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.

  • 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
AM
  • 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
PL
  • 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
JHW
  • Warwickshire, Birmingham, Black Country
  • Beautiful
  • Southern Hawker flying around in my conservatory

15 Sep 2020
SR
  • Durham
  • Rock lounging
  • ? Southern hawker flew in and occupied a mossy rock by our garden pond.

14 Sep 2020
H N
  • Durham
  • Rock lounging
  • ? Southern hawker flew in and occupied a mossy rock by our garden pond.

14 Sep 2020
H N
  • Sunderland
  • Beautiful emperor dragonfly spotted today
  • Inland at a retirement home garden no water it was flying around the car park and rested on a plant for a while before flying away

14 Sep 2020
D L
  • East Lothian
  • New pond visitor
  • Our pond is less than 2 months old and today we had our first dragonfly visitor and she laid eggs. Southern Hawker, Pencaitland, East Lothian.

14 Sep 2020
CF
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Hawkers Galore
  • I had a lovely two and a half hour afternoon walk along Burwell Lode Wicken Fen 1.30 pm-4.00 pm. Migrant Hawkers very numerous, several pairs copulating. Delighted to see 2 female Brown Hawkers ovipositing only a few inches apart for just over 1 minute. 1 female ovipositing from 1.40 p.m-2.22 pm. 2 Southern Hawkers 1 male and 1 female, a few male and female Ruddy and Common Darters, 3 Willow Emerald Damselflies, including a copulating pair , 1 Blue-tailed Damselfly and flight views of 2 unidentified blue Damselflies.

14 Sep 2020
KW
  • Newcastle upon Tyne District
  • Southern Hawker my first ever spot!
  • In the buses next to the metro line flitting about and very amiable to being photographed.

14 Sep 2020
HD
  • Durham
  • Rock lounging
  • ? Southern hawker flew in and occupied a mossy rock by our garden pond.

14 Sep 2020
H N
  • Beds, Cambs, Northants and Peterborough
  • They get everywhere now
  • Willow emerald dragonflies. Two in tandem and one lone one. By the brook that runs past the Botanical Gardens, CB2 1JE.

14 Sep 2020
GGA
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Dragons in Nottingham
  • Valley road water meadow many migrant hawkers male and common darters male and female a good afternoon watching them .

14 Sep 2020
D'S
  • Kent
  • A perching darter
  • A common darter – perched on a sumac tree branch on a sunny and warm September afternoon.

    Photographed in my back garden in Leysdown, Kent, a few feet away from a pond.

13 Sep 2020
  • North Yorkshire
  • The emperor rules
  • Spotted a male Emperor on our pond in one of our fields at the end of East Ings Lane Pickering N.Yorks. Today Sept. 13 2020

13 Sep 2020
Jwb
  • Lincolnshire
  • Garden Sighting
  • Common darter (male). Ironically landed on a garden ornament of a dragonfly!

13 Sep 2020
GB
  • Devon
  • Bovey Basin sites
  • Lovely weather for an end of flight season check at some Bovey Basin sites. Most unusual sighting of 10 species was a male Black Darter at Little Bradley Ponds, the first there since September 1978. Although obviously a wanderer, it looked strangely at home perched above a bed of Crassula, rather than its usual Sphagnum. Beautiful Demoiselles were at 3 sites, 1 Emerald and 9 Small Red-eyed Damselflies at Little Bradley Ponds and a total of 18 Migrant Hawkers (with egg-laying at LBP).

13 Sep 2020
DS
  • Highland
  • Northern Emerald male
  • Northern Emerald, male. By the Badenock Way, NH803003, between Drumguish and Inveruglas (Inveruglass on OS maps). Flew fast NE close by us.

13 Sep 2020
RJC
  • North Yorkshire
  • Dragonflyby!
  • We took a walk around Yearsley on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors and sat at Oulston Reservoir and there were so many buzzing about. We think we saw a common darter, brown hawker and possibly a common hawker? Lots of different colours and sizes. A great place to spot dragonflies

13 Sep 2020
ASW
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Dragons in Nottingham
  • Sellers wood nature Reserve a great wonderful day mating common darters on my hand wow another darter on top of my hat defending his airspace from a southern hawker just amazing to watch . also watch 3 males willow emerald damselfly first time i have seem this damselfly here too. 16 odonata from this site.

13 Sep 2020
D'S
  • Cheshire and Wirral
  • Beautiful Female Southern Hawker in our garden
  • A wonderful large female Southern Hawker spent a long time in our garden this morning. It was a privilege to see.

13 Sep 2020
RM
  • Shropshire
  • Prehistoric southern hawker silhouette
  • Spotted (we think) a southern hawker, in the conservatory, in the evening. We first saw it as a huge silhouette behind the curtains. Presume it feeds by the ditch along the edge of our garden

13 Sep 2020
IR
  • Glamorgan
  • black darter
  • black darter dragonfly at forest farm nature reserve in Cardiff

13 Sep 2020
A M
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Waiting in line for coffee …
  • A female Common Darter Sympetrum Striolatum
    National Trust’s Anglesey Abbey

13 Sep 2020
  • Herefordshire
  • Southern Hawker – Herefordshire
  • Seeing daily at the moment around garden pond

12 Sep 2020
S
  • Derbyshire
  • At the pub
  • Sat in pub garden which has a large pond and an emperor dragonfly was buzzing around

12 Sep 2020
PA
  • Cambridgeshire
  • Willow Emerald in the Garden, Again
  • A Willow Emerald Damselfly perched briefly on a shrub in my garden today. It’s not the first, since I saw one here on 9th August, which I reported. I omitted to mention the location last time, but it’s Houghton, between St Ives and Huntingdon.

12 Sep 2020
JNW
  • Lincolnshire
  • Willow Emerald
  • 5 Willow Emerald Damselfly including a mating pair at Baston Fen Nature Reserve

12 Sep 2020
PS
  • Lincolnshire
  • Golden Ring dragon
  • On a path at the Frampton Marsh RSPB reserve on 12th September 2020

12 Sep 2020
GB
  • Lincolnshire
  • Just seen a Southern Hawker. Wow!
  • 1:30pm today over my garden pond. Visited for about 5 mins beautiful like green with very dark blue black stripes what a privilege

11 Sep 2020
North Lincolnshire
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