Sightings - Early 2000

This page contains Sightings sent to the BDS between January and June 2000. You can also go to theĀ Sightings for July to December 2000.

June Ireland IR
Here are a number of Odonata records of interest (either scarcer species, or 1st dates, seen by me, unless otherwise stated, in Northern or Southern Ireland recently).
NORTHERN IRELAND: SCARCER SPECIES. Ruddy Darter: Immature male and female seen at Brackagh Bog NNR near Portadown, Co. Armagh, on 29th June.
1ST DATES (see also under scarcer species). Common Hawker: 2 seen together in field, and a female ovipositing in pool, at Peatlands Park, North Armagh, on 29th June. Brown Hawker: 1 at Brackagh Bog NNR, Portadown, on 29th June. Common Darter: A probable specimen was seen in a gravel pit at Cranfield near Kilkeel, Co. Down, on 15th June. May also have been seen by David Nixon at Ballykilbeg near Downpatrick, Co. Down, about the last week of June, along with a probable hairy Dragonfly. A few at Brackagh Bog NNR near Portadown, Co. Armagh, on 29th June. Banded Damselfly: Abundant at Dynes Bridge on River Bann south of Portadown, Co. Armagh, on 29th June.
Of the 17 resident NI species, only the Black Darter has not yet (as far as I know) been reported although it will probably appear soon. 18 of the 22 Irish species have also been recorded (Downy Emerald, Northern Emerald and Scarce Emerald damselfly are unreported).

SOUTHERN IRELAND: SCARCER SPECIES. Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly: 2 mating pairs and 2 males in a disused limestone quarry at Robertstown (R278490) near Barrigone, Co. Limerick, on 24th June; this appears to be a new vice-county record for Limerick. Beautiful Demoiselle: 6 beside Owenglin River near Clifden, West Galway, on 22nd June (new site). Banded Demoiselle: 3 by Newport River east of Newport, West Mayo, on 20th June. 30-40 by Deel River Bridge south of Askeaton, Co. Limerick, on 24th June. 2 at Ballyvolane by River Shannon near Castleconnell, Co. Limerick, on 25th June. c. 10 on the Co. Tipperary side of the Little Brosna River (border with Co. Offaly) at New Bridge on 25th June. Keeled Skimmer: 1, perhaps 2, in field beside wood near Ballynahinch Castle, West Galway, on 21st June. 1 in field near Owenglin River near Clifden, West Galway, on 22nd June. 1 female at Redwood Bog, North Tipperary, on 25th June (apparently new Vice-county record, though recorded previously from South Tipperary). Ruddy Darter: At least 2 (possibly 2 others) at 24th June at Ballyhibbin SE of Askeaton, Co. Limerick, on 24th June. Also seen on Achill Island were Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly and Four-spotted Chaser, although these as well as Common Hawker and Common Darter have all as far as I know been recorded from the island before. Azure and Variable Damselfly and Large Red Damselfly were also seen at 1 or more sites in the west of Ireland from 19th to 25th June, although no Hairy Dragonflies were noted.

FIRST DATES (see also under scarcer species). Common Hawker: Bog near Charlestown, East Mayo, on 19th June, and near Lough Nambrack, Achill Island, West Mayo, on 20th June. 1 probably also seen near Clifden, West Galway, on 22nd June. Common Darter: 1 near Lough Nambrack, Achill Island, on 20th June. A number at Curragh Chase Forest Park, Co. Limerick, on 24th June. 1 or 2 at Redwood Bog, North Tipperary, on 25th June. Emerald Damselfly: c. 50 on 24th June at Ballyhibbin SE of Askeaton, Co. Limerick, on 24th June.

I would also like a possible Red-veined Darter dragonfly seen by me on 29th June at Craigavon Lakes, North Armagh. I saw 1 of these in Co. Down in August 1998 and it reminded me of it (both the shape and the fairly deep red colour, different from the Common and Ruddy Darters). I have seen both of these in the last week both in Northern and Southern Ireland and none were anywhere as red as this one was. Unfortunately I had stupidly left the net in the car and the dragonfly disappeared before I could get close enough.

28th June Essex? RE
According to the Dragonfly Report in British Wildlife (April 2000 issue) another species has been added to the British list, the Small Red-eyed Damselfly Erythromma viridulum. This was reported from three ponds in Essex last year. The numbers present and behaviour suggest the colony has been established for some time. So the 64,000 dollar question is: where are they??? Have any locations found their way in to the "public" domain?

A reply from Adrian Parr:
As far as I am aware, full details of the sites for Erythromma viridulum (Small Red-eyed Damselfly) are not yet in the public domain. Indeed neither Steve Cham nor I have them, either. It was one of the tradeoffs when the observers came forward with the initial news that the sites would not be mentioned at this stage - better some information freely available than none at all! However, judging by the speed of the species' spread through the Low Countries in the last decade or so, it is quite feasible that they will start to make serious inroads into southeast England in the next few years. What we need is someone to find further sites. E. viridulum should be starting to fly about now - hence the timing of your note, I guess!!

Sorry to be so vague,

Adrian,
British Dragonfly Society Migrant Dragonfly Project

27th June London JA
At South Norwood Country Park, London on 27/6/00 the following species were seen - Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Dams, Brown Hawker, Emperor, Broad-bodied Chaser and Large Red Damselfly (new for the park)

27th June Tyne & Wear IJW
The jungle drums have it that a Lesser Emperor was seen today by someone looking for Red-veined darter at Boldon Flats, Tyne & Wear. More news when I find out more. Typically the weather for us is rain tomorrow.
I was out looking at Hargreaves Quarry for R-VD and *only* got 10+FSC (new 10k.m. sq.) Later at Cowpen Bewley, I watched ovipositing of same species.
A friend also saw one ovipositing as well at Castle Eden Dene & a lone male at Wheatly Hill pond. (both new 10k.m. sq. recs.)
Could it be possible that some of the FSC are migrants? and has anyone else picked up on them? (difficult I know, when they are practically in every county anyway)

And from Mike Hunter:
Further to Ian Waller's message yesterday, there was indeed a male Lesser Emperor found at Boldon Flats, near Cleadon. It was seen well for 30 minutes before the finder [Dave Foster] cycled home to verify via the literature. He saw this species frequently when abroad last year and his description sounds spot on to me.
The site is private and is part of a local nature reserve. Dave will be there again today to see if it is still there and will let me know. The weather in the north-east looks a little grim, much cloud with rain forecast.

26th June Cumbria NF
A trip to the Lake District on 26/6/00 produced 2 male and 2 female Beautiful Demoiselles on trees over the river running through Ambleside, and on Claife heights above Windemere 6 Downy Emeralds over one large bog pool. In addition to these on Claife heights there were numerous Blue tailed Damselflies, including both the f.Rufescens and F.Violacea forms, Common blue and Large red Damselflies.

25th June Somerset MF
Clapton Moor, Clapton In Gordano, Nr. Portishead, N.Somerset ST456734
Hairy Dragonfly ovipositing, Also several Four spot and broad bodied chasers.

14t June; Lake Engure, Latvia, Eastern Europe.
More dragonflies than you could ever imagine, Thousands swaming around the coach as we drove through the woods and walked to the lake. Pine woods. The most numerous were four spot chasers, but there was at least 15 different species including club-tails, emeralds, darters & hawkers. Will try to identify them when the photos come back. I would recomend any one to try to get to this country for the flowers, butterflies, dragonflies & birds.

24th June Cambs JA
Due to the poor weather the only species seen at Welches Dam, Ouse Washes on the 24/6/00, were a few Blue-tailed Dams, a few Red-eyed Dams and my first Common Darter of the year.

24th June Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
Despite the grim weather we managed to find the exuvia of Anax imperator and Aeshna grandis this afternoon at Great Bottom Flash. Also found were a few cancellatum exuvia. A few elegans were found hiding in the reeds.

19th June Norfolk RM
I found one male Red-veined Darter at Winterton National Nature Reserve, East Norfolk on monday 19 june. Also 8 Emperor Dragonflies.

19th June Orkney AP
I believe there are several people following the ongoing movement of Anax parthenope into northwestern Europe (still primarily as a migrant, but with breeding definitely taking place at least in the UK last year). They may be interested to know that I have just received a photograph of a male caught by a cat on the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland on 19 June 2000. At over 59 degrees of latitude, this record is apparently by several degrees the most northerly ever from Europe. I guess this means that people in Scandinavia need to keep an eye out for the species from now on!

17th-18th June Surrey/Sussex DS/RO
BDS Weekend - Juniper Hall.

The Gods were with us on the weekend of 17-18 June, for no clouds were seen whatsoever! 22 species were recorded in Surrey/Sussex, one of the best totals ever. Highlights were good views of Downy Emeralds at Thursley, with a few Small Red Damselflies and an early Brown Hawker. The Arun Valley yielded Variable Damselflies at Amberley; White-legged and Red-eyed Damselflies at Stopham, with a few Scarce Chasers, Club-tailed (elusive!) and Hairy Dragonflies and a teneral Ruddy Darter; and finally, near Billingshurst, two Brilliant Emeralds, with a few Red-eyed, Hairys and lots of Scarce Chasers. And to boot several Clouded Yellows and a possible Bath White at Stopham.

18 June Norfolk PFB
Catfield Fen (Butterfly Conservation meeting - hot and sunny). Large Red Damselfly c.5, Red-eyed Damselfly 4 males, Azure Damselfly 30+, Variable Damselfly 2 males plus 1 pair mating, Common Blue Damselfly 1, Blue-tailed Damselfly 1, Hairy Hawker 2 males plus 1 pair mating, Norfolk Hawker 3, Four-spotted Chaser 10+, Black-tailed Skimmer c.5

18th June Northants CD
Under a merciless blue sky today we had:
Glapthorn Cow Pasture near Oundle- 6 black hairstreaks, 1 brimstone, 2 meadow browns, 1 large white, 1 green veined white, 4 speckled woods, 1 large red damsel and 1 banded demoiselle.
Earls Barton Gravel Pits just north east of Northampton- 1 male Anax, 4 teneral black-tailed skimmers, 1 azure, 100+ common blues, 20 elegans, 1 large red, 1 red admiral, 1 painted lady, 1 cinnabar moth, + we heard great reed warbler but did not see it. Also 1 red kite feeding on a road kill.
There are three male red-veined darters at Anglers Country Park in south Yorkshire. I know they have been seen there before. Are these home grown rather than migrants?

Answer from Adrian Parr:
The Red-veined Darters in Yorkshire at the moment are apparently fresh immigrants brought in by the recent hot weather - they have got up as far as Filey, where I gather about 20 were seen yesterday. There was a possibly self-sustaining colony at Spurn Point, but very few were seen there last year and I have not heard as yet whether any have emerged this spring.
News has it that both Red-veined Darters and a Lesser Emperor have just arrived at a site in Mike Averill's area of the Midlands. (It is well-known for the two species to turn up together.) It seems that there are quite a few migrants about. It might be worth being extra vigilant when out and about in the next few days!

17th June Devon DS
Belated news (just reached me - Dave Smallshire) of a male Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) at Smallhanger (aka Drakelands) in Devon on 17 June. It was at a small pond at about SX 574594 and was seen to chase a Broad-bodied Chaser. Subsequent visits by the observer (Dick Burn) have failed to re-find it. The area is excellent for dragonflies (one of the top 6 in Devon), with good populations of Small Red and Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies in the old clay-pits and seepages around SX 575596. Red-veined Darter was seen here last year. Access is unrestricted at present - park at Drakeland Corner (SX 572588), cross the ford to view the area about 500m to the NE. Please let me have any sightings of note (01626 853393, or DaveSmalls@aol.com).

17th June Cambridgeshire IM
Sutton Gault, Cambs. Sat 17 June.
Species observed in vegetated ditch c500 m long, immediately north of New Bedford River, running south from Anchor PH:
Scarce Chaser c25 males, 1 ovipositing female; Hairy Dragonfly c6 males; Variable Damselfly 1 tandem pair; Red-eyed Damselfly 200+; Four-spotted Chaser 1; Emperor Dragonfly 1 male

13th-17th June N. Ireland IR
I saw about 5 or 6 Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies at a gravel pit near Kilkeel, Co. Down, today (15th); this site was first discovered in 1999. Also seen was a probable teneral Sympetrum striolatum at the same spot, and earlier on 15th, 3 or 4 teneral Keeled Skimmers at Leitrim near Hilltown in the Mourne Mountains, Co. Down (this may be the earliest ever record for Northern Ireland although it was seen there about 16th June 1990). On 13th June I saw up to 3 Black-tailed Skimmers at a marl lake, Annaghmore Lake near Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, in the Irish Republic; this appears to be a new site although not a new county record. Glad to see that Cordulia aenea has emerged as weather permitting I hope to visit a site in Co. Galway where it was reported in 1992, to film it using a Video camera. If successful, this will leave only Somatochlora arctica among the 22 Irish species which I have yet to capture on Video, though this is confined to Co. Kerry.
Overall Odonata are not plentiful in Northern Ireland this year (probably because of bad weather for 3 weeks, although it is now improving); however I did see a mating pair and about 6 male Irish Damselflies at Drumnahavil Bog near Keady, Co. Armagh, on 14th June. It was actually the most numerous species (4 others were seen) but despite warm sunshine numbers were low overall.
When it finally brightened up on Saturday afternoon (17th June) I decided to visit Co. Tyrone. The gravel pit near Lough Doo, Cookstown (H674793) which I thought looked suitable for Ischnura pumilio last year, proved negative, as only P. nymphula and an unidentified Ischnura (probably I. elegans) were seen, although it was still somewhat dull. However, to make up for this, I found a very teneral male I. pumilio beside a very small lake NE of Mountfield (H598797, beside a track to a house and another lake (?Loughfooranaght) off the Omagh to Cookstown Road. This was almost infilled with vegetation such as Bog bean and Sedges, leaving very shallow water. The only previous records for Co. Tyrone are at a disused quarry near Dromore in 1987 and 1988, and a damp flush near a lake at nearby Trillick in 1990.
My luck continued with the finding of 1 female and 8+ male Coenagrion lunulatum at Creggan Lough (H622775) although I only explored about the northern half, especially a marshy area to the NW. After traversing most of Lough Nanallog, which looked very suitable with abundant yellow and white water lilies, Bogbean and sedges, etc, I finally found 2 males at the eastern end (H599790); a stout dark female damselfly with greenish markings at the west
end could have been a female, as the only other Odonata seen were Pyrrhosoma and I. elegans and it was not either of these species, although might have been Enallagma. Also seen was a Large Heath butterfly and an Emperor moth larva. A small lake at H575794 also looked possible for C. lunulatum (the weather was duller there) with only a Libellula being seen. There are now 10 known sites for C. lunulatum in Co. Tyrone (1 or 2 may not be colonies), the largest number known for any Irish county.
It must be 21.6.1989 since I found a new site for C. lunulatum and these (3) were in Co. Monaghan. It shows there are probably still a few undiscovered colonies in Northern Ireland, although probably only in single figures. Don Cotton has however discovered a colony more recently, in Leitrim about 1997 I think.

In a previous report, I erroneously mentioned that Libellula quadrimaculata was recorded in Co. Down on 1st May 1999; this should have referred to Enallagma cyathigerum. There is however apparently a record of L. quadrimaculata on 5th May 1986 in Co. Armagh, although I am very sceptical about this as April and May 1986 were very cool and wet; perhaps it was an error for 5th June 1986. However, the record for L. quadrimaculata on 5th May 2000 is at least the joint earliest ever record for Northern Ireland.

30th May - 13th June London/Surrey JA
On 30/5/00 and 10/6/00 there were 2 pairs of Azure Damselflies ovipositing in my small garden pond in Streatham, London.
On 5/6/00 at Hunston, Chichester Canal, 6-7 Red-eyed Damselflies were the only Dragonflies present.
At South Norwood Country Park, London the lake has become overstocked with carp. This has caused a drastic decline of the Dragonfly population over the last few years. The only species recorded this year are Blue-tailed Dams, one male Hairy Dragonfly on 31/5/00(a new species for the park) and an Emperor on 12/6/00.
At Chelsham Pond, Surrey, on 6/6/00 there were 30+ Azure Damselflies, mostly males. At this site on 13/6/00 there were many Azure, a few Common Blue and a pair of Large Red Damselflies in tandem and one male Broad-bodied Chaser.

12th June Oxon. GHM
Morning visit to Goring Viaduct to look for emerging Club-tailed Dragonflies. Although I left home in glorious sunshine, it was overcast by the time I got to Goring. I searched the wall by the river but could only see one exuvia - and no sign of hoards of nymphs climbing the walls! I waited for about 30 minutes and was relieved to see a nymph below the water line (directly beneath me) emerging like the Creature from the Black Lagoon! I watched it climb up to the mossy area near the top of the wall (about a meter in 10 minutes). It then took a hold and wriggled for a while. After about 30 minutes I could see the split appear on the back of the thorax. It only took a few minutes for the head, thorax, legs and front half of the abdomen to emerge. The beast then took another rest for about half an hour before gripping the moss and pulling its abdomen fully out of the cast exuvia. Another rest, then steady pumping as the wings expanded slowly to their full size. The wings were not yet held flat, but more like a damselfly holds its wings. More rest as the insect expelled excess fluid from its abdomen, then it opened its wings and climbed to the top of the wall. It eventually flew away 2 hours and 20 minutes after leaving the water.

12th/13th June Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
Yesterday the 12th June we were back on the Canal. Going west from Claycart Flash to Eelmoor Flash., in Hampshire, for a change. Brachytron was visible, a male and an ovipositing female at Claycart, and 3 males at Eelmoor.
Metallica produced one on each section, together with a number of Cordulias.
Eelmoor Flash, where they have installed metal shuttered fishing points in time for the new season, also produced a couple of male Anax. Again the blues were outnumbered by Red-eyes.
Today, we went to visit Pyestock Tanks, since the roadworks are nearly finished and access is possible again. Anax 2 males plus 2 ovipositing females. Quads, 2 singles and a briefly coupled (10 seconds) pair! Then we had 6 plus emergent Common Darters,since it was not a known territory for Flaveolum we did not attempt close up identification.

11th June Bucks GHM
A lovely sunny day tempted me out to Stony Stratford BBOWT (Bucks, Berks, Oxon Wildlife Trust) site near the River Great Ouse. There were hundreds of Azure Damselflies, and many Red-eyed and Blue-tailed damselflies near and on the pond. Also a fair number of Large Reds. Several 4-spotted Chasers were flying and basking on reed stems. I saw two Hairy Dragonflies (males) patrolling in the reeds, and one resting on bushes a few yards away from the water. I hope I've got some decent photos! A few Banded Dems were present on the pond (all males) and both sexes were present in small numbers on the river.
In rough grass about 50 meters from the pond I found a female Broad-bodied Chaser and a teneral male White-legged Damselfly. Surprisingly, I couldn't find any White-legged on the River.

10th June Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
We went to see what was happening at the two Curzon Bridge, 1km squares. As usual on the Western section there was a reasonable amount of activity. We are pleased to record 5 male Brachytron, but what was even better were 2 females ovipositing, one between Lock 27 and 28, which has occurred before. The second ovipositing between Locks 26 and 27 which was new! We are still waiting for actual ovipositing below Lock 25, although Chris Hall collected an exuvia on this section some years ago. Cordulia numbered 7 plus 2 ovipositing in water, on the Western section, with one adult plus one ovipositing on the eastern section. Red-eyed damselflies outnumbered all other species.
Not an Anax to be seen,we have only had one so far this season and that was at Lakeside.

7th June West Yorks. JW
After a number of unsuccessful visits to Bullcarr Mire, near Upton in West Yorkshire, I finally managed to catch up with a single female Broad-boded Chaser. This site is probably the best site in the Wakefield District for this species, but even here its not easy to find. Other species noted before the inevitable rain came included Azure, Blue-tailed and Large Red Damselflies.

5th May to 7th June Hampshire PL
Here in Romsey the season was a little late in starting; first dates for
Romsey / North Baddesley / Timsbury areas as follows:
Large Red Damselfly: 5 May
Azure Damselfly: 13 May
Broad - Bodied Chaser: 13 May
Blue - Tailed Damselfly: 13 May
Common Blue damselfly: 14 May
Banded Demoiselle: 25 May
Black - Tailed Skimmer: 29 May
The only notable event is that Broad-bodied Chasers seem unusually common
this year.
In The New Forest, 17 Red - Eyed Damselflies on 3 June at Eyeworth Pond
were noteworthy. The first Downy Emeralds were seen the same day at two
sites as were my first Emperor, Four spotted Chaser and Beautiful
Demoiselles
for the year. A visit to Crockford on 7 June produced 40
Southern Damselflies in a short walk, other new species were 8 Keeled
Skimmers
and a single teneral Small Red Damselfly. Hatchet Moor on the
same day produced 3 downy emeralds on the smallest pool.
Hope these sightings are of interest.

6th June Cambs. DR
Fowlmere Nature Reserve, Cambridgeshire - 6th June 2000
Emperor - first sighting this year
Doug Radford (warden)

2nd/3rd June Norfolk W
A very successful weekend thanks to plenty of sunshine. Upton fen (02/06) - several sightings of Norfolk hawker and 4-spotted chasers (1 form praenubila). Ludham marshes (03/06) - many Variable Damselflies, 3 Norfolk hawkers, after hours of waiting and a bit of sunburn managed to get plenty of photos which was a bonus. Also over the w/e several mature Black-tailed Skimmers at Hickling. Don't think we'll have a more enjoyable w/e for a long time.

29th May Worcs. MF
Mixed sunshine & cloud, light wind. Eckington, Worscestershire on river Avon between Pershaw & Tewksbury. Club tailed dragonfly, several seen including newly emerged. Also lots of Banded Demoiselles, some Blue-tailed, 'blue' damselflies, and large reds in tandem.

30th May Leics. IM
Good numbers of Variable Damselflies now flying on Grantham Canal in vacinity of Redmile, Leics.

28th May Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
Today we visited Normandy Pond,which you can see from our websites, used to be very worthwhile. We trudged round and came out with 2 Cordulia exuvia and 1 Quadrimaculata exuvia, plus seeing 2 Quad emergents and some damselflies. On enquiring of two lads fishing from the platform we found the pond has been stocked with Carp and Bream some of which are now quite large.
Since the reed beds have been reduced there is not much in the line of refuges for the nymphs, so I think we can write the site off. Some time ago we were asked to look at Yately Gravel Pits (with 40 lb Carp in situ) and the only odonata to survive were those who could live in very dense reed beds. Cancellatum did quite well!!

1st to 27th May Northern Ireland IR
Here are first dates for the 2 Odonata and 8 Zygoptera species recorded so far in 2000 in Northern Ireland:
Pyrrhosoma nymphula: 1st May at Bohill NNR near Ballynahinch, Co. Down (BDS member, David Nixon).
Libellula quadrimaculata: 4th May (several) at Montiaghs Moss NNR near Aghalee, Co. Antrim (D. Nixon). This is among the earliest ever dates for NI although apparently seen on 1st May 1999 in Co. Down.
Coenagrion puella and C. pulchellum: Several of each seen by me at Brackagh Bog NNR near Portadown, Co. Armagh, on 8th May.
Enallagma cyathigerum About 12 seen by me at Craigavon North Lake near Portadown, Co. Armagh, on 12th May. This is close or equal to the earliest ever date for NI, in Co. Down in 1990.
Brachytron pratense: 1 male seen by me at Montiaghs on 14th May. Single females seen ovipositing at Brackagh Bog near Portadown on 22nd May and at Drumnahavil Bog near Keady, Co. Armagh, on 28th May.
Ischnura elegans: 3 seen by me on 14th May, 2 at Montiaghs and 1 at Selshion Quarry near Portadown, Co. Armagh, the latter with the blue mark on abdominal segment 8 only about half blue.
Coenagrion lunulatum (IRISH DAMSELFLY): 2-4 males at Montiaghs Bog, Co. Antrim, on 14th May. Also a mating pair and 1 other male at Drumnahavil Bog near Keady on 28th May.
Ischnura pumilio: Teneral male and female at Tonnagh Quarry near Derrygonnelly, Co. Fermanagh, on 26th May.
Calopteryx splendens: Male and female on Sillees River at Sligo Road, a few miles west of Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh on 27th May.

20th May Kent JA
At the pond near the carpark at Stodmarsh, Kent on the 20/5/00 there were several Common Blue Dams, a few Large Red Dams (some in tandem) and a male and female Hairy Dragonfly. The female was laying eggs in plant matter
floating on the pond.

20th May Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
We went back to the Canal to see if Metallica was emerging, no luck today! However at the Great Bottom Flash we had: Brachytron 7 exuvia 1 male and 1 female flying, Cordulia 51 exuvia and 1 emergent with exuvia --- should be interesting to see if they return to the Flash or disperse across the Ash Ranges, Banded Agrion male and a single exuvia, assorted damselflies with Common Blue being more noticeable.
On the Ash Common section we had: Brachtytron 1 male flying, Cordulia 4 exuvia plus a few damselflies.
No Butterflies at all,but some Mayflies.
With our previous visit records,where we lifted the exuvia,this section of the Canal
remains one of the more lively sections.

17th May 2000 Herts CS
As you do not seem to have any news from Herts at present I thought I would remedy that deficiency!
We have had Large Reds out for a while now and last weekend we saw an ovi-positing pair and a pale newly emerged insect together at a pond in Broxbourne Woods.
Common and Azures are out too but still only small numbers have been reported. No one has reported a 4 spotted chaser yet although the Broad-bodied has been seen in Broxbourne Woods and an exuvia found in a garden pond in Wheathampstead.
Banded Demoiselles are out along the River Lea and at the Silvermeade Nature Reserve in the Lee Valley Park.
The Hairy Dragonfly seems to be spreading in Herts at the moment and so far this year been seen near Turnford Brook in the Lee Valley Park, with a possible sighting at Hitch Wood near Whitwell, away from water. I would like to think this could mean that it is breeding in the nearset suitable water, which would be the R Mimram at Whitwell. Anyone out that way might like to check...

15th May Northants HC
At the National Dragonfly Museum (Kari's Pond) on 15th May Ruary Mackenzie-Dodds recorded a teneral Common Darter - positive ID as exuvia also recovered and confirmed by Kari. Also in evidence were a few teneral Four-Spotted Chasers, Large Red Damselflies, and several male and female Banded Demoiselles at the weir.

15th May 2000 Bucks GHM
My first visit of the year to my favourite site, Howe Park Wood. Sunny, light wind and warm (23deg). I found lots of Large Reds including a tandem pair together with several Blue-tailed and Azures on the top pond. There was a female L. depressa in pristine condition on the middle pond and a couple of 4-spotted Chasers. One of these, a female, was still trying to pump up her wings, but one forewing and one hindwing were so badly distorted that I doubt she would succeed. I collected 4 exuviae of L. quad (identified positively back at home) all found on rushes at the water's edge about 10-20 cm above the water surface.

14th May 2000 Essex DS
While visiting the Lea Valley Park on Sunday 14th May, spotted a very new Libellula depressa at Rye Meads, and 6 Ischnura elegans and 1 Pyrrhosoma nymphula at Silvermeade NR.
Last week 7/5/00 at Cornmill Stream (Lea Vally Park) spotted half a dozen Calopteryx splendens.

14th May 2000 West Yorkshire JW
Johnny Browns Common Area, South Kirkby, West Yorkshire
14th May 2000.
56 Large Red Damselflies recorded today (14/5/2000) during a visit to the Johnny Brown's Common area; the largest counts of the day being 25 at Johnny Browns Lagoon and 14 at Clayworth's Ponds. Exuvia of this species were found at Johnson's Ponds. Blue-tailed Damselfly are now quite numerous with 92 counted at Johnny Brown's Lagoon. Two teneral Azure Damselflies were noted at nearby South Kirkby Marsh and another single at Mutton Flatts Mire.
Johnny Brown's Common forms part of the SESKU Ringway http://members.aol.com/sesku/ringway

14th May 2000 Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
More infornation,this time todays listings.
Great Bottom Flash, on the Canal, 6 Brachytron exuvia, 2 Males flying, 1 female ovipositing, 22 Cordulia exuvia with 1 emergent with damaged wings. 5 Banded Agrion exuvia and assorted damselflies.
Ash Common section of the Canal - 2 Brachytron exuvia, 1 Cordulia emergent with damaged wings. A few damselflies, but Large Red ovipositing.
Also: Despite the Wild Walk being conducted by English Nature on Thursley, in the Heat, with lots of people, Clare persisted and found some interesting ones. 1 Male Anax, one day earlier than our previous records for this species locally, 3 Cordulias, ---- according to our notes Metallica can be only a week away, providing the weather doesn't change. 70 plus Quadrimaculata both emerging and flying, demonstrating that we were in the wrong place!
Whitethroat and Hobby and a few butterflies.
Some of the visitors were trying to convert the Large Reds to Small Reds, the argument being that they were small compared with the pictures in their books!! Beware strange records being submitted!!!

14th May 2000 Norfolk W&NC
Visited Wheatfen (Ted Ellis Trust reserve) this morning. Saw several sightings of male hairy dragonfly and a pair copulating. Spotted 3 immature broad bodied chasers catching the rays. Quite a few common blue and blue tailed damselflies. Collected two exuviae but haven't managed to identify them.

13th May 2000 London JA
Two Common Blue/Blue-tailed Damselflies emerged from my garden pond, in Streatham(London), at the weekend. The pond has only been there since February last year and is quite small, about 6' by 3'. The only dragonfly recorded so far was a Broad-bodied Chaser in May last year. So breeding Damselflies came as a very pleasant surprise.It just goes to show how beneficial to wildlife garden ponds can be, even in large cities.
On the 13/5/2000 on the River Chelmer, between Chelmsford and Maldon, there were 2 male Hairy Dragonflies, 7 Blue-tailed Dams, 2 Common Blue Dams, 1 Azure Dam, 25-30 Banded Dems(both males & females) and lots of Large Reds including some copulating and 2 different female forms.
Also, on the 13th, 2 male and 1 female Hairy Dragonflies near Maldon on the River Blackwater.

13th May 2000 Bucks GHM
A lovely sunny Saturday at last! I decided to visit Blue Lagoon to try to see Hairy Dragonfly. A friend had reported seeing it there last weekend. The weather was clear and calm but when I arrived (about 10:30) there were few Odonata about. The only ones seen in the morning were Large Red Damselflies and Blue-tailed Damselflies.
Around lunchtime I found one fairly newly emerged Hairy Dragonfly deep in the rushes at the edges of a marshy pond - a male. I succeeded in getting a single photo before it flew off.
As I was returning to the car, I found a few teneral Common Blue Damsels and some Azure Damselflies. I netted one of the Azures and was for a while confused about its identification. It was a female but rather than the "thistle" mark on the 2nd segment it had a clear "mercury" mark. For a while, I though I had found Variable Damselfly in MK but closer inspection of the pronotum showed that it was Azure. I had never seen this colour variant before, but found that it is commented on in both Brooks and in McGeeney.

13th May 2000 Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
Today we were back in Lakeside (below the Ash Embankment) where we were pleased to see that the ovipositing female Brachytron of some years ago had been sucessful. We collected 5 exuvia off the reeds, saw 6 males flying but some of them could from the Canal emergence (where from the Surrey section we packed up another 6 Brachytron exuvia) So our locals do lay and hatch in relatively small ponds!
Cordulia had left 8 exuvia behind on the Surrey section but no flying specimens were observed.
Banded Agrion had left 1 exuvia on the Canal, and there was one male flying over the river blackwater. Large Red, Elegans, Azure and Red-eye were visible in small numbers.
Quads and Depressa were again missing, so we will look along the Canal at Great Bottom for them tomorrow, and count the number of bicycles on the towpath (our highest count for an afternoon was 97).

1st - 12th May 2000 Surrey AB
1/5/00 - Ewood surrey TQ 195 445 - 1 large red damselfly
6/5/00 - Sidlow Surrey TQ261 474 - Banded Demoiselle
7/5/00 - Ewood Surrey - beautiful demoiselle
12/5/00 - Felland Copse Surrey TQ268 480 - large red damselflies ovipositing

12th May 2000 Essex PR
Three Banded Agrion individuals seen today in River Lee Country Park

10th May 2000 Norfolk CK
Found my first Hairy Dragonfly of the year yesterday (10 May 2000) at Horsey in east Norfolk and was surprised to find another in my own garden in Martham today. They were both males. The one at Horsey was catching insects on the lee-side of a belt of trees.

9th May 2000 Surrey/Cambs JA
Two teneral Damselflies at Chelsham Pond, Selsdon, Surrey on 9/5/2000 were probably Common Blue. Also this week many Large Red Damselflies, a few Variable Damselflies and a couple of Four-spotted Chasers at the RSPB reserve, Welches Dam, Ouse Washes.

8th May 2000 Cornwall BH
Saw first Broad-bodied chaser (female) at Rospannel pool near Land's End on 8th May, lots of Large reds and a few Azure damsels.

9th May Hampshire Various
These three items show that things are not always as bad as they appear!
Driving across the New Forest last Wednesday (26.04.00) I stopped at Crockford Bridge to have a look round.

Horror! Someone has flailed the vegetation upstream of the bridge for about 200 metres, to a width of 2 or 3 metres either side of the stream, which looks as if it has been dredged Even the tree that overhung the stream has been cut down. The whole place looks as if a bomb has been dropped on it!

Did whoever did this know of the site's importance to dragonflies? Is what has been done in fact sound conservation practice, despite looking dreadful? Does anyone know? (SH)

Crockford looks a mess but it is Forestry Commission work following Dave Winsland's management plan - it should be good for mercuriale. No dredging has occurred - news hot from EA! (VP)

Had my first trip out this afternoon as I wanted to have a look around Crockford Bridge at some recent management. Nymphula and puella were emerging well on the marl pits but neither were in evidence as mature insects. On the stream however I counted 17 territorially disposed males of C.mercuriale and one pair of P.nymphula ovipositing. Other than that a solitary virgo made its maiden flight and around the back of the scrub was a pristine L.quadrimaculata. 5 species on my first trip out is excellent.
This is my earliest date ever for mercuriale and one could speculate that they may well have been out for a number of days. Neither can I ever remember seeing them holding territories prior to having also seen C.puella. (DW)

7th May 2000 Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
Today Sunday 7th May we have some more finds to report. Clare found the following this morning. Bridges, Ash, Surrey - 3 Emergent Brachytron with exuvia plus an extra exuvia equals 4 found also Large Red and teneral Azure
Ash Embankment, Surrey section east of aqueduct - 4 Emergent Brachytron with exuvia plus a further three extra exuvia equals 7 found (did not include our Saturday exuvia)

Her total of Brachytron 11 for the morning
Our visit to Great Bottom Flash, on the Basingstoke Canal this afternoon yielded even more. Our finds were; 4 Brachytron exuvia, plus an extra emergent that we had to rescue from a thin piece of grass. Successfully flew into the trees having been stopped from hanging upside down above the water. Gives us a total of 5 today. One Cordulia exuvia. One emergent Redeye, dont think it was the "small" version!
Brachytron can be said to be alive and well in Surrey, we have our doubts about Hampshire. The two day total on the Canal, in Surrey, being 11 plus 1, plus 5 -- equals 16 found.

30th April - 6th May Cambs HC
On a cool and overcast Saturday 30th April we went on our first dragonfly foray to Castor Hanglands and saw ten Large Red damselflies near the Toad breeding area, two still emerging and three with twisted wings or abdomens. It's all still very wet from the recent rains and merits wellington boots.

Then on a better day went to Wicken Fen last Sunday (1st May) and saw many Large Red damselflies, a Hairy Dargonfly larva near the surface of a dyke looking distinctly ready to emerge, and a single Common Blue damselfly - all captured on video.

Yesterday (Saturday 6th May) I visited Woodwalton Fen on a hot, humid day and saw two female Hairy Dragonflies, with good colouration, and both hunting, but pestered by many of the recently emerged large black bibionid flies. Many Large Red damselflies again, curiously nothing else as yet though a butterfly watcher met on site said he had seen an emergent Four-spotted Chaser.

7th May 2000 Norfolk PT
As of 7th May, Norfolk is up to at least 6 species - Large Red, Azure,
Variable and Blue-tailed damsels, plus Four Spotted Chaser and Hairy
dragonflies

PS If you're into birds - I saw an Osprey as well!

6th May 2000 Buckinghamshire GHM
My first damselflies of the year were seen today at Emberton Park, near Olney, Bucks. A lovely sunny morning induced me to go and see whether any species were flying. I have received many reports from elsewhere in the UK (all of Large Red Damselfly) but not seen any activity in Milton Keynes on the past few weekends. Hardly surprising given the very wet weather we have had!
Today I saw a single female Large Red Damselfly and a female 'blue' damselfly. Unfortunately, I failed to catch it so am not sure whether it was an Azure or a Common Blue - both species are common at Emberton. I tend to favour Azure.

6th May 2000 Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
More Large Reds, both Adult and Emergent at Wyndams Pool, Yateley Country Park --- but no early Cordulia exuvia ,which we normally find at this time. Large Red exuvia found at Normandy Pond but again no other species.
Rising Temperature plus changes in water temperature, hopefully will cause Brachytron to commit itself to the climb up the reeds on the Ash Embankment, and Cordulia shouldnt be far behind. Usually Elegans can be found but not yet.
Will report further after the weekend.

24th April 2000 Norfolk CK
Saw my first damselfly of the millenium today (24 April 2000) - a Large Red - in my garden (not a particularly good site for damselflies - this is a new species for the garden list!). I live in Martham, Norfolk. I see there are already two reports of Large Red Damselfly further south, but perhaps this is of interest.
Chris Kirby.

23rd April 2000 Kent JA
At least one female Large Red Damselfly at Stodmarsh, Kent. Near the carpark on 23rd April 2000.

22nd April 2000 Cornwall BH
Saw my first Large red damsel today, Sat. 22nd. April 2000, don't know if it's the first of the year but thought you'd like to know. It was seen by Rospannel pool near Land's End. Best wishes Bernard (Hocking)

19th April 2000 Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
One Large Red (female) at Lakeside, below the Ash Embankment, found early this afternoon.
Went to Ancells LNR but it hazed over and none were seen.
Its quite a good fit with the First and Last dates, for our area, that I sent out on the 28th March.
If we get sunshine at the weekend there is hope for more at other sites.

10th April 2000 Dorset RC
First date for Large Red Damselfly(4-6 tenerals), 10th April, Studland Heath NNR, Dorset. Rees Cox.