The generally mild autumn weather of 2013, with its good spells of southerly winds, benefited both humans and insects alike. Dragonflies were no exception, with a number of particularly interesting sightings being made. Most spectacular of all were the numerous records of Vagrant Emperor. Adrian Parr, BDS Migrant Recorder, reports on the autumn so far.
An area of habitat for the rare Southern Damselfly has been saved thanks to the combined effort of several conservation organisations, the landowner and local farmers. The endangered Southern Damselfly is at risk of extinction in this part of the Preseli SAC in Pembrokeshire which is one of its traditional strongholds in Europe.
The BDS has confirmed that a new breeding population of rare Norfolk Hawker dragonflies has been found at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire. This is the first breeding site to be discovered outside of the species’ Norfolk and Suffolk stronghold since Norfolk Hawkers were lost from the Cambridgeshire fens 120 years ago.
Just published! ‘Field Guide to the larvae and exuviae of British Dragonflies’. Incorporating new species and bringing others up-to-date, this new book combines the previously separate guides to dragonflies and damselflies into one, easy-to-use volume. Superb photographs and highlighted text lead you carefully through the key identification features for each species.
The Beauty in the Beast is a new book by Hugh Warwick. It is a portrait of some of the UK’s best-loved wild animals and birds and the enthusiasts who champion their cause. The book features Ingrid Twissell, the Gloucestershire VCR who spent a day with Hugh teaching him about dragonflies.
A beautiful but endangered damselfly is being helped thanks to habitat work funded by Environment Wales. This exciting partnership between the British Dragonfly Society (BDS), Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority (PCNPA) and Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) has created valuable new habitat for the rare Southern Damselfly.
The Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are the hotspot for the nation’s rarest wildlife –and that’s official. A pioneering study commissioned by the Broads Authority and carried out by the University of East Anglia reveals that this small area, which makes up only 0.4% of the UK, is a haven for an incredible quarter of Britain’s rarest species.
Fine weather brings desert dragonflies to Britain. Large numbers of predatory invaders have been silently invading Europe … and some of these have reached Britain! The invaders in question are brownish dragonflies known as Vagrant Emperors.
Cumbria Wildlife Trust is reintroducing the rare White-faced Darter dragonfly onto a lowland raised bog in north Cumbria. This is the first attempt to reintroduce the White-faced Darter dragonfly anywhere in the UK.
Dainty Damselflies have been found in Britain after a 57 year absence. This delicate blue damselfly had been declared extinct after floods wiped out the last remaining populations in 1953.