Sightings - Early 2003

This page contains Sightings sent to the BDS between January and June 2003. You can also go to theĀ Sightings for July to December 2003.

25th June Derbys. DS
Seen over a pond by the side of the road between the Long Hill Road out of Buxton and Errwood Reservoir along the Goyt Valley. One male Black-tailed Skimmer, two male Common Blue Damselfly and two male Large Red Damselfly, which appeared to be smaller than the Common Blue Damselfly.


4th July Cumbria GJ
A male Hairy Dragonfly that I recorded at Meathop Moss, Cumbria Wildlife Trust reserve, on the 8th June 2003 has been accepted as the first record for Cumbria by David
Clarke, BDS North of England recorder.


29th June Cambs. AN
Wicken Fen The Dragonfly Project safaris.
FEN : Hairy H 3 males; Emperor 4 +; Brown H 6 +; Migrant H 1; BTS c10 mating; C Darter 15 m; Variable D in one ditch c 60 pairs ovp very good numbers present; Azure ovp present DNC; C Blue ovp DNC; B tailed m DNC very high numbers; L red 1; Emerald 1 .
Monks Load : Emperor 8 + ovp; Brown H 4 +; C Darter 2; Variable D c 20 ovp; Banded Dem 2; Red eyed c 20 ovp; Azure ovp present DNC; C Blue ovp DNC; B tailed m c 50.


28th June Oxon. AN
Visited RSPB Otmoor on Saturday 28 June with RSPB Phoenix youth group helping the RSPB with reed planting great day enjoyed by all anyway observations:
Its becoming a superb site for dragonflies and is looking very good now especially with the rapidly developing reedbeds.
Emperor ovp 4 min; Southern H 1; Brown H 6 min exuvia found 3; 4spot c50; BTS c 300 + ovp I have never seen so many very abundant here and high numbers found with incomplete/ failed wing emergence; C Darter c20 exuvia found 8; Azure present ovp Did Not Count; C Blue present ovp DNC; Red Eyed 6; B Tailed hugh numbers present well over 500 ovp simple everywhere.


29th June Bucks. GHM
Haversham, River Great Ouse and nearby ponds: 2 Brown Hawkers, 1 Four-spotted Chaser, 100s Banded Demoiselles, 100s Blue-tailed Damselflies (including pairs in wheel), 10+ Azure Dams, Common Blue Dams and White-legged Dams (including pairs in wheel), 2+ Red-eyed Dams and a single Large Red Damselfly (male).
Stony Stratford Conservation Area pond: 1 Brown Hawker, 3+ Emperor Dragonfly (males), 10+ 4-spots, 3+ Common Darters. Hundreds or Blue-tailed and Azure dams including pairs in wheel or tandem, also 10+ Common Blues (some in tandem), 10+ Red-eyed and a solitary male White-legged (presumably strayed from the nearby river.
Also excellent sightings of a Kingfisher and a Green Woodpecker.


30th June Worcs. CG
A female L. depressa flew into our (rather hot) greenhouse today. I rescued her carefully and she then stayed in the garden near the pond for several hours. I am 2 miles from Bewdley, Worcestershire.


1st July Ireland IR
I saw my first Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) in Northern Ireland this year today, though I had seen 1 near Dromod in Co. Leitrim on 25th June (this is not however the first Irish record of 2003) and it had also been seen by Kenny Murphy near Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone, on 29th June. My own was at Navan Fort near Armagh, which had presumably come from nearby Loughnashade or the pools at adajcent Navan Quarry. Around Navan Quarry there was a teneral female Common Darter, several Libellula and about 10 Enallagma, but surprisingly no other Odonata species though this site has recorded 12 species (6 each of Anisoptera and Zygoptera) and the weather was mainly bright and warm though breezy; up to 80 Common Blue butterflies were seen altogether with at least 7 other butterfly species. At Thompsons Quarry at Lisadian, about 3 miles west of Armagh, only about 4 Ischnura elegans were seen.
Alex Copland reports one Black Darter (the first I have heard of in Ireland this year), two Brown Hawkers, two Beautiful Demoiselles, one Four-spotted Chaser, two Common Hawkers and one Large Red Damselfly at Tullinicky Bog near Portumna, South-east Galway (Central Grid Ref.: M899124) on 29th June. He also believes he may have seen 2 female Beautiful Demoiselles but as these were seen at a distance he is not certain. However he did see one male C. virgo on 24th June near Enaghan, Co. Offaly (N518185). There seems to be some evidence that it is spreading in the midlands, though it is equally possible it has been overlooked.
He also had Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa) in Portumna Forest Park, South-east Galway, on 14th June and had several Common Hawkers this year (both at Portumna Forest Park and as well as a single individual in his garden at Ballycrissane near Ballinasloe, North-east Galway (M861130).
David Nixon visited Tonnagh Quarry near Derrygonnelly, Co. Fermanagh, on 1st July and had at least 12 Scarce Blue-tailed damselflies ( 3 /4 mating pairs and 1 Orange female), 1 Brown Hawker and 2-3 Four Spot Chasers.


16-30th June Glos. MJJ
Brockworth Gloucester. Returned to the pond on June 16th. Immediately, saw several teneral Common Darters rising from the waterside plants. More interesting still was the larger dark individual taking a first flight disappearing into the wild area behind the pond. Finally tracked this to a perch and found it to be a teneral Black Tailed Skimmer. This is great news as its the first record of O. cancellatum breeding on the site. Previously only adult males had been seen.. or so I thought. Large numbers of our resident damsels, many paired and ovipositing. Blue Tailed, Azure and Large Red all present again in good numbers.
Further highlights for June include numerous Broad Bodied Chasers, with females observed ovipositing on 2 occassions. The first male Emperor was seen on June 20th although I think the major emergence had taken place in my absence. This was a mature male. Several others seen since. A female was observed ovipositing on the 23rd.


29th June London JA
On the 29/6/03 at South Norwood Country Park, London the following species were seen. At the lake, several male, one female and a mating pair of Black-tailed Skimmers and one male Emperor. Nearby along the cemetry edge there was a adult male Southern Hawker. At the New Pond there were several Azure Damselflies, a female Broad-bodied Chaser ovipositing, a few Emperor and one Common Darter exuvia.


28th June London S&SP
Latchmore Brook - Saturday 28th June.
We arrived at Latchmore Brook at 2.30 p.m. to search for the Scarce Blue-tailed damselfly. We were very pleased as there were quite a lot around once we had followed the Brook away from the crowds. We only managed to see one Southern damselfly. Other species also seen were Large Red, Small Red, Azure Blue damselflies, Keeled Skimmers and Four-Spot Chasers.


26/27th June Cardigan RW
Teifi Marshes Reserve, Cardigan
June 26th first Beautiful Demoiselle (m) seen at the start of the boardwalk from the road entering the reserve.
June 27th (same area) male & female seen. Also Large Red Damselfly. From Kingfisher Hide; Broad Bodied Chasers, Common & Blue Tailed Damselfly.
When the sun is shining this place really comes alive: great insect life generally but particularly good for the
Dragon/Damsel flys, Butterflies, Moths & Bees. Great habitat management (watch out for the water buffalo!).


18th June Essex TC
Abberton Reservoir, Nr Colchester Essex. Some sightings from back to the 18th June that might be of interest. I saw 3 Southern Hawkers patrolling one of the ponds around the reserve, plus one individual feeding in a wooded area.
Also a couple of miles away at Layer de la Haye, numerous Beautiful, & Banded Demoiselles were sighted along the Roman river.Four Emperors, were on the wing over a long grass meadow alongside the Roman river.


21st June Northants SF
21 June 2003, Grafton Underwood - Private site on Boughton Estates land. Observed the following:
*2 male emperors
*1 female emperor ovipositing (alone, in several spots, on the underside of floating vegetation)
*1 4 Spot-Chaser
*3 mature male broad-bodied chasers
*1 mature female (the first I knew of her presence was when all 3 males began whizzing around in competition. This led to 1 male copulating with her whilst in a hover. She then dipped down several times and quickly dipped her abd. into the water, so presumably the cop. Was successful.)
*~6 teneral (shiny-winged/pale brown coloration/couldn't fly far when disturbed.etc) DARTER species. I assume these would be Common Darter because of the early date, but of course the legs were also pale brown too! Unfortunately I couldn't find any exuvia from near where I disturbed these.
*BT damsels (m and f)
*Common Blue
I managed to collect another 2 4-spot chaser exuvia and I also collected 3 emperor exuvia, but managed to lose one:- (I keep forgetting how light they are and how easily they get blown away! Earlier on I had also bumped into 2 immature emperors warming themselves (wing vibrating) out in some long grass away from any ponds. I guess this was round about 06:45, so hardly surprising they weren't buzzing around!


25/26th June Ireland IR
On 25th June, a warm and mainly bright day, I saw a single Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) flying around a ditch at the edge of the dome of a raised peat bog at Gubagraffy (N0690) about 1 mile ENE of Dromod, Co. Leitrim, in the Republic of Ireland. This was a surprise as it was exactly the sort of habitat favoured by Aeshna juncea (though I also saw one last autumn in similar habitat a few miles away). However as well as the Shannon, there are lakes in the area which are likely to provide favourable habitat. This is of course 1 day later than the Aeshna grandis and Aeshna juncea seen by Peter Doyle on 25th in Co. Kildare (with an exuvia of Aeshna juncea found on 15th June in Co. Donegal by Terry Tedstone).

Also seen on another part of the bog not far away was a female Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense), while there were 4 male and 1 female Banded Damselflies on a short stretch of the Rinn River at Annaveagh Bridge a few miles further east at N104896. Libellula quadrimaculata, Pyrrhosoma nymphula, Ischnura elegans, and Enallagma cyathigerum were all seen at bog or lake habitat in this general area that day, with Libellula quadrimaculata on a bog near Mullagh, Co. Cavan.

On 26th June, also in good weather, and in company with Ted Rolston and Laurence Morgan, we found a mating pair and about 8-10 mature male Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies at Tonnagh Quarry near Derrygonnelly, Co. Fermanagh. Large Red Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Four-spotted Chaser and Variable Damselfly were seen singly at this site, with Four-spotted Chaser and Common Blue Damselfly at nearby Braade Bog and Monawilkin respectively.


15th/26th June Cumbria DC
A couple of reports which are unusual this far north (=almost Scotland!):

On 15th June, a female Broad-bodied Chaser visited a garden pond near Brampton (about 9 miles east of Carlisle) Cumbria and stayed a short while and laid eggs. There are no previous records of this species for the northern half of Cumbria, and it is not known to be established anywhere in
VC69/60.

On 26th June an Emperor was ovipositing at Scaleby Moss, Carlisle: again, this species is very unusual for north Cumbria, though it is increasingly seen in the south of the county. At the same site, White-faced Darters were very active and present in good numbers in brilliant sunshine!


26th June Ireland PD
With the sun beating down yesterday I headed up to Ballinafagh bog outside Prosperous, County Kildare, to see what I could see. After parking the car I headed out to the edge of the lake and within a minute or two had the first of many fully mature Black tailed Skimmers - they were everywhere! I caught a couple for closer inspection. Also in abundance were blue damsels - both Common blue and Variable as well as Blue tailed and Large red. I spent some time sitting by the lake just watching the Skimmers flying over the lake and the surrounding bog; being chased by Four spotted Chasers, in turn chasing them and each other. I decided to head for a quieter boggy corner I knew of and had an obliging male Common Darter (one of a handful) perched on the way as well as a small number of Emerald damselflies. At the secluded muddy corner I had the first surprise of the day - 2 male Keeled Skimmer and a mating pair. I had never seen this species at Ballinafagh before and it may well be a new square for it. Moving deeper into the bog I kept getting unsatisfactory glimpses of Hairy Hawkers flying by and over the reeds. The next surprise was an early slowly patrolling Common Hawker in an open patch. I was initially taken aback by the sheer size and controlled flight of it compared to the also present smaller Hairy Hawkers and had some nice flybys of it. I retreated back to have a last look at the Keeled Skimmers and on heading back towards the more exposed part of the bog, I had two confiding male Hairy Hawkers clashing - one of which after many close flybys, I eventually caught. Again at the lake was the still frenzied activity of Black tailed Skimmers and Four spotted Chasers. Moving slowly around the exposed part of the lake my son found a perched male Brown Hawker by the edge with a damaged lower right wing - the 7th anisopteran of the day! After catching a final Black tailed Skimmer I decided after a stay of just over 2 and a half hours to call it a day - my son was starting to protest!. So a final tally of 7 dragonfly species (Common, Brown and Hairy Hawker, Black tailed and Keeled Skimmer, Common Darter and Four spotted Chaser) and 5 damsel species (Common blue, Variable, Blue tailed, Large Red and Emerald) all giving excellent views made it the best day of the season for me so far and the weather was glorious.


24th June Derbys. RT
Roy Frost had a splendid praenubila form of Four Spotted Chaser giving views down to 18 inches at Pleasley Colliery. This form is quite scarce in Derbyshire, only being once seen previously by Rod Dunn.


24th June Northants MT
Cransley Reservoir, near Kettering was buzzing with activity this lunchtime, despite some wind and high cloud cover. The first sighting was of a female Emerald Damselfy resting on nettles by the overgrown path - my first sighting of this species this year. This was followed by good numbers of Azure, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies and a single Large Red and Banded Demoiselle. Looking over the reeds to the water on both sides of the road gave a total of 5 Emperors, patrolling their territory occasionally clashing with Four Spotted Chasers (7 seen in total), including a brief attempt at copulation. Reports from within "the team" in Northamptonshire suggest that Common Darters have also emerged.


24th June Essex TCl
News from The Chase Local Nature Reserve and Eastbrookend Country Park, Romford, Essex. Lots of Emperors around, several Black-tailed Skimmers. 5 Beautiful Demoiselles, a single Banded Demoiselle. 1 Common Darter, and lots of Common Blue/Blue Tailed & Azure Damselflies.


22nd June Devon PB
The second Stover Dragonfly Walk as part of Dragonfly Week was a great success. Thirteen species seen including keeled and black-tailed skimmer. The most unusual thing seen was a female broad-bodied chaser in almost male colouration. The only thing which categorically differentiated this from a male was that it was ovipositing! The abdomen was broader as in the female, but had obvious black markings on segments 7-9 merging with the blue in segment 6, the rest of the abdomen was blue (exactly the same shade of blue that a male displays and not grey-blue pruinesence) with small yellow spots on the outer edges of the segments, as in male form. A male was located around the pond but there was little interaction. Can anyone shed any light on this sighting, has this been seen before and where? This could be an under-recorded occurrence and would only be prominent if observed with care, or if the female is seen ovipositing. Don't judge a book by its cover! First common darter seen on the 22nd June.


15-21st June Northants. C&LE
On 15th June at the Woodland Trust Reserve at Wood Burcote near Towcester Northamptonshire a total of 6 Beautiful Demoiselles were identified using the woodland area. In addition there was a Broad Bodied Chaser. The site was again visited on the 21st June when a total of 4 specimens were seen included one male with full mature colouration and three females.Unfortunately all were using somewhat higher perching areas in the trees.
On Friday,20th June a single Emperor Dragonfly was noted on the R Tove in Towcester. In addition 195+ Blue tailed damselflies were found at a small balancing pond in Towcester in late evening, roosting in the long grass and two small reed beds.
Also on the 21st June a new site was found for White Legged with five being seen and also at the same site were 7 Red Eyed Damselflies all near Grafton Regis Northamptonshire


21st June Devon DSm
A very successful Devon Group meeting to the Countess Wear area of Exeter attracted a dozen people. We saw 9 species, including Hairy Dragonfly, Black-tailed Skimmer, Red-eyed Damselfly and superb views of egg-laying White-legged Damselflies and Banded Demoiselles. The supporting cast included Marbled White, Large Skippers and caterpillars of Brimstone, Peacock, Yellow-tail and Vapourer.


15-20th June Dumfries & Galloway PR
On our holiday we visited good number of sites in this under recorded part of Scotland. Masses of Common Blue Damsels and 4-spots at several sites. Good numbers of Large Red and Blue-tailed Damsels too. Not many Azure Damselflies, they were outnumberd by the Variable. A good scattering of Gold-ringed Dragonflies completed the list.

An attempt to visit the Silver Flowes for Azure Hawker was thwarted by bad weather and a dicky knee!

A good place to visit. Lots of water bodies and who knows what?


16th June Derbys. RT
First Brown Hawker of the season , 1 at Sawley Oxbow nr Long Eaton seen by Roy Frost 16th June with 700+ Azure Damselfly


13-15th June Surrey/W. Sussex JA
On the 13/6/03 at Thursley, the highlights were lots of Downy Emeralds, lots of Four-spotted Chasers, several Keeled Skimmers and two Small Red Damselfies. At Newbridge, West Sussex, the highlights were Downy Emerald, Brilliant Emerald, White-legged Damselfly, Hairy Dragonfly and at least twelve male Scarce Chasers. At Burton Mill Pond, West Sussex there were Variable Damselflies, a male Scarce Chaser(at the Black Hole) and a Common Darter.
On the 14/6/03 at Newbridge there were Downy Emeralds, Hairy Dragonfly, Red-eyed Damselfly and Scarce Chaser.
On the 15/6/03 at Newbridge there were White-legged damselflies, Emperor, Scarce Chaser and Brilliant Emerald.


15th June Ireland IR
In contrast to 23rd May and 12th June when none at all could be found, I had no trouble in seeing the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura pumilio) at Tonnagh Quarry near Derrygonnelly, Co. Fermanagh, on 15th June in rather cloudy but dry, calm and warmish weather; 3 mating pairs, about 8 mature males. a female and a teneral male were seen in the usual spot. Also seen were 2 Pyrrohosoma nymphula, and a male Coenagrion puella and C. pulchellum. On the same day, Pyrrhsoma nymphula was also seen at Braade Bog near Derrygonnelly, Enallagma cyathigerum at Monawilkin near Derrygonnelly, and Libellula quadrimaculata at Callow near Derrygonnelly.

Angus Tyner reports a male Ruddy Darter at Cronykeery near Ashford, Co. Wicklow, on 15th June, but no other Odonata.


14/15th June Devon DSm
14th June: 8 people came along for the first BDS Devon Group meeting of Dragonfly Week: a hot morning at Little Bradley Pond. Up to 10 Downy Emeralds have been seen lately, but only a couple of males were seen this morning. A total of 11 species were seen, including emerging Common Darters, but no skimmers yet.

15th June: 14 people had an excellent day at Stover Country Park, with 14 species seen as adults and a couple more (hawkers) added as larvae during a pond dipping session. The main targets were all seen: lots of Red-eyed Damselflies and one or two Downy Emeralds (first of the year for the site), but pride of place went to good sightings of Hairy Dragonfly. Emerald Damselflies were
just emerging, while Black-tailed Skimmer was among 6 species seen egg-laying.


15th June Suffolk IH
10 Norfolk Hawkers seen at Minsmere RSPB Nature Reserve on the Suffolk Coast, on 15th June. 6 fresh specimens were seen in the woods and 4 mature specimens patrolling beats along grazing marsh ditches on The Minsmere Levels.


5th June Angus LP
Common Blue and Bluetail Damselflies were observed resting on vegetation near the public footpath at Elliot Den, near Arbroath, Angus, Scotland, on Thursday 5th June 2003.


14th June (27th May) Notts. & Derbys. RT
An amazing first date. Just had news, a little belatedly, of a Southern Hawker emerging from a garden Pond in Edwinstowed Notts on the 27th May!

Derbyshire

Golden Ringed Dragonfly out in Derbys on the Eastern Moors on the 14th June. The earliest date recorded in the county!


14th June Ireland IR
Today (14th June) in fine warm sunny weather, I decided to pay a visit to 1 or 2 lakes in Co. Louth. The first stop was at Cortial Lough (H983069) about 4 miles west of Dundalk, which is an interdrumlin lowland lake with a very extensive and dense reed bed. As I got close to the shore I had just decided that the water was probably too enriched for the species, when immediately 2 male Coenagrion lunulatum appeared. Not far away there were several others, and altogether in a stretch of about 400 metres along the south east shore and a wide ditch (after which the vegetation became too dense) there must have been 25 or so C. lunulatum; only males were identified but there may have been a mating pair out of range. Enallagma cyathigerum was also common, and there were a few Libellula quadrimaculata, Coenagion puella, C. pulchellum and I. elegans; surprisingly no Pyrrhosoma or Brachyton pratense were seen. Brief visits to Drumcah Lough (H957058) produced only I. elegans, Enallagma, C. puella and C. pulchellum though open water was inaccessible; one bay of the lake did look possible for the species but could only have been reached by boat.

This is as far as I know a new record for Co. Louth, following some days on from the first record for Co. Meath earlier this month.
Earlier I had spent a few minutes on the Newry Canal at Steensons Bridge (J073313) south of Jerrettspass, Co. Armagh, seeing a male Banded Damselfly and 2 Large Red Damselflies; the former had been reported to me in this area by Laurence Morgan, though the actual observation was by Mr. Joe Devlin from Poyntzpass. There could have been more, but the canal was mainly inaccessible due to tall nettles, etc.

Angus Tyner also reports a teneral female Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) along with 2 or 3 Emperor dragonflies at Cronykeery near Ashford, Co. Wicklow, today (14th).


13th June W. Sussex DF
After an outing away from the Pulborough Brooks reserve for a short break I decided to have a wander around the reserve to see what had emerged whilst I was away, I was delighted with the result of the walk and with the glorious sun beating down with no wind and bright skies a fare few species were recorded. The reserve has had records of Scarce Chaser (Libillula fulva) before now but none had been seen this year, yet so that was the target species, but if anything else decided to turn up then all the better.
I had recorded the regular species of damselfly along the ditch edges i.e. Blue-tailed, Azure, Large Red and Banded Demoiselle all in about the same frequency as last year. But we then came across a scarce chaser along the ditch, flying briefly but swiftly away. We soon caught up with it and formally identified the species. This turned out to one of several seen during the morning with one area of the reserve turning up two males and a possible female. In another area there were another two males and a possible pair as they seemed to be disturbed and then harassed each other before flying skyward never to be seen again. We came across another male patrolling a large stretch of ditch. This has by all accounts been the best season for records of Scarce Chaser Libellula fulva, so was a very good find for the reserve. The total for the reserve at the end of the day was 6 males with the possibility of another male and two females. Although we have only recorded the definite. Other species for the day include - Banded demoiselle - 8, Red - eyed damselfly - 62, Blue - tailed damselfly - 200+, Azure damselfly - 500+, Large red damselfly - 30+, Hairy Dragonfly - 4, Beautiful demoiselle - 5, Emperor Dragonfly - 2, Four-spot chaser - 1, Broad-bodied chaser - 6. All in all a good day for it.


13th June Northants DS
Moulton Park Industrial Estate, Northants 13 June 2003

Road side pond - good numbers of azure damselfly, some in tandem ovipositing, a few blue-tailed damselfly and one lone male large red. Two four-spotted chasers and one male emperor patrolling its territory.

Path side pond - looking rather overgrown, a few azure damselfly, mainly males and one male large red. No sign of anything bigger.

On the return trip home through the industrial estate, whilst crossing the road spotted a brown hawker, unable to sex it as it was a brief viewing.


13th June Ireland IR
Today (Friday 13th) was possibly only unlucky for some; the weather was certainly better in South Down than in Fermanagh yesterday and I added what I think are 3 new Odonata species for the year in Northern Ireland. I visited an area of flushes in heathland at Leitrim near Hilltown in the Mourne Mountains, Co. Down, the premier site for the Keeled Skimmer in Northern Ireland. I saw 2 teneral specimens (one male being caught and released) about 500 or more metres apart; as the sun only really came out towards the end of the period, I could have missed 1 or more; this is also the earliest I have ever seen the species, though it could have been out for several days. Also seen were 3 or 4 Large Red Damselflies, a species which regularly flies late (July or later) at this site in particular, though not usually numerous.

At Ballynahatten gravel pit near Kilkeel, Co. Down, I found a male and (mature) female Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (I had not seen any of these yesterday or on 23rd May at Tonnagh Quarry, Co. Fermanagh) though Blue-tailed Damselfly (c. 10) was more abundant. There were about 3 or 4 male and 1 female Common Blue damselflies, and a teneral Comon Darter (though I may have seen 1 of these at Navan Quarry near Armagh on 8th).

Angus Tyner also reports a male Emperor dragonfly and 2 Beautiful Demoiselles at Cronykeery near Ashford, Co. Wicklow, today (13th).


11th June Essex RE
RED-VEINED DARTER seen at midday along the southern bank of
Bedford's Lake, Nr Romford, Essex


8th June Glos. MF
Dursley. Gloucestershire. The damselflies which were seen emerging a few weeks ago from my garden pond have returned. Both Azure and Large-red's were seen egg-laying in tandem with several pairs of each.


8/9th June Beds. AN
Went on RSPB trip yesterday Sunday for a couple of hrs to Felmersham GP.
100's (basically stopped counting) of azure ovp, red eyed mating, blue-tailed mating, 20 common blue mating, 10 white legged and banded dems, 1 female Hairy hawker, 1 4-spot.
Today went to same site for 2hrs.
1 Emperor mature male and exuvia, 3 Hairy H (2 m), 20+ 4-spots several maiden flights, again vast numbers of azure ovp, red eyed ovp , blue tailed ovp, 20+ white-legged


8th June Essex TC
June 8th, Holland Pits, Nr Clacton on Sea Essex.
The weather was, bright & sunny for this late afternoon visit, but very windy. Was on the look out for Broad Bodied Chasers, but nothing on the wing. Whilst at an area of three small well vegetated pools, disturbed some Emerald Damselflies, in the long grass, counted about 10. I thought this seemed quite early for this species? In the same area two Darters were flushed out of the grass as I walked through. One I lost sight of, but the other came to rest on a bush. I was able to get quite close to it. My first thought was it was a teneral common, but it seemed to have quite large patches of yellow at the wing bases, so I am not so sure? Did manage to get a couple of photos, though it was near on impossible to get a moment when the wind wasnt blowing the bush to bits to focus! Will have another go at id when slides come back. Other damsels on the reserve were, Blue tailed, Common, Large Red, & Azure.


7th June Northants C&LE
At Salcey Forest Hartwell near Northampton on Saturday, 7th June the following dragonflies/damselflies were noted:-
At one small woodland pond 7 Large Red Damselflies were noted with 1 pair in tandem;28 Azure Damselflies were also seen with 3 pair in tandem. Also seen in the area were two emperor dragonflies; 1 broad bodeied chaser and a further Azure damselfly, all away from water and using one of the main woodland rides.
At another woodland pond 3 emperor dragonfly were noted 1 male and 2 female which were both ovipositing; 4 Four Spotted Chasers were noted; Four Broad Bodied Chasers 2 male and 2 female which were also both ovipositing; and also some 75+ Azure Damselfly of which atlest there were 28 pairs also ovipositing.
Records sent to County Recorder.


6-8th June Ireland IR
Christopher Wilson reports an Emperor dragonfly at the Raven, Co. Wexford, today (8th June). The only other Irish record I have heard of this year is from Angus Tyner's pond, etc, near Ashford, Co. Wicklow.

Other records from Northern Ireland: Miss Lindsey Greeves reports a few Banded Damselflies from the Blackwater River at the Argory, Co. Armagh, on 7th June. This morning I looked at some fairly shallow pools (they would be even shallower except for the recent rain) at Navan Quarry near Armagh, which looked very suitable for Ischnura pumilio, but though there were about 15 or so I. elegans, there was no sign of I. pumilio. I did see what looked like a teneral Sympetrum (prob. S. striolatum) around the quarry at Navan, but it disappeared before I got the net. There were a few Libellula, Enallagma and Pyrrhosoma in the area. In the afternoon at Montiaghs Bog NNR near Aghalee, Co. Antrim, despite mainly sunny and calm weather from about 2.30-4.30 pm there seemed fewer Irish Damselflies (c. 10 males) than on 30th May (c. 40, though this was even warmer) though I covered a lot of ground. Libellula quadrimaculata was very abundant (c. 50+ seen, but no doubt many more), with only 1 (male) Brachytron pratense; 2 Ischnura elegans and c. 10 Pyrrhosoma nymphula were seen and many Coenagrions, probably mainly C. pulchellum as only this was identified. At Craigavon Lakes, Co. Armagh, there were a few Enallagma cyathigerum.

Angus Tyner reports a Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) on the River Vartry near Ashford, Co. Wicklow, on 6th June, which may be the first record of the species in Ireland this year, though it has been reported in England. The Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) was seen in Co. Armagh on 30th May.


8th June Devon PB
As our contribution to dragonfly week Stover Country Park (Newton Abbot, Devon) is holding an exhibition of dragonfly photography. All photos have been taken at Stover and celebrate these amazing insects. The photos have been taken by Ron Champion a renowned local wildlife hotographer with some additional photos by the rangers! The exhibition will take place from the 14th June onwards and can be seen in the visitor centre between the hours of 10-12:30 and 1:30 - 4:00. It will be low key but really worthwhile as part of a visit to the park. Dragonflies on the wing at present include very good numbers of hairy dragonfly 10+ patrolling the lake and inlet channel. High numbers of both broad bodied and four spotted chasers can be seen. Damselflies are peaking in numbers at present with 150+ azure, 50+ red-eyed, 100+ large red, 75+ blue tailed and low numbers of common blue. Beautiful demoiselles can be seen throughout the park especially around pools of light in the more wooded areas. No records of downy emerald as yet; we would welcome records of any sightings in the Stover locality.


4th June Hants. CW
Latchmore Brook in the New Forest, on a windy afternoon. Although 9 species were seen, numbers were low. The commonest was Southern Damselfly, with 8 found on narrow streamlets draining some textbook Scarce Blue-tailed habitat, but though I looked hard for the latter, just one male pumilio was found. Others seen were 2 immature Keeled Skimmers, a 4-Spotted harried by Broad-bodied Chasers, a few Azure, Large Red and Blue-tailed Damsels, and Beautiful Demoiselles.


5th June Bucks GHM
Morning visit to Blue Lagoon, Milton Keynes. 7 species seen. 100+ C. puella (Azure dams), 30+ I. elegans (Blue-tailed dams), 10+ E. cyathigerum (Common Blues), 10+ P. nymphula (Large Red dams) and 5 or so E. najas (Red-eyed) all these seen either in tandem or ovipositing. 10+ L. quadrimaculata (4-spotted Chasers) and 3 or 4 male B. pratense (Hairy Dragonfly) were also found. I managed to get some good close-up photos of the Hairys.


1st June Lancs. DMcG
Marton Mere, Blackpool. The new season has just started here in Blackpool, with our first 4-Spotted Chasers appearing on 1st June. We are seeing just a couple a day at the moment. There are lots of Blue Tailed and Common blue damsels.


3rd June Cheshire RMcH
Yesterday (3-6-03) at the Birchwood Boulevard pond a territorial male Broad bodied Chaser appeared, this is the second consecutive year, after not seeing it for the previous 2-3 years.


3rd June Northants MT
I popped down to Stanwick Gravel Pits at lunchtime in the hope of finding Four-spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer and Broad-bodied Chasers as they have been recorded nearby, alas no such luck. However I did find two Hairy Dragonfly exuvia (first confirmation of breeding at this site) and two Emperor Dragonfy exuvia. I startled one adult in the reeds, who flew away and pinpointed the location of the exuvia - obviously todays emergence!. As the Emperor is highly synchronious, I expected to find more, but without success, maybe tomorrow! The intense activity centered around the Gravel Pits in the Nene Valley is due to the "Nene Valley Gravel Pits Survey", as mentioned by RE (30 May), the aim being to designate these sites as SSSI. The project is sponsored by the RSPB through Steve Brayshaw and is run in conjunction with the BDS through myself. If there is anyone in the Northants area who would like to join the team of surveyors please contact me through my Northamptonshire Dragonflies website link on the Links page of the BDS website.


31st May-1st June Northants MT
A weekend of dragonfly spotting yielded records for 3 newly emerged species:
31 May - Brigstock Country Park had a good number of Four-Spotted Chasers patrolling territories in the Reedy Pond, keeping a single male Broad-bodied Chaser at bay. All were in good colour, so can be assumed to be at least 1 week old. Several female Broad-bodied Chasers and Four-spotted Chasers were seen in the surrounding fields.
1 June - During a trip to Titchmarsh, to join a Wildlife Trust guided walk, we found 2 emerging Black-tailed Skimmers (one we watched through John Showers' scope), 1 exuvia and a damaged immature attempting flight on the banks of one of the ponds. Also, 5 Hairy Dragonflys were seen patrolling Harper's Brook amoung the numerous Banded Demoiselles. One of the guides presented a Four-Spotted Chaser Exuvia taken from a pond in nearby Thrapston on May 18th, which makes this the first record of that species this year. On-the-wing = 11 species.


30th/31st May Worcs. MF
Searched for Club-tailed Dragonflies at Eckington Bridge, Worcs. One found, probable newly emerged, mid-afternoon. Searched again 31st., none found. Large numbers of Banded Demoiselle's plus White-legged, Azure, & Blue-tailed damselflies.


31st May Cambs. TC
Wicken Fen Cambs, 31st May. Spent a wonderful day at this magical place. The weather was hot & sunny & the dragonfly activity was in abundance. The airshow was dominated by the busy Four spotted chasers, complemented by the Hairy dragonflies. Together they produced precision airshows around every corner, every ditch, dyke & stream had large numbers of these wonderful insects. Large numbers of damselflies were also in attendence, Common, Variable, Blue tailed, Large Red, Red Eyed, & Banded Demoiselles. The highlights of the day for me was to observe at close quarters a female Hairy dragonfly which took a variable damselfly in flight, then landed on rushes to devour its meal, which went down with suprising speed! Not for the sqeamish! Last but not least, I was able to observe two different Black Tailed Skimmers, immature male/female colouration, on hedgerows. I was able to get very close to them & focus my lens on them. I had never appreciated what a stunning insect they are in the yellow & black colouration.


30thMay-1stJune W. Sussex JA
On 30/5/03 at Newbridge, West Sussex there were - Banded Demoiselle - 100's on the river; Large Red Damselfly - c20 on the river and canal; Azure Damselfly - 100's, mainly on the river; Common Blue Damselfly - 10's; Blue-tailed Damselfly - a few on the canal; Hairy Dragonfly - 2 males patrolling on the river, a male and a female on the canal; Scarce Chaser - a male on the river, north of the bridge and a male on the canal, south of the bridge.
On the 31/5/03 at Burton Mill Pond, West Sussex there were -Azure Damselfly - c20; Large Red Damselfly - c10; Banded Demoiselle - 1 male; Four-spotted Chaser - 1.
On the 1/6/03 on a BDS trip at Burton Mill Pond, West Sussex there were - Blue-tailed Damselfly - several teneral and adults, including one female form violacea; Azure Damselfly - a few; Variable Damselfly - 3 males; Scarce Chaser - 2 males and at least 1 female/immature type; Broad-bodied Chaser - 2 immature males.


29th-31st May Ireland IR
Ken Bond reports the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio as "very common at Sheskinmore (lake in dune slack)", in Co. Donegal, presumably during the period 29th-31st May, though I will try and find the exact date. There is not much else to report among Odonata, though hopefully if the weather improves we shall have several new species this month. About 28th May Christopher Wilson reported plenty of Blue-tailed Damselflies, with Azure and Variable damselflies and a single Four-spotted Chaser, around the Wexford Wildlife Reserve. Kevin Collins also reports several large red damselflies & one Four-spotted Chaser on 30th May at Derrynaflann Bog near Laffansbridge, Co. Tipperary, on the same day as 2 Marsh Fritillary butterflies.


26th May Cheshire RMcH
Moore Nature Reserve. 26th - Missed Gomphus day on the Dee, so made up for it by visiting Moore NR. Several Large Reds, couple of 4 spots, couple of Azures and one Emerald Damsel.


1st June W. Sussex GHM
BDS, Hants and Surrey Border Group meeting led by Don Tagg. About 6 members visited Burton Mill Pond near Petworth. Morning was cloudy with only a few brief spells of sunshine. We found plenty of I. elegans (Blue-tailed Damsel) and several C. pulchellum (Variable Damsel), all males. We also saw about half a dozen L. fulva (Scarce Chaser), orange female/imm. males and a couple of mature males. Also seen were a few L. depressa (Broad-bodied Chaser) and 1 L. quad. (4-spotted Chaser). Rain came on at lunchtime so we abandoned the planned afternoon visit.


1st June Norfolk WNC
Ted Ellis Nature Reserve: Norfolk Hawker resting amongst the reeds. Those green eyes always seem so much more vivid than I remember from the previous year. Also spotted several hairy, numerous banded demoiselle and our first swallowtail butterfly of the season.


1st June Oxon. SKW
Club-tailed Dragonfly emerging and flying at Goring today (1st June) - also Blue-tailed Damselfy and Banded Demoiselle there. Photos online at http://www.jjcskw.demon.co.uk


30th May Northants. RE
I visited two of the gravel pits near Northampton last Friday (30th May) as part of the this year's Nene Valley Dragonfly Survey. In ideal sunny weather conditions, the best find at Stortons Pits was a pre-flight emergent Broad-bodied Chaser, perched just above its exuvi. This is my first confirmed breeding record for this site. A male of the same species and three of it's Four-spotted cousins were patrolling the edges of the reed beds. Six common species of damselfly were seen: Common Blue, Blue-tailed, Azure, Red-eyed, Large Red and Banded Demoiselle.
The highlight of my afternoon visit to Kislingbury GP was a single Hairy Dragonfly hunting briefly along hedgerow trees before zooming over the nettled-covered river bank and away low over the water. This is the first record for this site and must be the most westerly record in Northamptonshire. White-legged Damselflies were very numerous on the river bank by Upton Mill and a few were around the gravel pit lakes. Four-spotted Chaser and the same six common damselflies were also recorded.


27th May Cambs. PR
Do not be too trusting in the weather forecasts! In spite of indifferent predictions the BDS/Warwickshire Dragonfly Group visit to Woodwalton Fen proved an exceptional success. The more than twenty of us there had timed it perfectly for the Scarce Chaser. Over the Fen there must have been hundreds of freshly emerged individuals. The photographers were very busy recording the highly co-operative animals. A preview by Kay and Peter Reeve the previous afternoon had been very auspicious one with between 30 and 40 Scarce Chasers seen roosting low on vegetation well into the evening (7-30pm). This contrasted with Saturday evening when by 6-00pm none were to be seen - presumably they had gone off to roost more securely in the trees.
Also present were emerging and immature Four-spotted Chasers, an immature Broad-bodied Chaser. The Hairy Dragonfly was in breeding mode with several males holding territory and at least one female observed ovipositing. Large Red, Red-eyed, masses of Azure, Common Blue and Common Blue-tailed damselflies completed the tally for a memorable day. Finally, a thank you to Alan Bowley of English Nature for leading us in the morning.

Warwickshire Dragonfly Group web site: www.reeve60.uklinux.net/wdg


30th-31st May Surrey KN
I visited Hedgecourt Lake, near East Grinstead on 30th. Plenty of azures and large reds, the odd blue-tailed and one red-eyed damselfly seen. At a small pond at Blindley Heath (at the traffic lights on the A22 at TQ 364452) I saw a superb four-spotted chaser and a hawker that seemed to be mainly green/yellowish. Also 1 red-eyed damselfly.
Returning to Blindley Heath on 31st there was an Emperor and a small hawker, not the same as yesterday, which was probably hairy (Brachytron pratense) though I could not see it stationary (not given for E. Surrey in "Dragonflies of Surrey" 1996, so needs confirmation). There are now several of both species of demoiselles along the R. Eden near my home just south of Oxted.


30th May Northants. MT
During a very pleasant pre-work stroll down the River Ise at 0815hrs, I came upon a pair of emerging White-Legged Damselflies. I returned at lunchtime (oh, how the morning in the office dragged!), to find both had flown leaving behind their exuvia (identified by the the long narrow filament at the apex of the caudal lamellae). I also found another 12 and two Banded Demoiselle exuvia. The teneral White-legged where not far away though. Also present where Azure Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, and Blue-tailed Damselfly. Total for Northants = 8 recorded species.


5th-30th May Devon NP
5th May Exeter Canal - female hairy in flight.
8th May - Stover Country Park - 2 immature broad-bodied chasers, single azure and several large red damselflies.
13th May - Exminster Marshes - male hairy patrolling railway path.
14th May - Steps Bridge - single female beautiful demoiselle.
25th May - Exminster Marshes - 2 female hairy dragonflies.
28th May - Exeter Canal - 2 hairy dragonflies, 18 red-eyed damselflies, 1 banded demoiselle, 12 azure, 7 large red and 2 blue-tailed.
30th May - Little Bradley Ponds - mating downy emeralds (1 pair only), golden-ringed (1), emperor (1), four-spotted chaser (1), beautiful demoiselle (1 male and 1 female) plus numerous azures and large red damselflies.


30th May Ireland IR
After the first sighting of Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum on 27th May by Robert Thompson at Montiaghs Bog NNR, Co. Antrim, I visited the site today (30th), on a bright afternoon, on probably the warmest day of the years so far (23+ deg. C.). Together with several seen by Laurence Morgan, who was also present, I estimate there were up to 40. There was at least 1 mating pair, but all others identified were males; it may even have been commoner than the Variable Damselfly. Also seen was my first Blue-tailed damselfly, with 2 or 3 males and 3 female Hairy Dragonflies, about 20 Four-spotted Chasers, and about a dozen Large Red Damselflies.
Later that afternoon, I saw about 6 Banded Damselflies (about equal numbers of both sexes) on the River Bann at dynes Bridge south of Portadown, Co. Armagh; there was also a single Blue-tailed Damselfly. This now makes I understand at least 7 Odonata species seen in Northern Ireland this year, but I know of no records yet for Azure or Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, which normally emerge before the end of May. The former has however been seen in Co. Wicklow. The very frequent rain and cool weather (up to the last week) has no doubt been a factor in holding back these species.


29th May Essex TC
29th May Cornmill meadows, Waltam Abbey, Lea valley, Essex. Weather hot and sunny today and spent an enjoyable few hours around the meadows. It was a Broad bodied chaser bonanza today. I personally have never seen so many at one location. On one area of nettles i counted 9 females. On the scrape there was a male patrolling. Also 2 more males on the stream. A further 7 males were at the area of three small ponds. Quite a sight. In addition there were Hairy dragonflies, only about 7 counted, down on last years numbers for a similiar date. Other odes, included 3 white legged damsels, 4 Red eyed damsels,& numerous Blue tailed, Azure, common blue Large red,& Banded Demoiselles in profusion on the faster flowing section of the stream.


29th May Worcs. SJ
Today we had a female or immature male L. depressa (I'm not clued up enough to know the difference, but it was yellow/tawny not blue!) resting on damson tree foliage near our garden pond. There are not many dots in our particular square in Mike Averill's book so thought someone might be interested! Our map ref. is SO 722608, and we are about half a mile SE of Clifton upon Teme, Worcs.


26th May Northants. C&LE
A visit to Stortons Gravel Pits Northampton on Monday 26th May produced a minimum count of 40 banded demoiselle of which 25 male, 14 female and at least 1 teneral. Also present were 10+ blue tailed damselfly; 1+ Azure; 5+ Common Blue and also seen were 11+ red eyed damselfly of which 2 pairs were ovipositing.


27th May Notts. R&BO
Yesterday 27th May we watched a Southern Hawker emerge from its casing at our garden pond in North Nottinghamshire. It took its maiden flight about 6 hours later. Today we were amazed to find 2 more exuviae in surrounding vegetation, both insects had flown by the time we found them. Our pond is approx. 5 sq. yds. (water surface area) and is just 3 years old.


28th May Glos. MJJ
Brockworth Gloucester 28/05/03: At last a little sun and at last the first L. depressa of the season. Though needless to say after 4 days away from the pond, its all happened in my absence. One L. depress female, mature and ovipositing. No males seen today but clearly they are around. Female alas never within camera range. Still, improving weather will hopefully offer more opportunities. Multiple pairs of Azures and Large Reds tandem and ovipositing in the warm sun. 50+ reds, 30+ Azures.


23rd/25th May Ireland IR
On 23rd May I observed a single Enallagama cyathigerum at Moanwilkin near Derrygonnelly, Co. Fermanagh, my first 2003 sighting of this species, but was disappointed not to see Ischnura pumilio at nearby Tonnagh quarry, as the weather and habitat was favourable; I did see my first Coenagrion pullchellum (also male) of the season there. Pyrrhosoma nymphula (c. 10) was common and 1 of these was also seen on 25th May at Owenea Bridge north of Ardara, West Donegal.
In the late afternoon of 25th May 2003, in bright sunshine, I had a good view of a male Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) resting in vegetation (after flying around) not far from a small (unnamed) lake on Cruiit (pronounced 'Critch') Island near Burtonport, West Donegal (VC 35), Grid Reference B729216; some camcorder footage was taken. The lake was moderately deep with a surrounding reed bed, and looked not too acid and hence a potential breeding site for the species. The only other Odonata species seen there was a single Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) though about a dozen of the latter had been seen earlier about a mile further south on the island, near several small reedy marshes.


26th May Worcs. CT
Tried to find Club tailed Dragonfly at Marcliff on the Avon with little success, 100+ Banded Demoiselles, at least 15 White-legged Damselfly, most teneral. Only other species here included several Large Red and Blue tail Damselfly including two rufescens and one violacea. Went over to Severn River East of Bewdley and located 3, possibly 4 Club Tailed Dragonfly ... very approachable to within few inches! Small numbers of Banded Demoiselle, maybe 30+, and
surprisingly nothing else ... not even a Large Red!


25th May W. Sussex DF
Sightings for Pulborough Brooks RSPB reserve. 25th May 2003.
The season has had a bit of slow start with only the smaller drags on the wing. The main observations have tended to be Large-red, and Azure with the latter having an emergence of individuals all around the 21st there has been a peak count of about 30-40 specimens scattered around the reserve. The whole reserve has not fully been covered for drags but it would be a fair assumption that most of the ditches are in a similar state of play, some having an Azure blue seen every 10ft or so. The large-red population has made itself known with a few sightings in some of the sheltered areas. As for the larger species we have had several sightings of 'large' dragonflies but none have been really confirmed until this morning ( 25th May) when I saw my first Libellula depressa. It was an adult male patrolling one of our smaller ponds, it was in it's prime but had a very slight blemish on it's wings. So I would put this animal at a about a week old with an emergence date of around 20th of May or so. I will keep you posted as to when our other residence emerge.


24th May Hampshire RC
1 Downy Emerald in Botley Wood, Southern Hampshire today (24th May) - my first sighting of this species this year. The only other species seen was a female Beautiful Demoiselle.


22nd-23rd May Northants. MT
23 May: Bright sun, but very high winds didn't stop activity at Stanwick Gravel Pits. Common Blue Damselflies in numbers exceeding 200, Large Red Damselflies and Blue-tailed Damselflies in abundance, and the first Red-eyed Damselflies seen this year. Plenty of exuvia to collect too! This brings the recorded total for Northants 7 species on-the-wing (in order of their first reported sighting) - Hairy Dragonfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle (Chris Emary reported 11 May, beating my sighting by 4 days!) and Red-eyed Damselfly. Looking forwards to the Four-Spotted and Broad-bodied Chasers in the next week or so.
22 May: The River Ise (from Weetabix to Southfields Farm Marsh under by the A14) had plenty of activity even though the weather was dull and windy, with good numbers (>30) of Banded Demoiselles in the nettles close to the river and one pre-flight emergent male. Also similar numbers of Large Red Damselflies.


11th May Northants. C&LE
Seen on 11th May at Summer Leys Nature Reserve Northamptonshire the following: 1 Large Red Damselfly, 1 male Banded Demoiselle (on ground in grass) and 1 teneral female Common Blue Damselfly.


21st May Cheshire RMcH
First couple of Blue tailed Damsels emerged at the Birchwood pond (a bit later than some other Cheshire sites) today. Both had the green colouration mentioned in a previous posting. No sign of Hairy at Gowy meadows in the brief interludes between heavy showers whilst there on the 20th.


14th May Cheshire RMcH
No new arrivals in North Cheshire in the pond at Birchwood boulevard (14-05-03), still good numbers of Large Red and the odd Azure. Still waiting for the 1st 4-spot and Blue tailed for this pond.


15th May Northants MT
Higham Ferrers Gravel Pits - a lunchtime trip started very slowly, probably due to high cloud cover. However, when the sun came out: Azure Damselfly - Male and female seen in close proximity, showing full adult colouration. Watch for copulation in the next few days? Blue-tailed Damselfly - Plenty of males and females, most with the immature green colouration. Hairy Dragonfly - Three on the wing including 1 female, and two males zig zagging through the reeds. Banded Demoiselle - a single lone male with full adult colouration. This is the first recorded sighting (if anyone in Northants knows differently please let me know), and is a good early sighting for the county. Common Blue Damselfly - A single immature.
Interestingly, no sign of the Large Red, which is present in good numbers 1 mile up the A45 at Stanwick Gravel Pits.


14th May Warwickshire GEC
In a warmer, sunny afternoon spell my first teneral White-legged Damselfly of the year was on nettles along the R. Avon at Stratford. Earlier, downriver at Marlcliff, 4 Club-tailed Dragonflies were on the wing.


14th May Lincs. SH
On the Grantham canal between Redmile and Barkestone-le-vale, despite gusty winds and frequent showers over 50+ Variable Damselflies were observed together with 22 Azure, 5 Blue-tailed & a solitary Red-eyed. No sign yet this year of any Hairy Dragonflies.


11th May Bucks. AN
Walton Lake, Milton Keynes: Blue tail 6, L Red 12 apprx, Azure poss 100+ and in OxBow 2 Hairy m,f; only walked for 3/4 hr.


10th May Suffolk JPT
1st Libellula depressa (female) seen 10th May near Bures, Suffolk, TL 8975 3422 (taken with GPS).


9th May Cambs. TC
Wicken Fen Cambs: Spent an enjoyable day at Wicken Fen & saw my first odes of the season on the wing. Included about 10 Hairy dragonfly, including two males clashing & two females ovipositing. Also three, Four Spotted chasers were seen on the wing. And if that wasnt enough, there was numerous Vairable, Blue tailed & Large Red damselflies around the reserve.


9th May Hants. D&JD
Jean and Clare did a circuit of likely sites and came up with the following.
Ash Embankment,Surrey: 1 Cordulia exuvia, 22 Elegans, 3 Large Reds, 4 Azures.
Lakeside (Ponds below the Embankment): 1 Brachytron exuvia -showing that they are still breeding in the ponds!, 15 Banded Agrion, 40+ Large Red, 20+ Elegans, 30+ Azure, 1 Red-Eyed.
Thursley NNR Moat and boardwalks: (Note: the boardwalk leading to the Dubia Pond has been removed - we know not why!!) 1 Quadrimaculata (may have been 2 since Hobby was eating something on the wing!), 1 Depressa, 30+ Large Reds, 3 Elegans, 20+ Azure.
Things are getting underway, all we need now are the quantities to give us a good season.


8th May Warwickshire PR
Glyn Clarke of the Warwickshire Dragonfly Group reports two pre-flight emergent, one male one female, and a male exuvia of Club-tailed Dragonflies on the River Avon at Marlcliff near Bidford-on-Avon, Warwickshire. Also fair numbers of Banded Demoiselles here and at other sites on the Avon.


7th May Northants. DS
Went for a pleasant walk around Summer Leys, Northamptonshire, occupanied by a genial chap who helped me spot the following. About 12 teneral Common Blue Damselfly, 5 maturish Large Red Damselfly, 3 male and 2 female. One teneral male Blue-tailed Damselfly and two Hairy Dragonfly on the wing hunting amongst the hawthorn bushes. Only about a month behind Hampshire et al!


7th May London JA
At South Norwood Country Park, London, there was a male Large Red Damselfly. This is only the second record of the species for this site.


7th May Glos. MJJ
Brockworth, Gloucester: Warm and sunny over lunch without the breeze of the last few days. Today brought the first Azure Damsels. Two males seen, though well coloured and clearly a day or two emerged. Many teneral Large Reds and Blue Tails too, 20 plus of each. The Azure 'completes the set' for our 3 resident Zygoptera species.
Waiting and watching now for our usual first Anisoptera, L. depressa. Due the end of this week or beginning of next weather permitting.


5/6th May Sussex/London JA
5th May 2003: One Hairy Dragonfly at Arundel, Sussex, where the Mill Stream joins the River Arun.
6th May 2003: Two teneral Azure Damselflies at the New Pond at South Norwood Country Park, London.


6th May Berkshire CW
Covered a lot of miles around Reading on the bike today: first to Clayhill Brook for Beautiful Demoiselle, with 5 seen, 4 female and all quite mature. Then Searles Lakes, with small numbers of Variable Damsels, together with Common Blue, Azure, Blue-tailed and Large Red. Lastly Thames Valley Park, with a male and a female Red-eyed Damsel, and plentiful Blue-tailed. Also present were 2 Water Shrews and a Terrapin, any larva's nightmare!


6th May Surrey DD
Normandy Pond, Surrey. This afternoon yielded flying Cordulia and emergent Quadrimaculata with exuvia. 5 Large reds, 1 Elegans - rufuscens and 2 teneral Azures.


5th May Cambs. DEG
Ouse Washes RSPB reserve Cambs. One teneral large red damsel and one patrolling adult male hairy dragonfly.


4th May W. Sussex JH
On 4 May at Tilgate Forest TQ275332 I flushed a recently emerged Downy Emerald from a clump of long grass into a nearby tree, where somewhat unusually (?) I could see that the insect was holding its wings closed above the abdomen - giving the impression of a female Demoiselle!


3rd May Glos. MF
Dursley, Gloucestershire: On Saturday 3rd May I watched a mass emergence of Large Red Damselflies from my small garden pond (1 sq metre). Up to about 30 emerged, most were wing-drying by mid-morning. Three died due to wings getting stuck to vegetation. Next day only three were seen emerging and a House Sparrow took these on the wing as soon as the flew.


24th April/6th May Cheshire RMcH
24-4-2003, Risley Moss, Cheshire several teneral Large Red Damsels emerging.
06-5-2003, Birchwood, Cheshire 1 Large Red Damsel and a teneral Azure Damselfly present today.


17th April - 5th May Ireland IR
With cooler and more unsettled weather, not too much to report in the way of Odonata, except for reports from Angus Tyner's pond at Cronykeery near Ashford, Co. Wicklow. Angus reports Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula from 17th April, Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella (from 20th April), Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum (from 23rd April) and Ischnura elegans (from 28th April); I believe this may be the only April records for the 3 "blue" damselfly species in Ireland. He also saw 2 Hairy Dragonflies (Brachytron pratense) on 1st May (with a larva still in the water).
On 30th April I saw what may have been the same specimen of a Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata at Montiaghs Bog, Co. Antrim, as was seen on 17th April, though a little surprisingly, no Hairy Dragonflies (which usually emerge earlier), though the weather was not ideal. Several Large Red Damselflies were also seen, and 2 of these were also seen by David Nixon at Bohill Forest NNR near Ballynahinch, Co. Down, on 5th May.
Much depends on weather, but is there is a return to anticylonic conditions in mid-month (which has been a recurring pattern from December onwards) then there is some of hope of several more species, eg Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly and Irish Damselfly before long.


5th May Essex TC
Wake valley pond, Epping, Essex, 5th May. My first visit to the pond this season. Late afternoon. Unfortunately the weather wasn't great, overcast most of the time. Found two exuvia on the reeds, about 1 metre up. One had the Hairy dragonfly emerging from its case. Head, thorax, & half its abdomen was out, wings not formed. Despite going back to it several times over the period of about one & half hours, there was no change in its emergent state. Obviously the weather was not good enough for it to emerge fully yet. Not sure how long emergence takes? Probably dependent, on sunshine & temperature? Also saw a few Large Red Damselflies.


5th May Cambs. SH
Wicken Fen. A teneral female Hairy Dragonfly was the highlight of a good day out which also included 3 teneral Variable Damselflies, a single Common Blue Damselfly, and good numbers of teneral and mature Large Red Damselflies.


5th May Surrey DD
Great Bottom Flash, Ash, Surrey
This afternonn yielded some 20 plus Elegans in full colour. Also an emergent female Brachytron pratense with exuvia. The fact that the exuvia was locked onto some straggly grass on top of a baulk of timber and the drying emergent was up a nearby reed, is something different for us!


4th May Bucks GHM
Beautiful sunny day despite the weather forecast!
Blue Lagoon, Milton Keynes: 100+ Large Red Damsels, males and females, many in good colour. 1 male Blue-tailed Damsel.
Howe Park Wood ponds, MK: a few Large Reds, all teneral.


4th May Derbyshire RT
Derbyshire's Dragonfly season of 2003 is officially underway with the first records coming in today.
DWT Oakerthorpe Reserve May 4th - 1 teneral male Large Red Damselfly + 2 exuvia found on the top pond by Jim Alder & Sue Crookes.


4th May Northants MT
Wilson's Pits again, this time on a brilliantly sunny and hot Bank Holiday Sunday.
Large Red Damselfly - present in small numbers, mostly with good colouration, suggesting that they were a few days old. Both male and female were observed. A couple were seen emerging.
Common Blue Damslefly - Upwards of 20, mixed male and female flitting through the sunlit reeds.
Azure Damselfly - present in small numbers with 1 exuvia collected.
Hairy Dragonfly - One male seen hunting, occasionally landing on reeds tantalisingly out of reach of my macro lens. The exuvia found on 29/4 was a female.
If that wasn't enough, a little bit further around I spotted a Hairy Dragonfly emerging about 1 metre from the bank. I watched and photographed it for over 1 hour until its wings had expanded (and I had to go shopping for lunch at the local Supermarket). An absolutely fantastic sight!!


4th May Berkshire JWS
Englemere Pond, East Berkshire
One teneral Downy Emerald and numerous (20 plus) Large Red damselflies taking advantage of a warm sunny day.


4th May Hants RC
1 Broad-bodied Chaser at Hill Head (Southern Hampshire) today (4th May) - the first dragonfly I am aware of in this area. Large Red Damsels are now numerous here and a few Azure damsels have been reported but, generally, emergence here seems to have been later than in other parts of the country.


3rd May Bucks GHM
Despite 75% cloud cover and a stiff breeze, I saw my first Odes of the season today at Stony Stratford Conservation Area. About 5 Large Red Damsels plus a couple of exuviae, 10 Azure Damsels, mostly teneral and including one very newly emerged with wings not inflated and a solitary Hairy Dragonfly exuvia (no adults visible though).


29th April Northants MT
A quick lunchtime trip to Wilson's Pits (Wildlife Trust Reserve) near Wellingborough yielded the first Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) exuvia of the season. As far as I am aware, this is the first recorded sighting at Wilson's Pits, although B. pratense has been recorded at four other gravel pit complexes along the Nene Valley. No sign of the adult, and no sightings of Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) either!


26th April Hants. C&JD
Did not hold out much hope of seeing any odonata today after seeing the weather forecast, but the sunny spells in the morning produced 3 Blue-tailed Damselflies at Fleet Pond, Hants. Encouraged by this we went on to Ancells NR, Fleet hoping to see some Large Reds. Did not see any of these but had a stunning immature Broad-bodied Chaser flying and then sat up in full view, a nice April record.


22-23 April W. Sussex DF
22nd April 2003. Large Red Damselfly - an adult, possible male was seen resting in Rackham woods. DF.PH.BM.
23rd April 2003. Large Red Damselfly - Pulborough Brooks RSPB reserve. Seen resting on gorse. BM.


23rd April Glos. MJJ
DuPont Site Brockworth Gloucester 23rd April 2003 Noon.
Warm and sunny, though with a slight breeze, today brought the first sighting of the Blue-Tailed Damsel (I. elegans). Only the one seen so far but this is earlier than last year (first sighting in 2002 was May 1st).
Increasing numbers of Large Reds present. 20 plus catching a few rays on the leaves of a bramble in one sunny corner.


23rd April Cambs. SH
1 teneral male Large Red today at Wicken Fen national nature reserve.


23rd April Derbyshire PeteS
Forbes Hole Nature Reserve, Long Eaton, Derbyshire.
1 Male Large Red Damselfly seen at the above site on the 23/4/03.


20th April Cambs. RP
first Large Red Damsel seen this year, teneral male - 20th April, Wentworth Sedge Fen in Cambs


22nd April Surrey D&JD
Lakeside Nature reserve, Ash, Surrey
This afternoon we had a colection of Large Reds. No Blues yet. 22 Females and 12 males, mostly in good colour.
Quite warm, Brachytron - locally - only a couple of weeks away!!


20th April W. Sussex JH
One large red damselfly in my garden at Woldhurstlea TQ249357, Gossops Green, W.Sussex, 20.4.03


19th April Cornwall PS
Two teneral Broad-bodied Chasers freshly emerged on side of pond, Looe, Cornwall, SX2553. One pecked by bird or something else? and looking in bad shape.


18th April Cambs. HC
I visited Castor Hanglands on Good Friday (18th April) and saw 6 teneral Pyrhhosoma nymphula (mostly male) and managed to get 8 exuviae too. Castor Hanglands is a great site (English Nature) to the NW of Peterborough City centre at TL 125017 (sheet 142 OS), well worth a visit though some of the marginal vegetation on the ponds has been grazed back a bit of late.


15th-18th April N. Ireland IR
When at Montiaghs Bog near Aghalee, Co. Antrim, on 17th April, in company with Ted Rolston, we saw an extremely early Four-spotted Chaser dragonfly (Libellula quadrimaculata) and about 8 Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula). I understand that the former species had also been reported a little earlier in the afternoon by Laurence Morgan of Ballymena, who therefore should get the credit for first seeing the species there this year. I believe the next earliest record for Libellula quadrimaculata in Northern Ireland is 4th May 2000 at the same site, so this is about two and a half weeks earlier. One would actually have expected a Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) rather than this species, although even then this would be, I believe, 2 days earlier than even it has been recorded before (same site on 19th April 2002).

Large Red Damselfly seems to be emerging more generally now. Brian Hodkinson reports 4 on Annaholty Bog, Co. Limerick/Tipperary, on 18th April, Christopher Wilson also reports a Large Red Damselfly at Wexford Wildlife Reserve on 16th April, while at Montiaghs Bog, Co. Antrim, David Nixon reported 1 female on 15th April, and about 8 were seen by me and Ted Rolston on 17th April, as mentioned above.


18th April Berkshire SGu
Large Red Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly and Banded Demoiselle. A single male of each species, all within a few feet of each other. Also, a teneral Blue-tailed caught in a spider's web. Foudry Brook, Reading, just below the sewage works outfall.


18th April Berkshire CW
Some Damselflies on Reading's Foudry Brook: 2 Blue-tailed [one teneral, one immature], 2 Large Reds and a mature Azure male.


18th April Essex DSp
1 teneral P nymphula at Cornmill Meadow Lea Vally Park Essex


16th April Cheshire BL
P nymphula - 1 male Delamere, Barnsbridge Pool SJ 543715
P nymphula - 2 teneral Black Lake Delamere SJ 537709


16th April Glos. MJJ
First Large Red Damsel of the year for my location. Around noon, 16th April. Dupont Gloucester site, Brockworth, Gloucester. Extremely warm day, single teneral seen rising from the reeds and flying to rest in willow.


6th April Dorset DE
Large Red Damselfly, Wareham, Dorset


4th April Devon PB
The first records for Stover Country Park were seen on the 4th April. A spell of very unseasonably warm weather has lead to the very early emergence of large red damselfly. Five were seen sheltering from the gusty wind within surrounding vegetation. Hairy dragonfly should emerge any day now as their emergence is often only days apart. Orange tip butterflies feeding on cuckoo flower also.
The rangers at Stover are holding two dragonfly related events as part of Dragonfly Week. The first is an event which will include a brief illustrated talk introducing these amazing insects and their identification, followed by a tour of Stover's ponds to see what is on the wing and underwater and also what the rangers are doing to conserve and enhance dragonfly populations, Sunday 21st June 1-3pm. The next event is a pond dipping event for kids taking a closer look at the grizzly underwater world within the Park's ponds; Saturday 14th June 2-4pm - nets and buckets supplied (booking advised for both events - see web site www.devon.gov.uk/dcs/stover). Please also see events run by Dave Smallshire on the 15th June advertised by the Society.


4th April Hants. D&JD
Large Red Damselfly, Fleet, Hants.


1st April Worcs. MA
Unidentified dragonfly seen from offices in Kidderminster, Worcs. (per MA) Perhaps not necessarily Hairy Dragonfly.


29th March Devon MC
One teneral Hairy Dragonfly, Slapton Ley, Devon