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. 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.

If you are not on social media please feel free to email us about your sightings:

Contact Fiona here.


*** Please note that all feedback has been taken on board and our team are currently considering options for the future of the ‘Latest Sightings’ feature.***

Title image: Hairy Dragonfly by Dave Smallshire


Latest Sightings 2021

Highlights from June and July 2021
June 2021
The start of June saw a relatively early Common Hawker emerging in Wester Ross (Scotland) on the 3rd, but many other species normally emerging around this time of year were a tad late, with e.g. the first Southern Hawker being from Flatford, Suffolk, on the 9th (there are often records in late May).
The good weather that followed allowed things to catch up, and all UK species have now been reported on the wing. Possibly the highlight was Migrant Hawker – first seen at Radipole in Dorset on the 15th, with a mating pair then photographed in the Cotswold Water Park, Wiltshire, on the 22nd. These are unusually early, and may perhaps represent immigrants.
Other first dates that may be worth a mention include the first Southern Migrant Hawker in Essex on 13 June, the first Small Red-eyed Damselfly at Henleypark Lake in Surrey on 15 June and the first Willow Emerald again in Essex on the 26th.
By way of other notable sightings, Norfolk Hawkers are back at Radipole, Dorset, with records from 11 June onwards – it now seems highly likely that they are indeed breeding there! Norfolk Hawker was also noted at two sites in Sussex during the month.
A new site for Dainty Damselfly was discovered in north Kent on 10 June.
Some 24 Red-veined Darter were noted at Sandwich Bay in Kent on 11 June and 34 were seen at West Rise Marsh, East Sussex, on 13 June; more recently 12 were also noted at Kenfig Pool, Glamorgan, on 29 June.
Ben Rushbrook has unexpectedly found the rare and protected Southern Damselfly on several new private sites in Hampshire recently, significantly extending its range.


July 2021


First Dates – What with some very early appearances by Willow Emerald Damselfly and Migrant Hawker, all Britain’s dragonfly species had already been reported on the wing by the start of July. A record of Migrant Hawker from Godmanchester in Cambridgeshire on 2 July (M. Twinn) was, however, perhaps Britain’s first local individual of the year – two earlier June records being atypical, and likely referring to immigrants.


Last Dates – Late sightings of “spring” species include:

Hairy Dragonflies at Dungeness in Kent on 1 July (D. Walker), at Amwell in Hertfordshire on 4 July (J. Boaden) and at Daws Hall in Essex on 15 July (N. Phillips).

Small numbers of White-faced Darter at two sites in East Inverness-shire on 11 July (J. Warnes/R. Watson).

A Scarce Chaser at Ouse Fen, Cambridgeshire, on 31 July (H. Venables)

A Club-tailed Dragonfly near Symond’s Yat in Herefordshire on 31 July (V. Matthews)


Other news – A number of unusual sightings were reported, particularly during the warm spell in mid July. As well as numerous reports of Lesser Emperor, the following records are of particular note:


9–24 July  – Norfolk Hawkers were reported from Baston Fen in Lincolnshire (A. Turner and others).


15 July – Scarce Emerald Damselflies were seen at Landguard Bird Observatory on the Suffolk coast (W. Brame). This is the first site record, the damselflies appearing alongside an influx of several other more common species.


15 July – a female Southern Migrant Hawker was photographed at Southrey Wood, Lincolnshire (A. Turner). This was the first confirmed record of the year away from what have recently become ‘traditional’ counties.


18 July – a wandering Southern Emerald Damselfly was seen at Denbies Hill in Surrey (L. Saw).


20 July – a male Norfolk Hawker appeared at Wykeham Lakes in North Yorkshire (C. Bradshaw). This is the most northerly record for Britain.


21 July – a Southern Emerald Damselfly was photographed in a garden at St Albans, Hertfordshire (R. Evershed).


30 July – a Black-tailed Skimmer was spotted on St Mary’s, Isles of Scilly (D. Hart). This is only the second-ever record for the Scillies.


30 July – a male Vagrant Emperor was photographed at Frampton Marsh, Lincolnshire, on 30 July (T. Collett).




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
  • Sound Common Migrant Hawkers
  • Sound Heath, Nantwich, Cheshire. Three male and one female Migrant Hawkers sighted at this SSSI site on our first visit. Also large numbers of Common Darters. Photograph records taken.

27 Sep 2020
  • Hampshire
  • Camera teasing southern hawker
  • New Forest – Dockens water. Watched over a period of an hour, single male patrolling its territory. Quite a few times hovered about a foot from my head but every time I took a picture it darted off – absolutely fascinating. It was on the wing for a long time without catching anything. Wings made a helicopter rotor noise on tight maneuvers.

21 Sep 2020
  • Somerset
  • Large numbers of Migrant Hawkers Ham Wall
  • At least 500 Migrant Hawkers at Ham Wall RSPB reserve in late afternoon sunshine.
    Also still a few Brown Hawkers.

20 Sep 2020
  • Isle of Wight
  • Southern Hawker (2) laying eggs
  • 2 SHs, laying eggs on reed stems in garden pond. Isle of Wight

20 Sep 2020
  • Greater London
  • Suburban garden visitor
  • Female Southern Hawker dragonfly seen in suburban garden in London.

20 Sep 2020
  • Herefordshire
  • Emperor visits
  • Emperor dragonfly inspecting our newly created wildlife pond has been around for three or four days

20 Sep 2020
  • Argyll and Bute
  • Lochside Emperor
  • Male Emperor hunting across a road between beechwood verge and shoreside rough vegetation.

20 Sep 2020
  • Pembrokeshire
  • I had just got the mower out of the shed, I looked down and saw a large golden ringed dragonfly on the grass. It was alive and trying to fly but had sustained severe damage to it’s abdomen. I was not sure whether it had been in the mower and was damaged when I pulled the mower out or whether damage had been caused elsewhere. I put the dragonfly in a quiet place but it was obviously mortally injured. I was still alive several hours later.

19 Sep 2020
  • Highland and Islands
  • A Friend
  • My ‘Friend’ and I had a hour-long tryst at the head of Loch Hope in lovely hot, bright, sunshine. He was a White-faced Darter. First of all he sat on my bare leg, then arm, finally on the back of my hand, where he stayed for about 30 minutes, apart from quick excursions to catch a small fly. He seemed quite content eating there, and didn’t budge when pages were turned (I was sat reading in the sunshine) nor when I sipped tea. We had a wonderful face-to-face encounter. At the site were Blue Darters too, but this little fellow was quite something else. Memorable!

18 Sep 2020
  • Essex
  • Ruddy darters on Louth canal
  • Several along footpath by canal

18 Sep 2020
  • Cumbria
  • Seen Hawking around Duddon Mosses
  • Common Hawker male Duddon Mosses resting on boardwalk

18 Sep 2020
  • Cumbria
  • Black Darter in shiny black
  • Black Darter male, Duddon Mosses

18 Sep 2020
  • Cumbria
  • Female Black Darter
  • Female Black Darter, Duddon Mosses

18 Sep 2020
  • Sussex
  • Red veined darter
  • A red veined darter perched on the pink plastic flower shaped cane topper. He was there for nearly 30 minutes, with occasional circuits of the garden. Not bothered by close up camera. Bright sunshine, breezy.

18 Sep 2020
  • Surrey
  • Darter on wire
  • Spotted on wire fence bordering heathland in Surrey. Keen to know if this is Common Darter (seems likely) or other. I think this is female. Pale wing spots confusing. No obvious yellow or red veins in wings, so Common seems likely based on the brilliant (and recently acquired) “Britain’s Dragonflies” field guide. My picture is not 100% focus as taken using 300mm telephoto at max zoom (see Instagram link below). Would appreciate an expert view. Lots of dragonflies on the wing – many mating.

18 Sep 2020
  • Leicestershire
  • Southern Hawker in Loughborough.
  • We have a large garden pond and the insect spent several minutes flying around it’s banks, giving me a splendid show.

17 Sep 2020
  • Highland
  • Black Darter – Uath Lochans
  • At least 3 male Black Darter on boardwalk of white trail at Uath Lochans this afternoon.

17 Sep 2020
  • Highland
  • Black Darter – RSPB Loch Insh lookout
  • At least a dozen Black Darter on the access boards / handrails to the RSPB Loch Insh lookout this afternoon / early evening. About even male vs female. NN775998. Good close views but irritatingly, lousy, un-natural background (board walk / handrails) for photography! Can’t have everything! Did see a peregrine.

17 Sep 2020
  • Wiltshire
  • Last year and again this week.
  • Very Large Southern Hawker, ( I think). Comes into house , has a good look round sitting room and leaves.

17 Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
  • Late keeled skimmer, Norfolk
  • At Holt Country Park (Holt Lowes SSSI), a single male keeled skimmer still on the wing – a sighting late in the year. There were also about five (one female, four males) a week ago (10 Sept), same place.

    I also photographed a dead keeled skimmer caught by a four-spot orb web spider.

17 Sep 2020
  • Northamptonshire
  • Willow Emerald Damselfly
  • Willow Emerald Damselfly at Barnwell Country Park, Oundle

17 Sep 2020
  • Greater London
  • Red-veined Darter
  • Seen by new wildlife pond at Walworth Garden.

16 Sep 2020
  • Northumberland
  • Stunning Southern Hawkers
  • Several Male and Female Southern Hawkers in flight and at rest perched on long grasses and high in the tree canopy

16 Sep 2020
  • Warwickshire, Birmingham, Black Country
  • Golden Ringed Dragonfly
  • Onr flew in to the veranda and hovered by the glass window for a short time before flying out

16 Sep 2020
  • Staffordshire
  • Sainsburys Migrant Hawker
  • Saw at least three individuals at our local site next to Sainsburys supermarket in Leek. This is the first time we have recorded this species at this site. Photo record added to irecord.

16 Sep 2020
  • Derbyshire
  • Garden visitor
  • Southern Hawker in rear garden on 2 consecutive days

15 Sep 2020
  • Somerset
  • Southern Hawker egg laying
  • Female Southern Hawker was clearly laying eggs in the new plants we had just put in the rocks around our garden pond.

15 Sep 2020
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Notts Willow Emeralds
  • The wife and I took a walk along the Chesterfield Canal at Gringley and were surprised to see 2 Willow Emeralds on bank-side Figwort. Our first Notts records for this Damselfly.

15 Sep 2020
  • Wiltshire
  • Enormous Southern Hawker
  • This dragonfly visits us every day. She flies in and out of out conservatory – and around the fountain.

15 Sep 2020
  • Warwickshire, Birmingham, Black Country
  • Beautiful
  • Southern Hawker flying around in my conservatory

15 Sep 2020
Page of 189