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.
RSPB Fen Drayton - 17 degrees C and windy. Hairy Dragonfly x6, Variable a Damselfly x 10, Azure x3, Common Blue Damselfly 40+, Blue tailed Damselfly x7, Banded Demoiselle x 3
Among the expected today at Bramshill (records entered) was a newly emerged female teneral Black-tailed Skimmer. Photo will appear on blog and the usual outlets presently
Scarce Chasers at Woodwalton Fen. Lunchtime saw sunshine and emerging Scarce Chasers, along with teneral Four-Spotted Chaser, many Azure & Large Red Damselflies along with fresh Red-eyed Damselflies. Also exuvia of Hairy Dragonfly but no adult flying.
Cors Erddreiniog, Anglesey, 14th May 2017- 15 degrees, but very windy. Hairy Dragonfly x 8, Broad-bodied Chaser x4, Four-spotted Chaser x2, Variable Damselfly x3, Azure Damselfly x2, Large Red Damselfly x 60+
River Dee, Aldford, Cheshire. May 13th. Two Common Clubtails (one male, other probably male) seen upstream of Ironbridge. Also one male Red-eyed Damselfly on lilypads.
A teneral male Red-eyed Damselfly seen at Stag Lane Pond, Newport along with an estimated 35 each of Azure and Blue-tailed Damselfly. This equals the earliest record for Red-eyed Damselfly on the Island after 35 were recorded at Newchurch in 2011.
For photos and other sightings on the Island, please see our Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/groups/129267027262600/
A passing visit to Goring failed to turn up any common clubtails, although at least 6 exuvia were seen on on the footings of the railway bridge.In the nearby nature reserve banded demoiselles were seen in the nettles with a single red-eyed damselfly rising into a nearby tree.
Broad-bodied Chaser newly emerged on my garden pond in Romford today; a first for this pond.
Hairy and Four-Spotted Chaser Dragonflies plus Azure, Blue-tailed, Large Red and Variable Damselflies at Drake's Fen today.
Male and female Banded Demoiselle at the River Alt in Formby, Lancashire this afternoon. Two weeks earlier than usual date for this site.
Beeleigh Falls, Maldon, Essex. 3 female 2 male Banded Demoiselles, 2 Blue tailed, 3 Large Red, 1f and 1m Hairy Dragonfly hawking over large nettle patch
A good population of Scarce Chaser (Libelulla fulva) has been present on the River Bristol Avon in Wiltshire for many years and it is obvious they are breeding. However, no final proof of breeding ie. exuviae, has been obtained before. In recent years there has been a sporadic presence on the turning ponds of the Caen Hill flight of locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal at Devizes. It was thought they were coming up from the river, which is only a couple of miles away, to mature at the canal before heading back to the river to breed. However, on Thursday, one of my local recorders, Phil Smith, found an exuvia of this species on the bank of one of the ponds so proving they are in fact breeding there and not just using it as a maturation area! It's a little ironic that proof of breeding has been obtained at the most recent location for the species first. Now the challenge will be to find some on the river itself! Image of the distinctive exuvia[by Phil] is on our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/441544116004916/
Four-Spotted Chasers and Hairy Dragonflies plus Large Red, Variable and Azure Damselflies enjoying the sun today at Sutton Fen.
A visit to Chainbridge Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire revealed 7 Hairy Hawkers and 5 Banded Demoiselle, (2 female and 3 male).https://www.flickr.com/photos/92040806@N06/34414298432/in/photostream/
Walked the Oxfordshire bank of the Thames at Shiplake this morning for the Common Clubtail count. Found a single exuvia plus about 20 Banded Demoiselles.
A walk round Thames Valley Park this afternoon produced Azure, Common Blue, Blue-tailed, Red-eyed and Large Red Damselflies, Banded Demoiselles and a couple of Hairy Dragonflies. Best afternoon of the season so far. We could do with some rain - several of the smaller ponds in our area have dried up completely.
Lady Corner Pool in Park Hall Country Park, Stoke-on-Trent today. Bright sunshine but still fairly cool. Small numbers of Blue-tailed, Azure and Large Red Damselflies. Mostly teneral with the exception of some male Large Reds.
Benfleet Downs today I had 1 Broad-bodied fem, 1 Male Hairy and Common blue,Blue-tailed, Azure and Large red Damselflies. 1600-1800hrs.
Whet Mead EWT reserve Witham Essex. 20+ male and 4 female Banded Demoiselles, 4 Large Red, 1 Blue tailed.
1 x female Banded Demoiselle, 1 x male Blue-tailed, over half-a-dozen Azure and 4 x Large Reds @ RSPB Rye Meads.
On 9 May the only odonata found at Milkhall Pond, Howgate, Midlothian, VC83, was one pre-flight teneral male Large Red Damselfly.
An uncommon occurance this early in May for Wiltshire; 9 species in one location! I visited the Lower Moor reserve complex at the Cotswold Water Park this afternoon and recorded: 3 male and 2 female Hairy Dragonflies, 10+ Downy Emeralds, at least 6 4-spotted Chasers [freshly emerged], 2 female Broad-bodied Chasers, thousands of Common Blue Damselflies, dozens of Azure Blues, a single male Large Red, a handful of Red-eyed and 4 Blue-tailed Damsels. Not a bad tally for a 3.5 hour stroll! Images on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/441544116004916/
A Male Vagrant Emperor, Studland Bay, Dorset on the 7th May. Pushed up from the long grass by my daughters dog... it flew round the Heath a couple of times (where I managed a record shot) bafore disappearing as the Sun went in. I later managed to disturb either the same individual or another Male from a spot nearby (again in the long grass), but this time it just flew off.
Record shot on Flickr:
A female Hairy Dragonfly was watched at the Alaw Estuary, Anglesey this morning.
Fen Drayton Lakes RSPB: 10 Hairy Dragonflies, 100+ Common Blue, 25 Variable, Red-eyed, Azure, Blue-tailed Damselfly and 10 Banded Demoiselle. Variables were along the central ditch and north of Ferry Pond. Common Blues out earlier than normal.
A fishing lake in Chelmsford, Essex yielded 5 species of Damselfly today including Large red, Blue-tailed, Azure, Common blue and Red-eyed.
Benfleet Downs, Essex. Sunny intervals but continual breeze. 4 Large Red, 6 Blue tailed, 20+ Azure,
Several Large Red Damselflies and a couple of Variable Damselflies were enjoying the sun at Sutton Fen today.
A teneral emerged from Priory Meadow - confirmation of id from Steve Cham.
Surprised to find a broad-bodied chaser sitting on bluebells in the Woodland Gardens of Bushy Park. Large red damselflies were also seen around the gardens.
North-east Yorkshire (VC62): I saw four Four-spotted Chasers fly away from two adjacent ponds on Strensall Common near York at lunchtime today and found two Azure Damselflies sheltering nearby in long grass. Elsewhere on the Common, well away from any ponds, I stumbled on a sunny sheltered spot where about 50 Large Red Damselflies were maturing nicely.
Exminster Marshes afternoon turned up approx half dozen each of Azure and Large Red damselflies, with a possible female Variable damselfly. Intermittent sun and cool NE'erly, so most damsels were low down sheltering.
Late afternoon around the southern end of John Merrick's Lake, Watermead Country Park, Leics. Many teneral Azure damsels, plus a couple of teneral Blue-tailed and a single teneral Common Blue. Also one near-mature Blue-tailed (violacea).
A total of four Four-spotted Chasers taking their maiden flights at Town Common this afternoon. Photos as always on the blog presently
Sculthorpe Common near Fakenham, after five visits/days of searching, 90+ Large-red Damselflies decided today was the day to emerge all along the winding ditch. Most still with thier exuvia.
3 immature male Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo at Shalfleet Stream and a Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa at Laundry Lane, Brading Marsh RSPB Reserve. Jim Baldwin
I visited Sandpool this afternoon, part of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trusts Lower Moor reserve complex. I was delighted to see and photograph my first ever Wilts female Hairy Hawker! Also seen were 3 male and 1 female Downy Emeralds. Also a mass emergence of Common Blue Damselflies was taking place, with clouds being disturbed with every footstep. Thousands if not tens of thousands must have been involved. Also a few Large Reds and a single teneral male Azure Damselfly were seen. Images on our Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/441544116004916/
A walk around Crowle Moor Nature Reserve, Lincolnshire, turned up 25+ Four-spotted Chaser...Libellula quadrimaculata, my first Dragonfly sightings of the year! Also, 100's of Large Red Damselflies. The weather was very breezy at times with sunny periods and temps of around 14c.
A first for me this year, a female Hairy Dragonfly at Norfolk's Strumpshaw Fen. With clound and a cool wind today dividends paid off by searching the brambles in a sheltered area beside the ditch along the woodland trail.
20+ Large red and 1 Azure Damselfly on Benfleet Downs today.
Variable Damselfly recorded Sunday 30th April by Martin Green at private site (part isolated backwater off Thames, fed by groundwater) just SE of Barton Fields nature reserve in Abingdon, Oxon. Vice County 22 Berkshire.
Common Blue Damselfly seen during the first visit of the year to Southford, Whitwell, Isle of Wight, also one Large Red Damselfly present. This equals the earliest reported sighting of Enallagma cyathigerum for the Isle of Wight. The previous record was of two teneral at Haseley Manor in 2007.
A visit in sub-optimal conditions to the Cotswold Water Park today turned up one odonate only - but it was a new one for the year. A very teneral female Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas). Image on our Facebook Group page.
Fen Drayton RSPB along central ditch and river:
5 Hairy Dragonflies, 50+ Common Blue, 3+ Variable, Blue-tailed Damselfly and 1 Banded Demoiselle
One Downy Emerald emerging from nymph and two empty exuvia nearby. Several Large Red Damselflies flitting about too. Thursley Common. I captured several images of the emerging Downy Emerald and have uploaded them to my National Geographic page.
Newly emerged Hairy Dragonfly in sunny glade along River Gipping at Pipps Ford Suffolk TM108538
Hairy Dragonfly seen several times briefly, hawking over slightly obscured ditch, heading from Grove Ferry to Stod marsh, late morning.
No damsel or dragons all afternoon at Countesswear sludge beds, Highlight was a watershrew which swam under our board-walk. weather sun/showers, chilly Northerly (we had 5 mins snow north of Honiton yesterday!).
First visit of the year to Littleworth Common, Esher.
Air chilly, but sun strong & hot. Sheltered bays in the meadow next to the ponds yielded a few finds.
Large Red Damselflies Pyrrhosoma nymphula: 1x Male, 1x female. Plus several Azure Damselflies Coenagrion puella: males & females.
Libellula Depressa Female sighted at Woking Wetlands, Horsell Common, Woking, Surrey.
At first I thought it was a large wasp, but when it landed on a dead stalk in the middle of a gorse bush, I realised it was a female Libellula Depressa. It blended perfectly with the living and dying gorse flowers. It stayed there sunning itself for at least 15-20 minutes, maybe longer. It was still there when I walked on. Absolutely beautiful.