Sightings - Early 2002

This page contains Sightings sent to the BDS between January and June 2002. You can also go to theĀ Sightings for July to December 2002.

30th June
Surrey
GHM
Thursley Common BDS meeting:
Don Tagg showed us round this excellent site. We saw Comon Blue, Emerald, Small Red, Large Red and Blue-tailed damselflies and both Beautiful and Banded Demoiselles. Good numbers of Keeled Skimmers were found including several just emerging. Other dragonflies: Four-spotted Chaser, Black Darter, Common Darter, Golden-ringed Dragonfly and a single male Downy Emerald. Exuvia of Southern Hawker, Black Darter, Keeled Skimmer, Emperor and probable Common Hawker were collected.
Also seen were an Adder and a swimming Grass Snake.

29th June
W. Sussex
JA
On the 29th June 2002 at Burton Mill Pond in West Sussex I saw a male Golden-ringed Dragonfly in the car park next to the mill. Also on the pond itself there were several Red-eyed, Azure, Blue-tailed and Common Blue Damselfly, one large Red Damselfly, one male Broad-bodied Chaser and one female Emperor.

28th June
Surrey
JA
On the 28th June 2002 on the River Wey at Godalming there were Banded and Beautiful Demoiselle, Large Red Damselfly and White-legged Damselfly.

29th June
Norfolk
GHM
Upton Fen BDS meeting.
Dr. Pam Taylor (and family) showed us round. We saw Azure, Variable, Large Red, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damsels. Also Norfolk Hawkers, Black-tailed Skimmers, Southern Hawkers, Brown Hawkers, Four-spotted Chasers and Common Darters. Also seen were White Admiral and Swallowtail butterflies (amongst others).
Strumpshaw Fen.
In the afternoon I paid a very brief visit to Strumpshaw Fen RSPB reserve where I had very good sighting of Norfolk Hawker over the ditches on the Meadow Walk.

29th June
Suffolk
NM
Visited Minsmere Saturday 29th.
Darters seen through morning, but not for long. One pair in tandem, and female ovipositing, briefly, at 12.15pm.

28th June
Lancs.
RS
Red-veined Darters have been showing well for the last week at Middleton Industrial Estate ponds near Heysham Lancs. Upto 5 males have been seen , also Four Spotted Chaser & Emperor present there.

27th June
Glos.
MJJ
Brockworth Gloucester. DuPont Factory Site
An unusual visitor on the pond this lunchtime. A mature male Banded Demoiselle was present for around an hour between 12.00 and 13.00. Possibly the strong breeze this morning had something to do with this first record for the site. Fortunately I was out with the camera anyway looking for A. imperator and managed some close pictures.

25th June
Angus
LP
I live in Arbroath, Angus in Scotland and would like to confirm sightings of the Common Blue Damselfly at the Elliot golf course. The last sightings of this species in this area was at Barry Buddon MOD between Monifieth and Carnoustie.

17th-24th June
Suffolk
SG
Minsmere: Suffolk
Minsmere staff and others identified up to 6 Red-veined Darters in the old car park pool including I believe, an oviposting female on monday 17 June with at least one male still present on wednesday morning, 19 June.
Despite searching on wednesday afternoon and thursday (including desperate efforts by myself) they appear to have disappeared and no sightings it would seem were reported until 5 males were located in the same place on monday, 24 June (and fortunately, I was able to enjoy them myself).

24th June
Northants.
DS
Moulton Park Industrial estate, Northampton. A good showing of Emperors, with two males dog fighting and one female ovipositing. Equally as good for Broad-bodied chasers, with two males and three females, of which two were seen ovipositing. There were small numbers of azure, common blue and blue-tailed damselfly and one emergent Common darter. A fair amount of action for a 15 minute viewing.

23rd June
Essex
RD
I was at the River Chelmer this afternoon (23/6/02), between Chelmsford and Maldon, more specifically between Sanford Mill Bridge and about half a mile past Cuton lock. Although most of this stretch is very close to the A12, and thus very noisy, is supports a variety of odonates. Between the river and the A12 there is also a lake. The river is very slow flowing and has much emergent vegatation. Today there were very large numbers of Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue damselfly and Blue tailed damselfly. Azure damselfly and Large red damselfly were present in smaller numbers, as well as a few Red eyed damselfly and White legged damselfly (males only seen of the latter). Several male Emperor dragonflies were seen and a female ovipositing. One male Hairy dragonfly was seen. At the lake between the river and the A12 several male Black Tailed Skimmers were seen.

22nd-23rd June
I.O.W.
JP
One female Sympetrum fonscolombei on dunes at the Duver, St. Helens, Isle of Wight, 22. vi. 2002; numbers of Orthetrum coerulescens (including an already pruinose male) on undercliff near Whale Chine, Isle of Wight, 23. vi. 2002.

20th-21st June
Hants.
RC
At Titchfield Haven NNR (20th June) 4 Black-tailed Skimmers were seen, the first this year. Although damselflies continue to be seen in reasonable numbers on the reserve, this year has been very disappointing for dragonflies so far, no doubt due to the weather!
Today (21st June) produced 2 Emperor, 1 (early) Southern Hawker, 2 Four-spotted Chaser and 4 or more Black-tailed Skimmers. Nearby, in Chilling Copse, 1 Golden-ringed Dragonfly was seen.

20th June
Glos.
MJJ
Brockworth Gloucester 20th June 2002: 12 noon, bright warm sunshine and the wind has finally dropped today. The difference in activity around the pond is striking. Multiple pairs of Large Red, Blue Tailed and Azure Damsels ovipositing. The first Anax imperator (male) cruising the pond margins, searching every little bay for a female, no luck today though. 2 male Black-Tailed Skimmers one at either end of the pond. And very surprisingly a teneral Common Darter. This is very, very early for this site, breaking the previous first appearance by almost 3 weeks.

18th June
Glos.
MJJ
DuPont site, Brockworth, Gloucester: After 2 weeks of almost unremitting rain, cold and gloom the sun finally broke through today. For 2 weeks little was to be seen but the odd damsel (I.elegans, P. nymphula, C.puella) never more than a handful to be seen on any day. Several A.imperator exuvia have been found but none of the emerged insects have been spotted yet. But today at noon in bright if slightly intermittent sunshine and a moderate breeze, multiple pairs of all 3 of the above Damsel species were seen ovipositing. Also a single mature male Black-Tailed Skimmer (O. cancellatum). Very active and constantly chasing pairs of damsels. This is the second year that O. cancellatum has appeared on the pond here but again so far no sign of breeding. As last year, it seems wandering mature males move in to feed.

17th-18th June
Northants
DS
17 June 2002 - Moulton Park Industrial Estate, Male Emperor defending territory over the litter strewn pool, chased off a male Broad-bodied chaser, small numbers of blue-tailed and azure damselfly.
18 June 2002 - Summer Leys, Northamptonshire, Four spotted chasers in evidence, but no hawkers. The common blue damselfly is now evident, with a few remaining large reds ovipositing. There are also fair numbers of azure and blue-tailed damselfly. More interestingly the banded demoiselle were mating and a female was seen ovipositing underwater.

18th June
Devon
PB
The first real day of summer provided best sightings of the year. 6 Emporer dragonfly seen, 3 hairy dragonfly and a female keeled skimmer egg laying in sphagnum periferies of pond-dipping pond. One male keeled skimmer seen later; the first sighting of the year. Very good numbers of four-spotted and broad-bodied chaser All damselflies well represented, with very good numbers of common and azure blue.

17th June
Bucks.
GHM
A sunny, warm day at last! 3 sites around Milton Keynes visited.
Blue Lagoon: Azure, Common Blue, Blue-tailed, Large Red damselflies and 4-spot Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer and a solitary male Hairy Dragonfly seen.
Howe Park: Large Red, Azure and Blue-tailed dams, 4-spot Chasers, 2 Emperor males, Black-tailed Skimmers and 4 Broad-bodied Chasers seen, the latter seen mating and ovipositing.
Stony Stratford reserve and River Great Ouse: Azure, Blue-tailed, Large Red, Red-eyed and White-legged damselflies, Banded Demoiselles, Brown Hawker and a solitary male Hairy Dragonfly.

17th June
Wilts
SC
Two weeks after the first sighting another FRESH male S. fonscolombei has been found at Chippenham lake in West Wilts. This time the observer got a good look at it while it was perched and could see red veins and saffron basal patches to the wings as well as all the other features.

17th June
N. Ireland
IR
Today was a fairly warm though distinctly windy day, with intermittent cloud but a fair amount of sunshine. A visit to an area of flushes at Leitrim near Hilltown in the Mourne Mountains, Co. Down, produced 5 teneral Keeled Skimmers (Orthetrum coerulescens), of which at least 1 was a male; 4 of these were within about an acre or so. The only damselfly was about 5 specimens of the Large Red (Pyrrhosoma nymphula). Later a gravel pit at Ballynahatten near Cranfield East close to Kilkeel, South Down, produced a single female Scarce Blue-tailed ("aurantiaca") but otherwise only Comon Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) and a single male Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) was seen; however the weather and clouded over and it was about 6 pm, so conditions were not ideal.

17th June
Wilts.
SC
Two weeks after the first sighting another FRESH male S. fonscolombei has been found at Chippenham lake in West Wilts. This time the observer got a good look at it while it was perched and could see red veins and saffron basal patches to the wings as well as all the other features. I am going to look for it myself tomorrow weather permitting.

15th June
Oxon.
GHM
BDS visit to Otmoor. About 20 members were led by Peter Reeve round this new RSPB reserve. 10 species were seen. Blue-tailed, Azure, Common Blue, Large Red and Red-eyed damsels and Black-tailed Skimmer, Emperor, 4-spot Chaser, Brown Hawker and a single immature Common Darter were seen. Several of the Black-tailed Skimmers were newly emerged, including one just inches from the water's edge, next to its exuvia.

3rd-12th June
N. Ireland
IR
First Northern Ireland record in 2002 of Banded Damselfly Calopteryx splendens this year, a male seen by Dr. Graham Saunders near the River Lagan at Lagan Meadows near Belfast, Co. Antrim, on 3rd June.
Maurice Hughes informs me of a sighting of Banded Damselflies (Calopteryx splendens) on 6th June (with Mike Robinson of Cumbria) at Dynes Bridge on the River Bann near Portadown, Co. Armagh. Maurice and Mike also recorded Irish Damselfly at Montiaghs Bog NNR, Co. Antrim, the same day.
Despite pretty poor weather weather for much of today (12th) Banded Damseflies (Calopteryx splendens) were fairly abundant on the River Bann at Dynes Bridge, about 3 miles south of Portadown; about 15 or so, with probably a majority being females were seen by me and Ted Rolston around a 30 yard stretch of the river bank. 1 or 2 were seen flying over the river, which was muddy looking and exceptionally high for mid-June.

8th-9th June
Cambs/Norfolk
JA
On saturday 8/6/02 at Ouse Washes, Welches Dam there were several, Hairy Dragonflies, Four-spotted Chasers, Variable Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle, Large Red Damselfly, lots of Red-eyed Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, 1 Black-tailed Skimmer and at least 20 Scarce Chasers!
On Sunday, at Strumpshaw Fen, despite poor weather still managed to see 1 Norfolk Hawker, a few Hairy Dragonfly, Blue-tailed Dams, Azure Dams and Four-spotted Chasers.

8th June
Suffolk
RM
I was watching a pair of large red damsel flies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) ovipositing in a small woodland pool when to my amazement a large specimen of the waterboatman Notonecta glauca seized the abdomen of the female and pulled her under. The male released his grip on her and escaped. In the clear water I could see the waterboatman swim along to the head and begin feeding. After 10 minutes it descended into the depths dragging the damselfly down with it, After an hour of waiting there was no further sign of either organism. There were good numbers of Scarce chasers, a few Norfolk Hawkers and 3 broad bodied chasers too.

8th June
Cambs.
CT
This afternoon along the River Ouse/drainage canal at Sutton Gaultby observed at least 4 Scarce Chasers, 2
Black-tailed Skimmer, 3 Hairy Dragonfly, 6 Banded Demoiselle, 100 Red Eyed Damselfly minimum, Common Blue
and Large Red Damselfly. Views of Scarce Chaser were superb as were close observation, down to 3 feet, of
male Hairy Dragonfly devouring a damselfly!

6th June
Devon
PB
A warm mid-day provided best records of the season. Good numbers of both four spotted and broad-bodied chaser. Damselflies inlcuded common blue, azure, red-eyed, blue-tailed, and beautiful demoiselle. Hairy dragonfly patrolling all ponds and first sighting of downy emerald and female emperor.

4th June
Essex
TC
Made a brief visit to Roman River Valley Nature Reserve, Essex, this early evening with the intention of hoping to see the Beautiful Demoiselle, as it's known at this site. With the weather being overcast & rather late in the day, I didn't expect much, more a trip to locate the site & to come back to at a later date in the season. I was lucky enough to find 2 males & 2 females amongst some nettles at bankside. Unsually they all had their wings spread out, rather than closed together as I have observed with the Banded D. I only assume this is consistent of freshly emerged specimens?

2nd June
Berkshire
JWS
This is a good year locally for Cordulia. All the usual sites visited have turned up records, and this species has been observed at three new sites: Wildmoor Bog, Cobblers Hole Bog and Pickle Herring Pond, Windsor Great Park. Cordulia very active at Englemere Pond on 2 June, with 10 males interacting, and 1 female ovipositing and then mating.

2nd June
Leics.
CT
Observed pair of Hairy Dragonflies this afternoon on Grantham Canal between Plungar and Barkstone. Female was seen ovipositing by Ian Merril later in afternoon. Other species: Red-eyed Damsel, Blue-tail, Azure, Variable and Large Red, plus Four-spotted Chasers.

1st June
Wiltshire
SC
A fairly new recorder of mine phoned me today to say that he had seen an unusual dragonfly on a small shallow lake newly created on the outskirts of Chippenham in Wilts. It caught his eye because it was bright red all over, including the eyes, was about the same size and shape as the black tailed skimmers also present, and frequently stopped and hovered for a moment before continuing on its way. Unfortunately he doesnt have a camera so could only take notes. He had seen it at about 11.00 and it was 13.00 before I got there but there was no sign of it although I stayed there for over two hours! I have now seen the observer of the insect in question and shown him a selection of photos and field guide illustrations of both Crocothemis and fonscolombei and from his field notes taken and his reaction to said pics I am now positive that it was a Red-veined darter he saw and not a Scarlet darter! Although not so rare it is still exciting as it constitutes a first record for Wiltshire. It never did reappear(I only wish I could have seen it myself!)

2nd June
Somerset
DJG
Two male Sympetrum fonscolombei in Dunes at Berrow, Somerset 2 June 2002

2nd June
W. Yorks
JW
Bullcarr Pond, Upton, West Yorkshire: 2 to 4 male Broad-bodied Chaser and an ovipositing female along with Four-spot Chaser (20), Large Red Damselfly (6) and numerous Azure and Blue-tailed Damselfies.

1st-2nd June
Hereford & Worcs.
MA
Sat 1/6/02: Two red veined Darters were seen at a gravel pit near Hereford (PG)
Sun 2/6/02: Red veined Darters are evident in the County of Worcestershire today. At Ryall Gravel pits there were two males (MA), while at Kinsham there were also two males (SW), but at Pirton Pool there were 12 male Darters (MA)
PG- Peter Garner, MA- Mike Averill, SW- Steve Whitehouse

1st June
Oxon/Bucks
GHM
Goring, Oxfordshire. 4 Club-tailed Dragonflies seen emerging at railway viaduct. Also several (c10) exuvia. Also seen: Banded Demoiselle, Red-eyed Dam and single, teneral, White-legged Dam.
Burnham Beeches, S. Bucks. Searching for Downy Emerald but none seen. Many Large Red, Azure and Common Blue in cop and ovipositing. 3 male and 1 very teneral (with exuvia) Braod-bodied Chaser. 1 male Emperor Dragonfly hunting over Middle Pond.

30th May
Lincs.
APC
Broad-bodied Chaser (male) - Riseholme, Lincolnshire 30th May 2002. Also at same location; Azure Damselfly c30, Blue-tailed c50-100.

29th May/1st June
Devon
DSm
Chudleigh Knighton Heath - 29 May 2002; Newly-emerged Keeled Skimmer.
Little Bradley Ponds - 1 June 2002; 3 Downy Emeralds (Dave Smallshire).

29th May
S. Yorks.
PW
This evening I found a recently emerged Southern Hawker at the edge of my garden pond, this is about 2 months earlier than the first ones last year. I took several digital photos. I also found two hawker nymph cases which were presumably Southerns, although Brown Hawker does also breed here.

27th May
Bucks.
GHM
Sunny and dry in Milton Keynes, despite the weather forecast. 3 sites visited.
Haversham: Banded Demoiselle (30+), Blue-tailed (100+), Large Red (30+ including pairs in tandem), Azure (10+), a solitary, teneral, Red-eyed and a solitary, teneral, White-legged.
Howe Park Wood ponds: Large Red (30+ including both tandem and ovipositing pairs), Blue-tailed (3-5), Azure (3-5), a solitary male Common Blue (with full colouration) and 1 Four-spotted Chaser.
Teardrops Lakes: Large Red (30+), White-legged (100+ all immature, many females f. lactea in grass beside lakes), Blue-tailed (100+ incl. tandem), Azure (10+), Common Blue (10+). Also seen were a male and a female Banded Demoiselle, unusual on the lakes but commonly seen on the stream below.

27th May
Hants.
RC
At Brownwich Pond in Southern Hampshire today large numbers of Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies were seen, most in tandem and ovipositing. A few Red-eyed Damsels were seen - also in tandem.
Dragonflies are still few and far between in this area: just 1 Broad-bodied Chaser today.

27th May
Cambs.
PeteS
A rare afternoon of sunshine allowed a visit to Woodwalton Fen. We were rewarded with excellent views of Hairy Dragonfly (20+), Scarce Chaser (30+), Four-Spotted Chaser (3), Large Red (30+) and Azure (100's). Particularly good was a mating pair of Hairy Dragonflies who remained perched on reeds for almost an hour giving an amazing photo opportunity from only feet away. On return journey called in at Grantham Canal (Redmile, Leics) and found 2 Variable Damselflies still active into evening.

26th-27th May
Cheshire
RMcH
Today Teneral Four spot Chaser just emerged from pond at Birchwood, Warrington a bit earlier than last year. Also Large Red (6), Blue-tailed (3) and Azure (40) Damsels on the wing.
On Sunday (26th), a meeting organised by the Cheshire Dragonfly BAP group, co-ordinated a group of volunteers from a variety of conservation bodies and friends, to accurately map Gomphus presence and emergence from the Dee at Farndon and up and downstream. Although the weather wasn't great several exuvia were found and a few adults were on the wing.

26th May
Northants.
GHM
BDS field trip to Titchmarsh Reserve led by John Showers. Despite heavy showers, we saw five species of damselfly, but unfortunately no sign of Hairy Dragonfly which was the main target of the trip (though the habitat is obviously suitable and the species has been recorded from the reserve). Damselflies seen: a few dozen Blue-tailed and Common Blue (most of the Common Blues were very immature having pale pinkish brown rather than blue colouration), a few Azures and a few immature Red-eyed. Along the River Nene were many Banded Demoiselles. We also had a good view of five Hobbies hunting over the lakes, some almost skimming the water surface.

25th May
Hants.
RC
At Whiteley Pastures in Southern Hampshire today, I had a freshly emerged Emperor Dragonfly. Other species seen were 10 Beautiful Demoiselles and several Azure and Large Red Damsels.

23rd May
Northants.
DS
At Summer Leys, there were good numbers of Large Red Damselfly, some in tandem, with one pair ovipositing, and good numbers of Azure Damselfly, one pair seen in tandem, and more alarmingly one mature male eating the head off an unfortunate teneral. A few Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselfly were also seen. At least two Hairy Dragonfly were on the wing during the longer sunny periods. No Common Blue Damselfly were evident so the Black and White Damselfly seen on the 24 April 2002 was more likely to have been an Azure, but it did seem to have broad antehumeral stripes.

23rd May
Cumbria
LS
Newly emerged Four-spotted Chaser today. Site: North Cumbria, Bowness-on-Solway. Cumbria Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve. Also plenty of Damselflies:- Large Reds, Azures and a few Blue-tailed.

22nd May
Dorset
AP
Just a quick note to say that yesterday (22 May) a male Red-veined Darter was seen briefly on Portland, Dorset - though not in the usual site, which has now apparently been partly infilled.
We seem to be getting major influxes every other year at the moment, and 2002 is due to be a good year. I wonder if this will come true?

21st May
Norfolk
NR
First exuviae of Black Tailed Skimmer this year for the site at Costessey, nr Norwich. The single example was 2 metres from the water's edge, approximately 80cms high on a leaf blade of Glyceria maxima. On the same day a field visit to the Whitwell/Matishall area of the River Tud, Norfolk, revealed very occasional Large Reds and Banded Demoiselles, in a well drained floodplain, although an apparent deficit of Blue damsels in the dyke system.

17th May
Cheshire
RMcH
Spotted Hairy Dragonfly on the River Weaver the Vale Royal Abbey cut (1st for Cheshire). Also there were Red eyed, Blue tailed, Large Red and Azure Damsels near the Abbey.

19th May
Lincs.
APC
Riseholme Lakes - Lincoln. c50 Blue-tailed Damselflies, c10 Azure Damselflies.

18th May
Cambs.
VP
Emergence of several Scarce Chaser (Libellula fulva) along Great Raveley Drain at Woodwalton Fen NNR under cool and cloudy conditions. Also Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) emerging on the Fen itself.

19th May
Hants.
RC
At Durley Mill, in Southern Hampshire, on 19th May, 20 or more Beautiful Demoiselles were seen along footpaths adjacent to streams leading to the River Hamble. The first of many no doubt, as this area is particularly good for the species.

19th May
Essex
TC
Stopped briefly at Wake Valley Pond Epping on route to Waltham Abbey. It was about 1.30pm, the sun had already been out for the past few hours and was very warm. The pond edges were alive with activity compared to the comparative quiet of yesterday afternoon. There were numerous damselflies, some in tandem; Large Red, Common Blue, Azure & Blue tailed. Also saw four Downy Emeralds, Two Four-Spotted Chasers & Two Hairy Dragonflies, all hawking in the marginals.
During the walk at Cornmill Meadows, the same large amounts of Damselflies were in evidence, with the addition of numerous Banded Demoiselles around the nettle beds, near to the faster flowing section of the stream. Also saw four Hairy Dragonflies hawking, including one which flew past me on the path which I followed & was rewarded with a landing on a nettle. The fist time for me, being able to observe this species at rest, needless to say the camera was clicking overtime! Two Four Spotted Chasers were also on the wing.

18th May
Essex
TC
Just back from a late afternoon walk around Wake Valley Pond, Epping Forest, Essex. Arrrived at the site about 3.45pm, just as the sun had decided to break through after a dull day. Was fortunate to spot two freshly emerged Downy Emeralds, one on a leaf on a birch tree, & one on a dead tree stump. Although they were posing nicely for the camera, I would have needed to be seven foot tall to get the best angle! Whilst I was watching the one on the birch leaf, its wings started to quiver non stop for about three minutes before it launched itself on its maiden flight high into the top of the birch tree. Also came across four Four-Spotted Chasers, on marginal Iris stems with their empty exuviae cases a few cms away. These were a easier height for photographing.
A good start to a promising 2002 season.

16th May
Devon
PB
Stover Country Park.
5 or more hairy dragonfly patrolling lake-side vegetation. Ovipositing broad-bodied and four-spotted chaser in pond peripheries; 6 plus female broad-bodied in heathland away from the ponds. Good numbers of red-eyed damselfly (40+) have emerged but far from their peak in mid June. 25 Azure and 100 plus large red damselfly throughout the park. First beautiful demoiselle seen in scrub habitat; still waiting for first downy emerald sightings.

16th May
Bucks.
GHM
Blue Lagoon LNR, Bletchley. Upwards of 100 Large Red Damselflies on the wing some in tandem and ovipositing. Also good numbers of Azure damselflies, a single Blue-tailed and 2 Four-spotted Chasers. 3 Male Hairy Dragonflies also counted.
Stony Stratford Wildlife Conservation Area and River Great Ouse. Hundreds of Azures together with lesser numbers of Blue-tailed (in mating wheel) and Large Reds (ovipositing). About a dozen Banded Demoiselles seen on the river bank, both males and females.

16th May
Hampshire
RC
Titchfield Haven NNR, Hampshire. First major emergence of Azure Damsels. Also singles of Broad-bodied Chaser and Blue-tailed Damsel (first records for year at this site). 1 Hairy Dragonfly seen today.

16th May
Oxon.
CW
4 Gomphus exuviae on grass at the edge of the Thames at Goring, near the railway bridge, and 3 immatures seen taking off at about 2pm. One landed 25 yards inland, the others drifted off in the wind. Many Banded Dems along the river, plus an immature White-legged Damsel in nearby Hartslock reserve.

16th May
N. Ireland
IR
On a bright warm morning with a fresh wind, I visited Montiaghs Bog NNR near Aghalee, Co. Antrim (J0965), hoping to see Irish Damselfly (Coenagrion lunulatum). The Irish Damselfly was much in evidence. As well as about 15 mature males (indicating that they had been out for at least a few days), 2 or 3 mating pairs were seen, of which 1 was observed apparently ovipositing into stems and leaves of Shining Pondweed (Potamogeton natans) a plant which seems to be used for this purpose by a number of Damselfly species; this was captured on Camcorder.
Also seen were about 4 Hairy Dragonflies (Brachytron pratense), and about 10 Four-spotted Chasers (Libellula quadrimaculata), and at least as many Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) and Variable Damselflies (Coenagrion pulchellum) though many Coenagrions went unidentified. Despite plenty of searching, no Azure Damselflies (Coenagrion puella) or Blue-tailed Damselflies (Ischnura elegans) were seen. However in the afternoon, the latter was seen at Navan Quarry near Armagh (1) and Enagh Lough near Caledon, Co. Tyrone (c. 8). Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) was also seen at Kiltubbrid Lake near Middletown, Co. Armagh (c. 10). Large Red Damsels were seen at all these sites with Variable also at Kiltubbrid (1) and Enagh Loughs (c. 15), but neither of the 2 larger dragonfly species were seen in the afternoon.
The Navan Quarry site also looked to be a potential new site for the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura pumilio) but it may still be a little early, despite having emerged about 10th May in Co. Wicklow. Azure Damselfly is probably already out and may be joined in a week or ten days by Banded Damselfly (Calopteryx splendens).

15-16th May
Norfolk
NR
15th May - At Costessey,nr Norwich, adjacent River Wensum, site now yeilding Azures en masse, very good numbers of female Red Eyed, more than previously recorded. Also first records this year on site for 4 Spot Chaser (newly emerged during mid afternoon), and Common Blue damselfly.Blue tails and Large Reds also numerous and widespread across site.
16th May - Male Banded Demoiselle over the River Glaven,upstream of Glandford village with temperatures soaring to a heady 23 C.

15th May
Glos.
MJJ
After a very cold dull spell of almost 2 weeks with little to be seen, the sun finally broke through today. Though breezy, the bright sunshine made a world of difference. Dozens of Large Red Damels and Azures, a couple more Blue Tailed and at 13.00, the seasons first Broad Bodied Chaser. A female (do females always emerge first?) rising on her first flight and then perching in perfect position to have her picture taken. After all first appearances being 2 to 3 weeks in advance early in the season, the cold weather seems to have brought everything back on schedule.

11-12th May
Northants.
DS
A recently emerged common blue damselfly, almost black and white, was seen at Summer Leys nature reserve, Northamptonshire on 11 May 2002.
Large red damselfly and a hairy hawker were seen on the wing on 12 May 2002 at about 12:00 also at Summer Leys.

12th May
Cambs.
HC
On a very warm day with only light breeze, Lynn and I visited the Brickpits at Norman Cross next to the A1, where we saw Large Red, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies, and two teneral Four-spotted chaser dragonflies, one of these newly emerged and just taking its first flight. Well worth a visit, they've just opened up some of the encroaching reedbed making more good shallow habitat for our dragonfly friends.

27th April
Somerset
MF
27th April - Hairy Dragonfly - Shapwick Heath, Somerset levels, whilst on bird watching trip. One seen at close range (photographed) perched feeding on large fly, Second seen hawking between willows. Also seen, Large Red Damselflies, ?Blue damselflies and one Common Emerald Damselfly.
Week ending 27th April - Member of bird club told me of three dragonflies seen over stream in Thornbury, South Gloucestershire. No positive id. but description suggests they where dragonflies, not damselflies.
Week ending 13th April - Large dragonfly of the hawker type seen by my wife hawking high (4-5 metres) above the bushes and pond at the bottom of our garden, Dursley, Gloucestershire.

11th May
Cambs.
GHM
Milton Keynes Natural History Society meeting at Wicken Fen. Despite rather indifferent weather conditions, four species were found. Most abundant were Variable Damselfly (a few dozen individuals) with a few Azure and Large Reds. Also seen on the visit was a female Hairy Dragonfly. Also excellent sightings of a male Marsh Harrier and at least 4 Hobbies. Turtle Dove was also heard.

11th May
Hants.
RC
In the New Forest today (11th May) at Pig Bush, about 15 Four-spotted Chasers were noted during an hours walk. Large Red Damsels were abundant, with well over 50 seen.

9th May
W. Sussex
DF
Sightings for the Pulboropugh Brooks Reserve.
The first sightings of a Broad-bodied chaser on the 9th of May. A superb freshly dried female with several blue-tailed damselfly. No other mass emergance yet but blue tailed damselfly are the most frequent so far.

10th May
Berkshire
CW
A few Calopteryx near Reading today, but with the dull weather only one was flying, one of four Beautiful Demoiselles, all female, beside Clayhill Brook. One Banded Demoiselle was by the Holy Brook at Southcote, and four at Foudry Brook; all males. I expect the females were better hidden, and I didn't try to flush them out.

10th May
Notts.
PeteS
A midday walk along the Grantham Canal at Redmile produced the following. Variable (20+), Blue-tailed (3), Azure (10+), Emerald (3)

8th May
Berkshire
CW
At Reading's Thames Valley Park the damselflies included 8 Common Blue , 8 Red-eyed and 6 Large Red. I didn't try ounting the crowds of Azure and Blue-tailed. In mid-afternoon two 4-spotted Chasers were out hunting and a third was taking its first flight.

5th May
W. Yorks.
JW
A walk around the Johnny Brown's Common Area, near South Kirkby in West Yorkshire, produced a single Four-spot Chaser and damselfies including Large Red (7), Azure (3) and Blue-tailed (1).

5th May
Somerset
PeteS
A 2 hour visit to Ashcott Corner in Somerset produced 6 species of damselflies, large numbers of Large Red and Azures, Blue-tailed (2), Common Blue (3), Red-eyed (1) and Banded Demoiselle (1). Dragonflies included Hairy Dragonfly (3) and Four-spotted Chaser (1).
Birds of interest, 20 plus Hobbys feasting on our beloved Odonata.

4th May
Teeside
MikeH
At Dorman's Pool, Teesmouth on 4 May, a teneral Four-spotted Chaser was found beating the previous Durham earliest by 20 days. A teneral Blue-tailed Damselfly also present. No widespread emergence of Large Red Damselflies that areas to the south are experiencing.

4th May
Hants.
RC
On 3rd May a visitor to Titchfield Haven NNR in southern Hampshire reported the first Brachytron for the reserve this year. On 4th May I had a female Brachytron in pristine condition in my garden (very near the reserve) sunning itself for half-an-hour - best photo opportunity ever!

3rd May
Norfolk
NR
Several Red eyed across a 3 hectare site at Costessey, near Norwich. All teneral but well on way to coloration, and chinooking away into taller vegetation/shrubs quite readily in warm sunshine c16 degrees. Large Reds on site are frequent, with Azures occasional.

2nd May
Glos.
MJJ
In the warm sunshine, between showers, spotted the last of our 3 Damsel species. Teneral male C. puella perching on brambles. This date compares with May 16th in 2001. Yesterday the first I. elegans was seen (compared to May 18th 2001). 5 more seen today including one who's first flight ended in a spiders web. P. nymphula have been increasing steadily since April 10th and over 50 tenerals were seen today!

29th April
Surrey
D&JD
Ash Embankment, Surrey.
We went for a wander along the Embankment, from the Vale Furnishing end this afternoon. On the Bridges section we turned over 2 male Elegans and a couple of females. On the Embankment proper, we found another male Elegans and a few females. Near the Aqueduct we found an exuvia of female Brachytron, about 8 inches above water, despite the wind. On our way back through the Bridges section, after the Canal turns North, we came across an Emergent Male Brachytron, complete with exuvia on a different reed. Again about 8 inches above water. This one, we assume, emerged during the time it took us to search our way to the Aqueduct and return!

28th April
Cornwall
PS
Looe, Cornwall.
Two very fresh broadbodied chasers both in the same point in a low hedge one just clinging to its larvae case 3m away from my garden pond. Sheltering in very strong winds I hope they have some sun tommorrow for their sake.

25th April
Bucks.
GHM
Walton Lake and River Ousel near the Open University, Milton Keynes. Despite a noticeable drop in temperature over the past 24 hours, I found many damselflies. 30+ Azure (male and female, mostly immature), 16 Large Red (male and female, some quite mature), and 3 very immature Blue-tailed.

25th April
Norfolk
NR
Azure and Blue Tailed damselflies were recorded on the wing at Costessey,near Norwich.These were occasional individuals across a 3 hectare site of shallow lagoons, recorded on the 25/04/02. The initial date on the site for Large Red was 11/04/02, ahead of recent years on this location.

25th April
Hants
RC
At Titchfield Haven reserve today in Southern Hampshire:- 15+ Large Red Damselflies, 2 Azure Damselflies.

24th April
Berkshire
CW
20 or so Variable Damselflies yesterday, 24th, at Searles Lakes near Reading, with some mature males and blue females. I had not been able to find them at these former gravel pits before, but it turns out they were in Speckled Wood habitat, small clearings and rides between willows, oaks etc. Also on reeds at the lake edges overhung but not shaded by trees.

24th April
Suffolk
SG
Four-spotted Chaser on the wing at North Warren, RSPB on 24/4/02 together with Large Red damselfly.

24th April
Berkshire
CW
At Searles Lakes [former gravel pits] near Reading, about 20 Variable Damselflies, including a few mature males and blue females.

24th April
Northants.
DS
Recently emerged large red damselfly were seen at Summer Leys nature reserve, Northamptonshire, on the 24 April 2002. Talking to the local visitors to the reserve, emergent large reds were seen as early as Saturday 20 April 2002.

24th April
Bucks
RE
My first odonata of the year - about 10 Large Red Damselflies around the ponds across the road from the Ouzel Valley Park, near Woughton-on-the-Green, Milton Keynes, Bucks.

21st-23rd April
Hants.
D&JD
Ancells Local Nature Reserve at Fleet, Hampshire.
On Sunday 21st Clare was there and put a slim medium dragonfly! (unidentified). Jean and I were there yesterday and I put up an immature Depressa, which set off towards the ponds in the other field. Today Jean put up a slim medium dragonfly, freshly emergerged, that headed for the trees beside the reserve boundary (again unidentified). In the meantime I had found another freshly emerged Depressa, on this new pond. The existing pond is relatively inactive. Out of the reserve on the ditch section an emergent damselfly was put up, small and translucent, so another one got away.
There has been no shortage of Large Reds, they are also at Pyestock Tanks.
We now have the problem with this new pond as to whether they are Cordulias emerging or some Brachytron,which do appear on local ponds.

23rd April
Norfolk
SS
First sighting of the season a few large red damselflies, Thompsons Common Norfolk.

23rd April
Bucks.
GHM
Female and teneral Large Red Damselflies at Stony Stratford Nature Reserve and male ditto at Blue Lagoon LNR.

23rd April
Berkshire
CW
At the Foudry Brook in south Reading, just below the sewage works outfall, were 6 Azure Damselflies (4 female), 3 Blue-tailed, of which one was already mature, and 6 Large Reds.

21st April
Surrey
CC
April 21st Stanwell Moor, Staines, used to be Middlesex but I believe comes under Surrey now. Produced my first for the year in the shape of what looked like a female Banded Demoiselle.

21st April
Surrey
MH
A single Large Red damselfy seen at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey (TQ180765 approx).

21st April
Sussex
DF
Sightings for Pulborough Brooks. The first damselfly record for the reserve was on the 21st of April, sp. Large red. The first dragonfly was also on the same date not seen by staff, but from a reliable source of a probable pratense.

20th April
Norfolk
PC
My first sighting of Large Red Damselfly this year, on 20th April. Half way along old railway line on pingo trail Cranberry Rough Great Hockham Norfolk. Lots of Orange Tip butterflys as well.

19th April
N. Ireland
IR
On 19th April about 10 Large Red Damselflies were reported at Montiaghs by Brian Nelson, Rosemary Mulholland and Jim Bradley. On the same date Ted Rolston also reported a number of Large Red Damseflies there, and a Dragonfly which he thinks was the Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense), possibly a female. I would also tend to agree with this although it is the only April record of an Anisopteran I know of for Ireland, and at least 2-3 weeks before one would expect it (I believe the earliest record of an adult Hairy Dragonfly in Northern Ireland is about 2nd May 1990); I understand though that exuviae, though not adults, have been found of this species in Northern Ireland in late April.

10th April
Glocs.
MJJ
First Odonata of the year today, 10th April, at 13.00. A single teneral Large Red Damsel here at DuPont Gloucester. That is some 3 weeks earlier than last year, which seems to be about the schedule for almost everything so far this spring. Frogs, butterflies, cowslips, all are about 3 weeks in advance of 2001 dates.

10th April
Hampshire
RM-R
First odonata observation of the year here at Itchen Valley Country Park, near Southampton, Hampshire, was a single teneral large red damselfly at about 1pm on Wednesday 10th April, seen near and probably emerged from our pond-dipping pond, which is in full sun but sheltered from these cheeky north-easterly winds. No date for first emergence here last year, but earlier than I would have expected.

6th April
N. Ireland
IR
Robert Thompson reports seeing a Large Red Damselfly at Montiaghs Bog, Co. Antrim, on 6th April (apart from 1 in Hampshire on 3rd April this seems to be the earliest Odonata sighting in the British Isles in 2002) about 2 weeks earlier than the previous earliest date for Northern Ireland.

3rd April
Hampshire
D&JD
This afternoon (3.p.m. clock-time) we had our first Large Red of the season at Ancells L.N.R. at Fleet, Hampshire.
As in previous years it was a case of waiting for the afternoon sun to heat up the ditch and hedgerow outside the reserve. Once again found resting on Bramble. In previous years they used to be on the Gorse but that has been reduced and they are now found on the bramble.

(2001) Nov 30th
W. Sussex
DF
[Received on Jan 26th] At Pulborough Brooks RSPB reserve in West Sussex we had a Southern Hawker on the 30th of November. It was the last sighting of this species we had.