex
It seems that the emergence of Common Clubtails is starting, in Sussex at least. I saw 2 tenerals on the River Arun near Amberley today. Generally low numbers of other species in the cool northerly breeze although Hairy Hawkers were evident including a mating pair and an ovipositing female. Other species present were Banded Demoiselles and Large Red Damselflies. Nearby at Burton Pond, in warmer, more sheltered conditions were both Demoiselles, Blue-tailed, Variable, Red-eyed and Large Red Damselflies (strangely, no Azure Damselflies spotted), Hairy Hawkers, Downy Emeralds and all 3 Chaser species.
14th May 2018GloucestershireCommon Clubtail, Scarce Chaser, White-legged Damselfly and Red-eyed Damselfly at The Mythe, Tewkesbury
A visit, on a warm sunny morning to The Mythe fishing lake site near Tewkesbury yielded a total of 8 species; the highlights being a newly-emerged male Common Clubtail, an immature male White-legged Damselfly, 6 newly-emerged Scarce Chasers - 4 male, 1 female plus 1 unknown sex - with 3 three exuviae collected from the edge of the fishing lake, and 6 Red-eyed Damselflies. These were all our first sightings for the year. Also present were 4 Beautiful Demoiselle, 4 Large Red, 4 Blue-tailed and 16 Azure Damselflies as well as tenerals not identified flying off into the vegetation.
14th May 2018SurreyIn my garden today, Large Red Damsell
This has occured frequently at this time over the last few years. Two Large Red Damselfly fighting for space over the pond.
14th May 2018EssexBenfleet Downs, Essex.
2m Hairy, 2m+1f Broad bodied Chasers, 25+ Azure (many in tandem), 25+ Large Red (many in tandem), 4 Blue tailed
14th May 2018EssexGarden - Hullbridge, Essex
1m Hairy - Brief flutter across garden and even briefer landing by pond before flying off. First ever sighting in garden.
14th May 2018Warwickshire / LapworthBlue-tailed Damselfly
6 males in Lapworth locks (lock 10).
13th May 2018LondonBanded Demoiselle
2 male Banded Demoiselle at Walthamstow Marshes.
13th May 2018DerbyshireLarge Red Damselfly Cupola Pond, Belland Lane Stonedge Derbyshire
1 male resting on brambles at about 12.45 p.m. on Sunday 13 May 2018 Cupola Pond, Belland Lane Stonedge Derbyshire
13th May 2018KentWestbere Lakes
A visit late afternoon to Westbere Lakes between 4 - 6 pm produced 10 Hairy Dragonfly, 7 freshly emerged Scarce Chaser, 3 Banded Demoiselle, good numbers now of Azure, Variable, Blue tailed Damselfly along with a few Common Blue Damselfly. Photos on blog as usual.
12th May 2018SurreyDowny Emerald at Thursley Common
I made the 90 minute trip to Thursley Common this morning where arriving at 6am, there was some nice early sunshine. I managed to see 5 teneral Downy Emerald, 5 emerging and noted at least 60 exuviae, probably quite a few more. Some fantastic photo opportunities which will appear on my blog in the next few days. Quite a few Large Red Damselfly also noted.
12th May 2018NorfolkNow we have Broad-Bodied Chasers and Black-tailed Skimmers at Sutton Fen
I can't make head or tail of this year's sightings. Today at Sutton Fen I had freshly emerged male Broad-Bodied Chaser and male Black-tailed Skimmer. Other sightings in the glorious sunshine were masses of Four-Spotted Chasers and Hairy Dragonflies plus Large Red, Azure and Variable Damselflies although at present the Variables considerably outnumber the Azures.
12th May 2018NorthamptonshireVariable Damselflies
Four Variable Damselflies (photographed and published on the Northants Dragonflies facebook Group) reported at a new site near Corby. I searched today but didn't see any more - weather wasn't great - but this is a very promising finding.
12th May 2018HighlandLarge Red Damselfly & Four-spotted Chaser
Saw my first Large Red Damselfly and Four-spotted Chaser of the year at the RSPB Insh Marshes Reserve.
11th May 2018EssexCornmill Meadows, Waltham Abbey, Essex.
2 Hairy, 2 Broad Bodied Chasers (1m+1f), 25+ Blue tailed, 6 Large Red, 10+ Banded Demoiselle (incl 1f).
11th May 2018KentHairy Dragonfly and Azure damselfly, Preston, Kent.
A male Hairy dragonfly and a male Azure damselfly, at Preston garden centre today.
10th May 2018SomersetScarce Chasers out at Shapwick
Besides the hundreds of Hairy on the wing today etc there were three fresh Scarce Chasers at Shapwick Heath, Somerset Photos as usual will appear on the blog presently
10th May 2018Wiltshire [VC7]Downy Emerald 'swarm' at Sandpool, Cotswold Water Park
Now I'm working in the Cotswold Water Park, I took advantage of the fine late afternoon weather and instead of heading home after work decided to visit the area at Sandpool dubbed 'dragonfly alley'. This ride between Birch saplings and a wet meadow dotted with birches has proved to be popular with odonata recently emerged and maturing. I was amazed to see between 20 -30 Downy Emeralds either swarming around the canopy feeding on clouds of midges/gnats or vying for choice sunlit positions on sprays of leaves or trunks! Groups of 4 or 5 together on the same group of leaves was common! I've seen groups of 7 to 10 together before but not this many. A bumper year I think. Mixed in with the Downys were a few Hairy Hawkers, 4-spot and my first Broad-bodied Chaser of the year. Well worth getting home late for dinner! ;o)
10th May 2018EssexBlue House Farm, EWT reserve, Nth Fambridge, Essex
1 Hairy, 4 Four spotted Chasers, 12 Blue tailed
9th May 2018KentLarge red damsels in Kent
10+ Large Red Damselflies in the gardens of Eastgate House, Rochester.
9th May 2018LincolnshireMessingham Sand Quarries Visit.
An all-day visit to this superb site today, saw the following being recorded:
18 Hairy Dragonfly
23 Four-spot Chaser
683 Azure Damselfly
143 Blue-tailed Damselfly
6 Red-eyed Damselfly
11 Large-red Damselfly
29 Common-blue Damselfly