Share a sighting 

If you have seen a dragonfly and want to share your sighting or get help with species identification you can post in the following Facebook group, which is run by Neil Phillips, one of our County Dragonfly Recorders: British Dragonflies and Damselflies Facebook Group

Be assured that your request to join will be accepted promptly as the group is monitored regularly. It is run by experienced dragonfly enthusiasts, so it is a good place to request species identification help too.

Or share your sightings on our own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts, too.

Our Scotland team have their own Twitter account and Facebook group.

There is also a Facebook group that covers our Migrant Dragonflies Project, which is run by project coordinator Adrian Parr and anyone can request to join here.

Enter a record

If you are confident of your identification please also enter it into the BDS database on iRecord. Your records will help us track the distribution of dragonflies across the UK.


Changes to Latest Sightings, March 2021

Our Latest Sightings feature was set up long before social media existed and was designed to be a space where anyone could tell other dragonfly enthusiasts what they had seen. It was not verified or linked to submitting scientific records at all and resulted in some unusual and unlikely sightings being displayed on our website. The design of the feature did not allow for photos to be displayed or for our British Dragonfly Society team to respond to any questions or requests for identification help. It was not as interactive as the various social media platforms on offer today which many of us have now become accustomed to using.

We feel that it is now time to address these issues and to trial a new approach, so that this part of our website would still be useful and meet the needs of users. This dragonfly season we will be uploading a monthly summary of what species have been seen across the country, along with photos where possible. The summary will be displayed on this page and a short version on the homepage. To share your dragonfly sightings, please head to our British Dragonfly Society social media pages and groups as detailed below; be assured that the groups we recommend are monitored regularly by our own volunteers to ensure a speedy response.

Please give this new approach a go and let us know if you have any constructive feedback to help us shape this feature in the long term. Many thanks from our whole team.

Contact Fiona here.

Title image: Hairy Dragonfly by Dave Smallshire


Latest Sightings 2021

February summary

We found two sightings online during February:

24th February: Vagrant Emperor, Torpoint, Cornwall. Leon Truscott and photographed by Jojo Alexandra Surman.

27th February: Blue-tailed Damselfly, Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire. Jack Perks. This was a very early sighting from a garden pond.


March summary

The first sighting of the month came in on the 29th from Cheshire of a Common Blue Damselfly (photo by Jen Stone), this was surprisingly early for this species in this location. The next day two sightings of Large Red Damselfly came in from Cornwall and Dorset.




April summary

The Large Red Damselfly emergence began to spread across the south of England during the first half of April, with one report from North Wales during this period too. The Large Red Damselfly emergence was also underway in Ireland too with a report on the 12th from Ballyheigue, Co. Kerry. The higher temperatures on the weekend of the 17th-18th resulted in a wave of sightings of this species across England as far north as North Lincolnshire and in a few locations in Wales too.

There was a flurry of sightings of Large Red Damselfly during the middle of April too when the temperature rose, with the first sighting in Scotland on the 24th of April from Dumfries (photo right by Laura Bax). The bad weather and lower temperatures at the beginning of May caused a reduction in reports.

The dragonfly season began with the first Broad-bodied Chaser sighting which came in on Twitter from Kent on the 17th (photo below by Marc Heath), followed by a sighting of one in Devon on the 18th. The damselfly season continued with a Banded Demoiselle being spotted in London on the 19th.


Catherine Beazley tagged us into a Twitter post about a Golden-ringed Dragonfly that she spotted in Penzance, Cornwall on the 22nd of April (pictured right). We have never had a record for this species in April before so this was certainly early.

Other April highlights were: the first Downy Emerald was spotted at Lightwater in Surrey on the 18th of April. On the 19th the first Banded Demoiselle was spotted in London. The first Four-spotted Chaser was seen at Whixall Moss, Shropshire/Wales border area, on the 22nd of April. On the 23rd of April came the first Hairy Dragonfly sighting from the Avalon Marshes in Somerset. The first Azure Damselfly was spotted at Hedge End, Southampton on the 25th of April. Also on the 25th was the first White-faced Darter sighting from Whixall Moss.




Below is the sightings list from the old system which runs to Jan 2021. Please see above for more recent sightings in the Facebook group.

  • Cheshire and Wirral
  • Metallic blue Damselfly?
  • Skimming a small stream surrounded by woodland. Bright turquoise body with blackish wings. It was a cold frosty morning and the canal and lake were frozen but not the stream. Saw it twice and noticed it because of the vivid colour. [This is a very surprising sighting. From your description this sounds like a male Demoiselle either Beautiful or Banded). Their flight season is usually from April to October. To see this insect at this time of year is unprecedented! – GHM, BDS]

07 Jan 2021
  • Hampshire
  • Lateish Common Darter
  • The warden, Simon King, saw a female Common Darter by the pond at Testwood Lakes Centre on 28.11.20. Still two weeks to go to tie the VC11 record!

28 Nov 2020
  • Northamptonshire
  • Late Hawker?
  • After a sharp overnight frost a Migrant Hawker flying at 11.00 in bright sunshine

26 Nov 2020
  • Hampshire
  • New Forest dragonflies
  • A Southern Hawker was hunting in Dame’s Slough Inclosure (west of Lyndhurst) and a male Common Darter sunning itself to to the north east of Burbush carpark (south of Burley). Fairly late dates.

24 Nov 2020
  • Suffolk
  • Late Common Darters
  • 23 November 2020 at least two male Common Darters on open access land Walberswick. Seen flying and basking in sunshine early afternoon.

23 Nov 2020
  • Suffolk
  • Common darter
  • Common Darter seen at RSPB Lakenheath on Saturday 21st of November.

21 Nov 2020
  • Hampshire
  • Late Southern Hawker
  • Male Southern Hawker seen in New Forest, Hampshire near Highland Water Inclosure
    (SU 252094).

19 Nov 2020
  • Norfolk
  • Late common darters
  • Three common darters in a sheltered spot at Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Upton Fen and Marshes nature reserve. They were doing their usual trick of seeking warmth on fencing.

17 Nov 2020
  • Somerset
  • dragonflies still about
  • Shapwick NNR at least 2 Common Darters and 2 Migrant Hawkers

17 Nov 2020
  • Somerset
  • Red-veined Darter Shapwick NNR
  • Male Red-veined Darter at Decoy Pond Shapwick NNR in sheltered sunny area by hide also present at least 10 Common Darters and 3 Migrant Hawkers

15 Nov 2020
  • Kent
  • Female emperor dragonfly
  • Around my garden pond, dipping its tail in the water and when it rained seeming to shelter in a rock crevice

14 Nov 2020
  • Yorkshire
  • Late Show
  • Nov 13th Hatfield Moor a Southern Hawker
    Nov 12th Potteric Carr 2 Migrant Hawkers
    good numbers of Common Darters at both sites

13 Nov 2020
  • Wiltshire
  • Female Emperor
  • Female Emperor flying around a pond at Ravensroost Woods in Wiltshire.

13 Nov 2020
  • Somerset
  • Common Darters and Migrant Hawker Shapwick NNR
  • At least 20 Common Darters including some mating and a single Migrant Hawker at Shapwick NNR

12 Nov 2020
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Late Dragons
  • Woops! the report i submitted earlier of 7 Common Darters and 1 Migrant Hawker, left out a sighting of 1 Willow Emerald Damselfly along Wicken Lode whilst canoeing in the area today.

10 Nov 2020
  • Herefordshire
  • Sunny november
  • 2 female emperors and a common Carter at my meadow pond, south herefordshire

09 Nov 2020
  • Somerset
  • Migrant Hawkers Shapwick NNR
  • At least 2 Migrant Hawkers at Shapwick NNR

07 Nov 2020
  • Cheshire and Wirral
  • Doolittle Dragons
  • We spent Friday(6/11) and Saturday(7/11)looking for late flying Odonata mainly at Doolittle moss in Delamere forest. On Friday we saw single male and female Southern Hawkers and a total of six Common Darters. On Saturday we had a male Migrant Hawker and 2 Common Darters.

06 Nov 2020
  • Herefordshire
  • 2 emperors sunning themselves
  • 2 female emperors ovipositing (?) in the sunshine on a log in a garden pond south herefordshire

06 Nov 2020
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Delightful Darters.
  • I was not expecting to see any dragonflies at this time of the year while taking a walk around Wicken Fen. So i was delighted to see 5 Darters on the wing. 3 settled on a fence and were positively identified as Common Darter males. Only obtained flight views of the other two.

06 Nov 2020
  • Devon
  • Vagrant emperor
  • Found on its back, in mixed broadleaf woodland, held by surface tension to the surface of a wet log. I thought it was dead. I brought it home, glued it by the thorax to a culm of canary grass, and took some photos. I then brought it indoors to take some macro shots, and the animal started, very slowly, to move its legs, and then to flick its wings. I quickly detached the spot of glue (UHU) from the grass, leaving some on the base of the thorax, and put the specimen out in the conservatory to see if it would revive. But, by morning, it was definitly dead. Photo available on request.

05 Nov 2020
  • Lincolnshire
  • Dragonflies paired up November 2020
  • Multiple Dragonflies, some in pairs and appear to be mating. Lincoln, a few miles north of Newark at a fishing lake.outside temperature 11.5 degrees.

04 Nov 2020
  • Somerset
  • Lockdown visitor.
  • Vagrant Emperor
    In my garden.

03 Nov 2020
  • Lancashire
  • Vagrant
  • Male vagrant emperor
    In my back garden
    Live on the Fylde coast near Blackpool

03 Nov 2020
  • Somerset
  • November Dragonflies at Westhay SWT reserve
  • At least 40 Common Darters and 2 Migrant Hawkers at Westhay SWT reserve

02 Nov 2020
  • Kent
  • Oak coloured dragonfly
  • I believe it to be a Common Darter (but I may be wrong!) – landed on an oak log close to where I was gardening. It blended so well with the bark of the oak! I took a photograph on my phone. Time 2 p.m.
    Place: My garden

02 Nov 2020
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Diminishing Dragons
  • While walking around Wicken Fen during the early afternoon, i was pleased to see 2 Migrant Hawkers, 1 male and 1 female. Also 2 Common Darters seen. Again 1 male and 1 female. The sun made an all too brief appearance which may have helped, although the female Migrant Hawker and male Common Darter were flying in overcast conditions.

30 Oct 2020
  • Hampshire
  • First time in October!
  • 2 Emperors in garden in Petersfield

29 Oct 2020
  • Highland and Islands
  • Common Hawker?
  • On the 18th Fairway Newtonmore Golf Course, Inverness-Shire

29 Oct 2020
  • Cambridgeshire
  • What a little gem.
  • I believe this is a Willow Emerald Damselfly, but your confirmation would be appreciated. Spotted at Woodwalton Fen in Cambridgeshire.

26 Oct 2020
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