Sightings - Early 2006

This page contains Sightings sent to the BDS between January and June 2006. You can also go to the Sightings for July to December 2006.

Dec 4th PT Norfolk
I’ve been told there were 2 Common Darters (both fairly pristine) still active at Strumpshaw Fen in Norfolk on December 4th.

Dec 2nd DJT Cheshire
One male Common Darter present at Delamere Forest, Cheshire on 2nd December.

Dec 2nd SM Hampshire
Brief views of an orange darter sp. - probably Common Darter - along the Canal Path at Titchfield Haven, Hants on Sat 2 December.

Dec 2nd JWS Berkshire
Singleton male Common Darter, still in good condition, sunning itself on a post at Swinley Brick Pits at 2.00 pm.

Nov 26th MMcG Glos.
Still at least four Common Darter at WWT Slimbridge today (26th) a pair in tandem and ovipositing this morning.

Nov 19th/23rd MMcG Glos.
Late dates at WWT Slimbridge wetland reserve in Gloucestershire include Common Darter on 23rd November and Migrant Hawker on 19th November.

Nov 20th MRH Surrey
London Wetland Centre (Barnes, Surrey) Sunday 20 November 2006: Common Darter pair in tandem reported and a male seen by me.

Nov 19th DP Hampshire
At least six Common Darters were on the reserve at Titchfield Haven last Sunday 19 November including two pairs in tandem. All were looking fairly fresh.

Nov 19th JWS Surrey
On Puttenham Common (SU912468), morning of 19th Nov at 1145 a fine male Southern Hawker flying strongly over bracken and grass on the Common. It was clear blue sky, temperature not a lot above 10deg C.
Recorded by David Lloyd.

Nov 11th RJS Middx.
One Migrant Hawker at London Wetland Centre, Barnes on Sat 11 November. Hawking around hedgerow near the WWF Hide.

Nov 15th RG Essex
Meadowfield Nature Study Centre. Hockley, Essex: 1 Common Darter, male.

Nov 9th CC/LH Devon
30 plus Common Darters at Bystock Pools, Near Exmouth. Four plus tandem pairs. Although some of the Darters were "getting on a bit" most of them were quite fresh looking.

Nov 9th IR N. Ireland
In bright calm weather (though rather cold, possibly only 8 deg. C.) I saw 3 Common Darters (1 female and probably 2 males) at Peatlands Park, North Armagh, at about lunchtime today (9th). They seemed to be in good condition. None however were seen in the "Bog Garden" where I saw several earlier this month.

Nov 5th DP Hampshire
A Common Darter was seen on the afternoon of Sunday 5 November at Easton (near Winchester) in Hampshire.

Oct 24th/Nov 2nd DMcG Lancs.
The following 2 sightings are from different areas of Blackpool
24th October - male Common Darter at Marton Mere LNR
2nd November - single Migrant Hawker at Holyoake Avenue/Crematorium area

Nov 5th JRu W. Sussex
Today (5 November) have seen a large (emperor type) dragonfly darting around rapidly at roof top level in my garden in West Sussex near East Grinstead in late morning. I thought the dragonfly season was over, especially as there have been 2 frosts here this week but it would appear not. Don't know if this is unusual or not, hopefully you will know if it is noteworthy. Outside temp 11deg C today.

Nov 4th IR N. Ireland
Starting about mid-day I spent about 2 hours at Peatlands Park, North Armagh. Weather was bright with hazy sun and a light wind, but despite earlier frost (c. -2 deg. C.) it was somewhat warmer than yesterday. As expected I saw both Common Darter (4) and Black Darter (1) in the "Bog Garden"; there were also 2 Common Darters and 4 Black Darters in the areas outside the Garden (mostly between the Turf Cutting area and Annagarriff Wood), making 6 Common Darters and 5 Black Darters respectively altogether, or 11 Dragonflies altogether. The Black Darters and all but one of the Common Darters seemed to be males, and any seen closely were in mature condition but with wings in excellent state; when disturbed they flew strongly. Nearly all were seen initially sunning themselves on paths or wooden walkways.
I have regularly seen both species during the first few days of November at this site in recent years (sometimes a little bit later), but I think this is the largest number I have seen on a November day. There were probably at least a few others in other parts of the park (which is too large to cover completely in 2 hours). Weather in October was very mild but cool, though dry, northerly winds set in one the last day and have lasted until the present, though it has been bright.

Oct 29th CW Oxfordshire
On a calm, sunny afternoon 3 male Common Blue Damselflies were keeping company at one end of a lake at Caversham, Reading. This is the same number that were present on the 27th last year. 7 Common Darters included 2 ovipositing pairs, but I didn't notice any Migrant Hawkers.

Oct 15th JM Kent
One or two Brown Hawkers were enjoying the unseasonable sunshine a Milton Manor gravel pits west of Canterbury along with Migrant Hawkers. Further up stream on the banks of the Stour, two Common Blues Damselflies were on the wing.

Oct 12th A&TS Essex
Today at Fishers Green nr Waltham Abbey Essex, OS166 TL377032.
We saw several male Common Blue damsels near the Crannum Hide, no sign of any females present. I believe this is unusually late.

Sept 24th BL Merseyside
Update to Leeds-Liverpool Canal Litherland records centred on SJ336991, along 3/4 mile stretch. A. mixta still putting up a good show with 19 males plus a female ovipositing, A. grandis were fewer with 5 individuals, I noted one was a female apparently looking for suitable places to lay eggs amongst the canal's floating vegetation, but not staying still long enough to oviposit. Also, mainly resting on the towpath, 16 male S. striolatum and a few dozen Blue-tailed damselfly were also recorded.
Further to the north-east where the canal just briefly strays into the higher 100Km square (centred on SD354001), all the above species were seen in slightly lower numbers.
With the exception of Ischnura, there were lower numbers of above on Whabbs Tip/Rimrose valley - SJ335992.

Sept 25th PHS Lancs.
As often happens at this time of year, we have had a small influx of Black Darters (Sympetrum danae) to the Sefton Coast about 40km from the nearest peatland breeding site. Single males were at Ainsdale NNR on 15th September and Hesketh Golf Course on 24th, while two appeared at Birkdale Sandhills on 25th September.

Sept 23rd IR N. Ireland
I saw a male Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) towards the NW end of Lough Money near Downpatrick, Co. Down (J523457, near the sewage works) on 23rd September; it was latish afternoon and conditions were not ideal as it was windy (though bright) and the adjacent quarry (where insects tend to congregate) was in shade. This was probably one of the individuals seen by David Nixon or Laurence Morgan on 15th and 16th September respectively. I also looked for the species without success the same afternoon at Carrickanab near Clough (J4538), where I thought I saw one on 7th October 1995, and a lake at Ballygargan about 3 miles east of Carrickanab (J4833386), but only Common Darters were seen at these places, and on 24th (when the weather was less suitable) at Ballydugan Lake near Downpatrick (J460428); only a single male Common Blue damselfly was seen here.
On 19th September there was a rather late Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) at Milltown Reservoir near Warrenpoint, Co. Down, with 4-6 Common Darters and 2 or 3 male Common Blue Damselflies; on 22nd September there was a probable Brown Hawker, 4 Common Hawkers (1 or 2 ovipositing), about 6 Black Darters and 10 Common Darters at Peatlands Park, North Armagh.

Sept 17th PAs E. Yorks.
At least 200 Red-veined Darter exuvia have been found at East Lea Pool, Filey Dams. Larvae and tenerals are still emerging from the pool. The most tenerals seen at any one time has been 20, most appear to be dispersing fairly quickly, all other counts being in singles figures.

Sept 15th DN N. Ireland
On 30th August 06 I stopped for a short time at Lough Money, outside Downpatrick, Co Down, Grid J5345. I saw two smallish Hawkers in flight which I suspected were Migrant Hawkers but was not able to confirm identity. I visited the site again on 15th September and again quickly saw a small Hawker at the carpark at the South of the Lough, but again was unable to clinch identity. I then went to the north of the lough, and walked down the west shore to the sewage works and had excellent views of a pristine male Migrant Hawker at rest along the track. Several 'record shots' were obtained. In retrospest, there is no doubt that the one seen earlier at the carpark was also this species. I understand that Common Hawker is not at this site.
Laurence Morgan revisited the site the next day and again saw the male at the carpark. Near the sewage works he saw 2 more males, one in tandem with a female. He captured and photographed one of the males. These are the first confirmed records for N Ireland although there have been several suspected sightings in the past two years.

Sept 10th ML Kent
Not exactly hot news as such, but I was certainly pleased to see a male Golden-ringed Dragonfly at Whetsted GP's (West Kent) on 10th September. This is my first record here and was well away from what I would consider normal habitat for this species.

Aug 23rd-Sept 9th PAs E. Yorks.
23rd August - 1 Small Red-eyed Damselfly at Bransholme Fishing Ponds, only the second individual logged at this site.
31st August - 3 Small Red-eyed Damselfly still present at Oak Road lake, Hull.
9th September - 20+ teneral Red-veined Darters at Filey Dams, 6 present the following day.

August 6th SL Hampshire
Apologies for delayed posting of a sighting of Aeshna affinis seen on 6th August 2006 at Little Wootton Inclosure New Forest (SZ 227 987) by my wife and I. The delay was caused because it was the briefest of sightings and I just managed to grab the shot before it flew off. Having downloaded the image to my computer I hadn’t had the chance, until last week, to look at and start cataloguing this and many other images from last month. We had dismissed it at the time as either Common or Migrant Hawker and only recently heard of Les Stride’s observation at Needs Ore and that another had been seen in Sussex. I admit it’s not the sharpest of images and wasn’t entirely convinced, but I showed a print to Les Stride today and he confirmed it looked the same as the one he had seen at Needs Ore.
Is this the 4th UK record or have there been many others?
[The photo sent does indeed show A. affinis - webmaster]

Sept 8th LSo Cornwall
I spotted 6 Beautiful Demoiselles beside the river camel in Camelford Cornwall in the park .. a beautiful site males and females with butterflies attacking them.

Sept 4th BL Merseyside
Leeds-Liverpool Canal Litherland centred on SJ336991, along 3/4 mile stretch. During a brief bright spell, 30+ A. mixta males plus a pair in cop, 8 A. grandis and 14 male S. striolatum (nothing more exotic for Sympetrum....rats!). Lower numbers of above on Whabbs Tip/Rimrose valley - SJ335992.

Sept 3rd KD/MP Cambs
Red-veined darters now emerging at Etton Pits Cambridgeshire 3-9-09. I saw 4 including a couple of tenerals, while checking one small corner of the pits, there could be many more as it was virtually blowing a gale while I was there. See my website for photo.

September 1st RG Essex
Meadowfield Nature Study Centre, Church Road, Hockley, Essex: Small red-eyed damselfly ovipositing. Out of a total of sixteen recorded, this brings the total of confirmed breeding species at the centre to eleven, plus a further three probable but unconfirmed breeders.

August 30th SN Staffs.
At least 4 Yellow winged Darters are present at Gailey Reservoir Staffs. They are showing in a large clover field just north east of the reservoir. As far as I know this is the first record for Staffordshire.

August 22nd-30th PAs E. Yorks.
22nd August - 5 Small Red-eyed Damselflies at Oak Road Lake, Hull, including 2 ovipositing pairs.
24th August - 2 Small Red-eyed Damselflies at Oak Road Lake, Hull.
25th August - Male Black Darter on heath at North Cliffe Wood. First site record.
30th August - Teneral male Red-veined Darter at North Cave Wetlands, found along footpath on western edge of reserve. Several adults where recoded through the summer during the influx.

August 27th GHo Oxon.
A trip to Aston Rowant NNR in Oxfordshire mainly for Butterflies on Sunday 27th Aug, also turned up a male Yellow-winged Darter, sheltering in the vegetation from a moderate breeze. There were also a few Migrant Hawker on the wing but little else Odonata speaking.

August 27th JHu Pembrokeshire
Recent sighting of Southern damselfly at Brynberian Moor, on the northern edge of the Preseli Mountains Pembrokeshire.

August 25th CRJ Essex
A male Yellow-Winged Darter was present at the eastern end of the lake at Bedfords Park, Romford (TQ518918), on 25th August 2006, 4.00pm. Seen well, including telescope views. First record for site, completing a memorable year at this location (several Red-Veined Darters in June and July). Still many Small Red-Eyed Damseflies on lake, in probably best ever year at this site - numbers peaked late July/early August, 800+ pairs and approx 1000 unpaired males (6th August).

August 26th PM Lancs.
Still 5 males and a female (at least) Yellow-winged Darter in the Aldcliffe area. Please contact me for access at your own risk. No teneral Red-veined Darter in brief search at Middleton IE c/f three seen at Brockholes Quarry, Preston

August 24th PHS Merseyside
The male Yellow-winged Darter (Sypetrum flaveolum) reported previously was still on scrape 8 at Birkdale Sandhills LNR on 24th August. It has now been present for at least 26 days; not a bad life-span!

August 22nd DEG London/Middx.
Further to DS's report of 11 August in Bushy Park, the same species were seen on 15 August, with the addition of banded demoiselle on channel west of Diana fountain, emerald damselfly on channel east of Leg of Mutton Lake, and on Leg of Mutton lake itself migrant hawkers and ovipositing emperor.
Today, 22 August, three pairs of small red-eyed damselflies were ovipositing on pools to east of The Long Water in Hampton Court Home Park. There and at Hampton Wick Pond were also common blue, blue-tailed (inlcuding numerous tenerals) and red-eyed damselflies, common darters, migrant and brown hawker, and emperor.

August 22nd NW Notts.
Grantham Canal between Wild's Bridge and Devil's Elbow (SK675321 and SK669317), 22 August 2006: 12 male Small Red-eyed Damselflies and 2 females all perched on floating algae in the middle of the canal. No signs of mating activity but the males were being attacked by male Common Blue Damselflies.

August 17th PH N. Yorks.
In the York area there is the usual selection including the Red Eyed Damselfly Erythromma najas (Wheldrake Ings SE694443) and Black Darter Sympetrum danae (Skipwith Common SE661377) but during a visit on to the North Yorks Moors I found two more unusual species; The Golden Ringed Dragonfly Coerdulegaster boltonii (Wheeldale Moor SE885980) and the Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens (Fen Bog SE801991). I believe (please correct me if I'm wrong) that the fairly healthy population of Keeled Skimmers at Fen Bog and the surrounding area is an isolated occurance and is the only area in NE England where this species is found.

August 9th HJV Devon
One male Lesser Emperor patrolling the south end of the plastic lined storage reservoir south-east of Kingstone on 9th August, at SX 642 469, viewable from the bridleway.

August 15th RG Essex
Meadowfield Nature Study Centre, Church Road, Hockley, Essex:
First record for small red-eyed damselfy. Other records of interest include: emerald damselfly well in evidence over recent weeks - a good year, brown hawker and ruddy darter.

August 14th PHS Merseyside
On 14th August, I was pleasantly surprised to rediscover Sympetrum flaveolum on scrape no. 8 in Birkdale Sandhills LNR, Merseyside. This individual was first seen on 30th July.
Also present on the three scrapes searched were:
Lestes sponsa, Ischura elegans, Enallagma cyathigerum, Aeshna grandis, Aeshna mixta (4), Anax imperator, Sympetrum striolatum, Sympetrum sanguineum (25) and Sympetrum danae.

August 8th PAs E. Yorks.
Hot News from East Yorkshire. First record of Small Red-eyed Damselfly in Yorkshire recorded at Oak Road Lake in Hull. Five where present on 8th August with ovipositing noted, the following day 14 where present. The weather has put a dampener on things at the moment for searches at other location to be carried out.
A male Red-veined Darter was at Eastrington Ponds on 9th, this a first for the site.
Another site first concerned a male Black Darter at North Cave Wetlands 6th.

August 11th TC Norfolk
Took a special trip to Shrumpshaw fen Norfolk today with the hope of Yellow winged Darters. Sure enough I was able to locate them from the good directions given to me by the helpful lady at reception. In less than favourable weather conditions I was able to view at least 5 individual males & one female, although the wings were lacking much colour. Maybe an old specimen. Unfortunately after 20 minutes on the meadow the heavens opened & I had to seek cover. Weather cleared briefly later in the afternoon & was able to see a few Migrant & Southern Hawkers, Black tailed Skimmer, Common Darter, Small Red Eyed Damselflies & Emeralds around the reserve. Also second brood Swallow tailed butterflies were on the wing.

August 11th IMe Leics./Rutland
After initial sightings on 22nd July, Small Red-eyed Damselfly has now been found at a total of seven sites in north east Leicestershire and Rutland. More information at:

August 11th DS London
After seeing the small red-eyes on Hot news at Hampton Wick Today between 13:30 and 15:00, more Hot news, 40 + small red-eyed damselflies on the Diana Fountain in Bushy Park, with around 12 pairs in tandem some of which were ovipositing. Also, a few small red-eyes on the feeder channel to Heron Lake, some of which were in tandem, in company with Ruddy and Common Darter, common blue-tailed, azure and common blue damselfly. One solitary Black-tailed Skimmer ovipositing on Heron Lake. Strangely no larger beasts were seen, I would have expected at least an Emperor on Heron Lake.

August 5th GavinH Surrey (London)
At least 20 male Small Red-eyed Damselflies are present on Queensmere pond on Wimbledon Common, mostly on Lily pads. This is thought to be an odonata first for Wimbledon Common. Unfortunately, there was no evidence of ovipositing.

August 11th LSt Hants.
Just like a bus, you wait ages for one and then another comes along. Aeshna affinis photographed yesterday at the mouth of the Beaulieu River in Hampshire. Shows signs of wear on wings, maybe it's Ray's dragon moving west!

August 8th CI Avon
Small Red-eyed Damselfly has reached Bath:

August 4th AK Cardiff
There was a single male Lesser Emperor flying over a ditch at Lamby Lakes, Cardiff, Wales at 13:30 on the 4th August 2006. It disappeared when the sun came out fully and a number of Emperor dragonflies became active in the area.

August 6th JWS Berkshire
Two male Small Red-eyed Damselflies were found at Butter Bottom Ponds (SU848640). This brings to five the number of sites in the Bracknell area where the species has been recorded this summer. Allsmoor Pond (SU885685) and Mill Pond (Easthampstead SU 859682), as well as Englemere Pond (SU907687) and Felix Farm Trout Fishery (SU849744) are the other sites, Ovipositing has been observed at the latter three sites. All the populations are small, the largest count of 17 was recorded at Mill Pond (Easthampstead).

August 6th MBe Somerset
This is a list from yesterday, Aug 6. 1 emperor dragonfly / 2 southern hawkers / 2 brownhawker / easy 20 migrant hawker / 1 blacktailed skimmer / common darter easy 30 / ruddy darter 20 / 1 common emerald damselfly / common blue damselflies lots / red eye damselflies about 40 if not more. Site Shapwich Heath Somerset.

August 6th VD Sussex
Several Erythromma viridulum encountered at Eridge Park (permit only site) in Sussex, including 2-3 mating pairs. First time recorded at this site, but seems to be part of a trend , with other sightings reported from other parts of Sussex, and Hampshire - any news from Kent? Identification was made easy, as direct comparison wt. E. najas, which has been present at this site for years, was possible.

August 5th PBo Gols.
At least 5 small Red-eyed Dasmselflies were seen on pools at Severn Beach , South Gloucestershire today (5/8/6) and a male Lesser Emporer! We managed to photograph one of the Damselflies and even though the Lesser Emporer showed well in flight at few metres range many time it was impossible to photograph in flight.

August 3rd TL Cumbria
Watchtree Nature Reserve nr. Carlisle, Cumbria: First recorded sightings at this Reserve for both Ruddy Darter and Emperor Dragonflies. The Emperor was seen snatching a Four Spot Chaser in mid air before carrying it to a nearby stem for lunch ... typically, I did not have my camera. Ruddy Darter seen at a more sheltered pond.

July 13th RH W. Sussex
Aeshna affinis - Southern Migrant Hawker (aka Meditteranean Hawker). One of the rarest Dragonflies to be seen in Sussex. It was photographed near the river Adur at Shoreham by Sea on the Adur levels on July 13th 2006. It was discovered on the Adur Levels about a half mile north of the A27 Flyover. The dragonfly was seen in the narrow area of the drainage ditches and pastures between the cyclepath and the River Adur. (TQ 202 075) Image at
[Comment from Adrian Parr, BDS Migrant Dragonfly Project co-ordinator] "Congratulations on the Southern Migrant Hawker, Aeshna affinis! This is only the second-ever verified record from the UK mainland, though from the descriptions supplied it sounds as if one was also in Avon about 10 years ago. I'll look after getting the record accepted, though I think we can all assume this will just be a formality!
There have been quite a few of this Mediterranean sister species to Migrant Hawker seen in The Netherlands and Poland this year. Indeed they have been having records there for several years - like Lesser Emperor this is a species that has been expanding its range in recent times, probably as a result of climate change. It now appears to be pretty regular on Jersey, and I'm sure it's been overlooked in southern England in the past. Hopefully this will now change following your discovery!
Congratulations once again!"

August 2nd DEG Middlesex
At Hampton Wick Pond, Middlesex, a stone's throw from Kingston town centre, several small red-eyed damselflies on algal mats, as well as the regular red-eyed. This is the first time I have seen them there.

August 2nd CBu Hants.
Southampton Common Boating Lake: At least 60 Small Red-eyed Damselflies today, mostly in tandem pairs. Also Black-tailed Skimmer.

August 1st KD/MP Lincs.
Found this evening 1-8-06, two small red eyed damselfly with several dozen sheltering damselflies along the long pond lying between Crowland and Fen Bridge, on the River Welland. I believe these must be the first for Lincolnshire. Grid ref TF230106 see my website for more dragonflies at:

August 1st IT Glos.
The first record for Gloucestershire of Small red-eyed Damselfly: 2 males were seen at mid-day today at Coombe Hill Meadows Nature Reserve, resting on tall vegetation in a ditch on a dull and windy day. Pictures were taken, with great difficulty! Diligent searching for more E. viridulum failed.

July 30th PHS Merseyside
During a survey of 7 scrapes on the Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve, Sefton Coast, Merseyside, on 30th July I found and photographed a male Sympetrum flaveolum and counted 55 S. sanguineum (a site record).

July 29th/30th MP/SP Cambs.
Wicken Fen, Dragonfly Project 29/30 July06: Brown Hawkers, Southern Hawkers, Ruddy Darters, Common Darters, Red Eye Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Variable Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle, Emerald Damselfly, Blue Tailed Damselfly, Emperor, Four Spotted Chaser, Black Tailed Skimmer, Migrant Hawker, SMALL RED EYE DAMSELFLY (First record at Wicken, Comfirmed by four Dragonfly Project Volunteers and photographic evidence)

July 28th BSt Cambs.
I found what may be the Peterborough area's first Small Red-eyed Damsels on Friday, 28/7. Plenty of paired insects present and perhaps up to 80 individuals indicating this colony might be a year old already. Location is TL175984.

July 30th IR N. Ireland
At Carrickanab Lake near Clough I saw at least 3 Ruddy Darters (1 female caught and 2 mature males seen); several other darters were seen of which at least 1 looked to be Common Darter. Several Emerald damselflies, a male Variable Damselfly and 2 Blue-tailed Damselflies were seen; at Ballydugan Lake near Downpatrick a Common Blue and a Blue-tailed damselfly were seen.

July 29th SBr Norfolk
Snettisham 29/07/06: 10+ Small red-eyed Damselflies, 1 Emperor, 1 Black-tailed Skimmer, 10+ Blue-tailed Damselflies,
50+ Common Blue Damselflies.

July 28th SC Wilts.
I looked elsewhere - and found 'em! Visited a private site in the SW of Wilts near Shaftesbury on 28th and found at least 80 SRED's. The site is a series of fish rearing ponds converted from derelict cress beds. No fish now - new owners are turning it into a private nature reserve. Only half the ponds visited and the rest are apparently of the same type with lots of Rigid Hornwort. So the potential population could be 250+!! Just need to find some sites in Mid Wilts now.

July 26th SBr Norfolk
Strumpshaw 26/07/06: 4 Yellow-winged Darters at Strumpshaw, Norfolk on Wednesday. Also seen: 1 Norfolk Hawker, 3 Brown Hawker, 50+ Common Blue Damselfly, 4 Ruddy Darter.

July 26th CBe E. Sussex
A Scarce Emerald Damselfly was found on the Rye Harbour nature reserve on the 26th July. Images have been sent to Adrian Parr and David Goddard, and through them to the Norfolk county recorder, and all tend to agree with the identification. This is the first record for Rye Harbour and East Sussex since 1947. Also present for about the last week a male Lesser Emperor.

July 29th PM Lancs.
Aldcliffe area: The Yellow-winged darter total for the maize field and area ponds was estimated at a staggering c20 today (by the original observer, Dan Hayward, who visited more private areas. This included two pairs in cop. Also a few Ruddy Darter.
Middleton IE: Not including a probable long-range male Black Darter, 14 definite species (4 damsels, 10 dragons) were seen today including just one YW Darter and the first Migrant Hawkers of the year. c5 Ruddy Darter was a good total for a species which seems to have gradually declined at long-established (1995+) sites in this area. Plenty of Emerald Damselfly. Red-veined Darter are still present at Middleton with up to 5 males and still easily found (within 3-4 minutes) as the Common Darter hordes have not really got going yet.

At least 3 Yellow-winged D at Aldcliffe yesterday in poor weather.
Many people have been triple-siting the above plus Arnside Knott Fritillaries/Scotch Argus. However, the immediate weather forecast is going to make at least the Red-veinsd hard to find I suspect (even if it 'clears') as they tail off their season.

July 28th KD/MP Cambs.
Etton Pits (private) North Cambs - 4 red veined darter, 1 male lesser emperor. Also blue tailed/common blue damselfly, emperor, four spot chaser, common darter.

July 28th TC Essex
Writtle, Chelmsford, Essex.
At lunch time today I noticed a darter perching on a bush as I looked through my kitchen window as I put away dishes before going back to work. I decided to have a closer look & went into the garden before getting into the car. I couldn't believe it when I saw it was a male Red Veined darter. What a bizzare coincidence to have one in my own back garden. It was only last week I had my first close views of a rvd whilst on holiday in Switzerland. Not to have seen rvd in the UK & one turns up in my garden, Wierd! Unfortunately couldn't view it for long as had to rush back to work. I dont think having a rvd in the garden consistutes a plausible excuse for being late for work!

July 27th PM Lancs.
Yellow-winged Darter seen and photographed at Aldcliffe, Lune Estuary by Gary Jones on 27/7/06. Up to 8 have occurred at this site in last two days.

July 15th-22nd RGr Dorset
Odonata at a recent trip to Holton Lee, nr. Poole (15-22 July) included 2 ad m. Black Darter and 2 imm. ms., scores of Small Red Damselflies and Keeled Skimmers - lots of the latter on the open heath and at least six ms. on the small Horseshoe Pond, a Ruddy Darter, Emerald Damselflies and lots of Four-spotted Chasers, plus 10 other commoner species.

July 27th SC Wilts.
Further to yesterdays news of 3 male E. viridulum at Coate Water, Swindon; today I checked out the model boating lake at the country park and to my amazement there were over 100 present including dozens of pairs either in cop, in tandem or ovipositing. Absolutely amazing!! They must be elsewhere in the county - just have to find 'em!!

July 27th PM Lancs.
Dan Hayward located 5 Yellow-winged Darter together this afternoon on the Lune Estuary, Lancashire frequenting rushes and sedges at the edge of a pond. There "may have been more". The Middleton site nearby (with a track record in 1995 & 1999 and loads of suitable habitat) was only given a cursory glance from a car today, which produced 5 male Red-veined Darter over the water on the 'model boat pond' as late as 1650 hrs

July 26th SC Wilts.
This afternoon around 5.30pm I found the first Small Red-eyed Damselflies for Wiltshire. The location is Coate Water Country Park on the SE edge of Swindon. I was only able to make a short visit but found at least 3 males. Will be making a more prolonged visit tomorrow [with digiscoping gear!] to see if there are more. There are also E. najas there [and have been for many years] so nice to be able to compare the two species 'side by side'. Grid reference is SU181816 and they are on the small pool attached to the reserve [southern] lake. View the pool which is to the right of the raised boardwalk which leads to the bird hide there.

July 26th DCu Devon
Today at Brucklands Lakes, I had:- 11 Red Veined Darters, all males, 30 Small Red Eyed Damselflies, including 2 pair in cop. 1 Male Red Eyed Damselfly, 1 Female and 1 pair in cop.

July 23rd DMcE Berkshire
What is believed to be a Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) was seen at Hosehill Lake (just south of Theale) on Friday 21st July 2006 by Adrian Hickman, a very experienced entomologist and field worker. On the strength of his message, my wife and I visited the site on Sunday and found what we think must have been the same dragonfly that Adrian saw – this time on the Butterfly Bank on the southern side of the reserve (grid reference of SU 649694). I know there are a few quite experienced Odonatologists in the Reading area who may be interested, and who might be able to get to Hosehill and confirm the sighting.

July 25th/26th PAB Norfolk
26 July - Reedham Marshes, How Hill. 14 Yellow-Winged Darter
25 July - Reports of 8 Yellow-Winged Darter from Strumpshaw Fen RSPB Butterfly Meadow. Several also seen at Hickling NWT.

July 23rd-25th R&CC Devon
23rd July - Bystock Reserve, Devon: One male Ruddy Darter seen at Bystock Reserve, on the top ponds.
One male Ruddy also seen today (25th July), on the top field of the reserve by Liz Hamling. Also present are Azure damselfly, Beautiful Demoiselle, Blue-tailed damselfly, Common Blue damselfly, Common Darter, Emperor dragonfly, Four-spotted Chaser, Golden-ringed dragonfly, Keeled Skimmer, Large Red damselfly, Small Red damselfly

July 25th PAB Norfolk
Over the last five days or so large numbers of Yellow-Winged Darter have been seen in N.E Norfolk.
Today 6 at a private site near Stalham (present for the last three days).
Nearby at the NWT site Alderfen Broad (TG 353 197) We saw 4-5 more this afternoon
Buxton Heath (TG 17 21) 3+ Yellow-Winged Darter present since Friday 21 July
Numerous other sightings all over the broads area.

July 25th MT Northants.
I have been surveying the Dragonflies at Lyveden New Bield (SP983854), for the National Trust this year and in June dipped what keyed out as Small Red-eye larvae, from the mats for Rigid Hornwort in one of the moats. I returned today with fingers-crossed and was excited to find about 40 Small Red-eyes including about 15 pairs oviposting. This constitutes the first absolute proof of breeding in Northants, and the most northerly and easterly colony so far recorded in the County. Also present, Emperor, "Large Red-eye", Common Blue, Azure, Blue-tailed, Common and Ruddy Darter, Black-tailed Skimmer and a single Banded Demoiselle.

July 24th StSt Norfolk/Cambs.
I saw with several others the following:-
Buxton Heath, Norfolk (NWT Reserve): Keeled Skimmers - 20+ incl copulation & females laying eggs, 1 male Yellow-winged Darter
Hoe Rough (NWT Reserve): 1 male Yellow-winged Darter
Maxey Gravel Pits, Cambs: 1 male Lesser Emperor (1 of the finders has put a photo on, 1 male Red-veined Darter (at least 5 males had been seen earlier before the wind got up)
On the pager there were also reports of large numbers of Yellow-winged Darters & a probable Southern Migrant Hawker in the Broads.

July 24th NF Cumbria
3 male RV Darters, 2 male and 1 female BT Skimmer in Cumbria at Tindale Tarn, Nr Hallbankgate. These seem to be more new species for Cumbria coming hard on the heels of a male Lesser Emperor at Boaterby quarry near Coathill, nr Carlisle from 14th-19th of july at least.

July 22nd-23rd AS York
Sandburn Hall Golf Club, York - SE 680610: Saturday 22 and Sunday 23rd July: Variable damselfly - many - 30+, Common blue damselfly - many 30+, Blue-tailed damselfly - many 30+, Black-tailed skimmer - 1, Emperor - 3, Common Darter - many 30+, Black darter - 4, Golden-ringed Dragonfly - 1

July 22nd SH Leics.
Small Red-eyed Damselfly has finally been found in Leicestershire. 3 males were found yesterday at Priory Water. A more detailed survey today yielded 35 males, 4 females & 4 coupled pairs, 3 of which were ovipositing.
[and from Richard Fray]
Priory Water is actually in northern Leics, so it seems likely that there are more, as yet undetected colonies further south.
Priory Water is a private site, but access can be arranged for those that are very interested - details of visiting, photos and more news on the LRDG news page at

July 23rd SW Devon
This afternoon a careful count showed 54 Small Red-eyed Damselfies at Lower Bruckland Ponds, with the majority on the top pond. This count included 5 ovipositing pairs, but these 5 females were the only females observed.

July 17th-22nd BL Lancs. etc.
17/07/06. Leeds-Liverpool Canal Litherland centred on SJ336991, along 3/4 mile stretch. 54 male Emperors + 13 ovipositing females, much territorial squabbling amongst males. Also, 15 Brown Hawkers patrolling the canal with frequent interaction with Emperors, 12+ Common Darters, many I.e. and a few Azure damsels.
18/07/06. Clocaenog Forest pond SJ037510, few Common Hawkers and a few Emperors with 1 ovipositing. Many Common Blue and Azure damselflies.
20/07/06. Black Lake Delamere SJ537709. Apart from I.e. and Azure Damselflies in good numbers, good species count although most in single figures. Southern Hawker - 1 male, Brown Hawker - 2, Common Hawker - 2 males, Emperor - 4 males 1 female ovipositing, BBC - 1 male, 4-Spot Chaser - 12, Black Darter - 3 male, Common Darter - 7, Emerald damselfly - 1 male. 11 species for the visit and a personal species count for the site now at 15. Nice revamped Info board!
21/07/06. Whabbs Tip / Rimrose Valley SJ335992. Permanent(!) pond near main path, water very low now. 3 male Emperors patrolling grassland near ponds, few Common Darters on the footpath.
21/07/06. Leeds-Liverpool Canal Litherland centred on SJ336991, along 3/4 mile stretch. 30 male Emperors + 10 ovipositing females, 1 pair in cop. Also, 12 Brown Hawkers, 1 ovipositing, 8 Common Darters, many I.e. and a few Azure damsels.
22/07/06. Ironbridge, Shropshire, River Severn SJ673034. Banded Demoiselle - 30 males, 10 females, White-legged Damsel - 7 male 2 female, and a single Ruddy Darter male.

July 21st-22nd DSm Devon
At Lower Bruckland Ponds, at least two pairs of Small Red-eyed Damselflies were ovipositing, and one female Red-veined Darter. The owner confirms that no fish or aquatic plants have been introduced to the ponds from outside Devon, so it seems very likely that these species have made their own way to the ponds! At nearby Seaton Marshes, c12 Ruddy Darters on 22nd, with one pair ovipositing. Also surprise news on Ruddy Darter from north Devon: egg-laying at two of five occupied ponds at Braunton Burrows, with over 40 adults counted in total (so it IS breeding in Devon after all!).

July 22nd ABn Norfolk
1 male Yellow winged Darter (attached)at Buxton Heath Norfolk this morning also 20+ Keeled Skimmers, 6+ Small Red Eyeds at Snettisham 21-7-06.

July 22nd DerekE Suffolk
Whilst not an expert, like many a birder I turn more to "honourary birds" in the summer months and am gaining in expertise over the years. Today in my garden I spotted a sympetrum type perched and took the opportunity to have a good close look from about 2m with my x10 Swarovskis (the wonders of modern optics!) The critter was a female, the usual yellow/brown colouration with a black line down the side of the abdomen, but other than that, no obvious markings. Then I was struck by the prominent, orangey-brown pterostigma with an obvious black border and my thoughts immediately turned to red-veined, there having been a few in this area this summer. But then I noticed the large, yellowy patches at the base of the wings, more so on the hind than the fore wings, and also yellow patches at the wing nodes and that the venation was not red in any way, but black. My thoughts turned in other directions. Paying closer attention I checked out the facial pattern and the leg colour, remembering that these were important but not in what way. Like I said, I'm no expert. Anyway, the legs were black with some yellow on them and the black line above the frons extended down the sides quite extensively although it didn't appear to go all the way down. I then went and checked my guides (Askew, Powell and Brooks&Millington) and I am pretty convinced that I had a female yellow winged darter. The animal was still where I left it and I rechecked all the features. Vulvar scales were beyond me I'm afraid! I then decided to get the camera and you can guess the rest. It flew and I haven't seen it since. So, is this good enough to constitute a record. If so you can have it with my compliments. Location is Reydon Smere, Southwold, Suffolk. TM496784
You might also like to know that in the area today I saw many (sorry I didn't try to count them but dozens) of small red-eyed damselflies, some paired up and ovipositing. The location was still water fish-ponds with lots of "slub weed" and other aquatic vegetation. I am confident of their identification, their short-winged, curved body jizz being quite characteristc before you even notice the extension of the blue at either end of the abdomen. I couldn't find any large red-eyes at the site. The location of this site is Buss Creek, Southwold, Suffolk. TM503768.
And finally! At the same Buss Creek site I watched a brown hawker splash into the water quite violently 4 or 5 times before flying into a sallow and hanging there in the usual aeshna fashion. I could see she was a female but surely this wasn't ovipositing was it? I was under the impression that A. grandis laid their eggs directly into aquatic plant stems. At least that's what my book says. Do dragonflies bathe? If it's of any relevance, it was about 1630h and very hot and humid.

July 18th R&DM Wilts.
A male (or possibly 2 male) Lesser Emperors at Langford Lakes, Wilts. At least one was by the Robin Hide at Brockbank Lake on 18th July.

July 20th IR N. Ireland
On 20th July I looked in vain for the male Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) at the spot near the islands which is I assume where Brian Nelson saw it on 18th; however shortly after I had a brief glimpse of an Anax. sp. which I think was this species (and possibly the same individual) as there seemed to be a very distinct bluish patch at the base of the abdomen.
Later there were about 25-30 Keeled Skimmers including a mating pair at Leitrim Lodge near Hilltown in the Mourne Mountains, Co. Down; over half of these were in a fairly wet flush near the road at the SW end, while many of the main flushes were rather dry. Also seen were 2 Large Red Damselflies and 3 Common Hawkers; I also saw 1 of the latter at Argory Estate, Co. Fermanagh, on 18th, and on 19th saw 1 at Marble Arch and a Brown Hawker at Reilly Wood NNR, both Co. Fermanagh.

July 21st LBa Aberdeenshire
I live in Stonehaven, a small coastal town some 15 miles south of Aberdeen. This afternoon whilst sunbathing in the garden I became aware of a large insect crashing around on the edge of one of my ponds. I have two large ponds, both with goldfish, and a large colony of breeding frogs.
My daughter and I got up to have a closer look and were fortunate to observe a lime green dragonfly ovipositing in our larger pond. She moved about the pond for approx 90 seconds, then few out of the garden over the wall.
[I've guessed at a female Southern Hawker, but this is not within the range indicated on the NBN database. Any comments? Webmaster]

July 21st SW Devon
What is going on? At the VERY least 20 male Small Red-eyed Damselflies at Lower Bruckland Ponds, Musbury. Also 5+ Red-eyed Damselflies. Nearby 8 Ruddy Darter at Seaton Marshes.

July 20th SSm Devon
Small Red-eyed Damselfly (E. viridulum), Lower Bruckland Trout Farm, Colyford, East Devon (20/7/06). A single male showing the whole suite of diagnostics and seen up against E. najas for comparison.

July 20th DSm Devon
Following a report of two Red-eyed Damselflies at a new site in SE Devon, Lower Bruckland Ponds, on 19th, four observers saw a male SMALL Red-eyed Damselfly there today, which I think is the first to be seen west of Hampshire. The ponds are also hosting a Lesser Emperor and up to five Red-veined Darters, the latter seen ovipositing.

July 20th SW Devon
First for Devon, male Small Red-eyed Damselfly at Lower Bruckland Ponds, also 6 Red-eyed Damselflies (5 males) and the male Lesser Emperor.

July 13th VJ Cornwall
July 13th my first sighting of a gold ringed dragonfly ( in my house, trying to get out!) I never knew they existed! Coaxed it quietly into a container and managed to show it to 3 other people before it decided to fly to freedom. St Austell, Cornwall

July 19th SSt Warwicks.
We had a male brown hawker in our garden last night. I live in Wellesbourne, Warwickshire. I was especially interested as I had never seen such an unusual dragonfly before.

July 18th PWi Hampshire
There were over 20 Small Red-eyed Damselflies on the boating lake, Southampton Common, today (18th July) - at least 5 tandem pairs and 10 males. I had difficulty keeping track of them in the bright sunshine and it is quite possible the numbers were double my conservative estimates. They seem to be well established at the site.

July 18th JWS Berkshire
Today, at Englemere Pond, 4 male and an ovipositing pair of Small Red-eyed Damselfly were recorded. This is the site where the first Berkshire records were obtained last year, so early indications are that the species has successfully established itself here.

July 18th RW Yorks.
Rodley Nature Reserve Trust, Rodley ('twixt Leeds & Bradford). Open Wednesdays & Weekends Only.
The Dragonfly Ponds (partially sponsored by BDS) are coming along leaps & bounds. Large numbers of Common Blue and Blue-Tailed Damselfly. Occasional sight of Large Red. Good numbers too of Ruddy Darter, Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Black-Tailed Skimmer and Broad-Bodied Chaser. Occasional Golden-Ringed in the locale.... Many species of Butterfly around also.
Well worth a visit now in the hot sun, really good views on offer.

July 17th MJ Northumberland
A few male banded demoiselle are flying on the river Aln in Northumberland adjacent to Alnwick Castle, 17th July. Can be seen from riverside walks and bridges. This is further north than previous records (the River Coquet, where it runs through Rothbury) and includes sites checked in previous years when none were seen, so looks like another hop northward.

July 15th SB Essex
Hadleigh/Benfleet Marshes and Two Tree Island (W of Southend): Day windy but mostly sunny, improving and becoming hot. 3 Scarce Emerald Damselflies on the Marshes – pair copulating and extra male interfering. Also 12 Black-tailed Skimmers, 8 Common Darters, 2 Ruddy Darters, 1 Broad-bodied Chaser ovipositing, 2 Emperor Dragonflies (pair – female ovipositing), 8 Blue-tailed Damselflies and 27 Common Blue/ Azure Damselflies – most certainly Common Blue but two definitely Azure. Also 10 Marbled White Butterflies – not exactly an East Anglian/ London area characteristic species! Small ditches running North – South between creek and edge of woods better than other water bodies in the area.

July 17th SC Wiltshire
Another Anax parthenope male has been found at the Cotswold Water Park just over a month since the last one. This one is at a more accessible site, namely the Wiltshire Wildlife Trusts reserve of Swillbrook Lakes on the western edge of the water park. Entrance to the reserve is at SU017938 and the dragonfly has been patrolling the northern shore of the pit nearest the road. Given the size of the water park [it's area equates to the size of Jersey!!] there are probably more waiting to be found - maybe even a female/pair/! Also Ruddy Darter about there in good numbers at the moment.

July 15th RG Essex
An exceptional visit to Fingringhoe Wick Nature Reserve with twelve species observed: - Emperor Dragonfly, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Four-spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter, Scarce Emerald Damselfly, Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Azure Damselfly.
Also at Roman River Valley Nature Reserve: Banded and Beautiful Demoiselle still in reasonable numbers, plus Blue-tailed Damselfly.

July 16th MT Northants.
We took a nice shady walk through the woods at Irchester Country Park, and were dazzled by about 50 Brown Hawker 'swarming' in the open areas along the rides. We stopped off for some more dragonfly spotting at the Big Foot Pond, where there were more Brown Hawkers, including 3 oviposting females, 2 Emperors plus 1 oviposting, 1 Southern Hawker, around 15 Four-spotted Chaser plus 1 oviposting, a handful of Black-tailed Skimmer many Blue-tailed and Common Blue Damselflies, 1 Emerald Damselfly and around 10 Ruddy Darter. I scanned the mats of Rigid Hornwort and quickly located in excess of 40 oviposting pairs of Azure Damselflies. The highlight was around 6 Small Red-eyed Damselfly males - a first for this site after 3 years of searching, and the second new site for this species this season!

July 16th SW Devon
Male Lesser Emperor at Lower Bruckland Ponds, Musbury, 10:40, and again at 11:35, also 2+ male Red-veined Daters still.
Male Lesser Emperor still present this afternoon and showing well at Lower Bruckland Ponds, mainly on the lowest pond. Nearby 5 male Ruddy Darters at Seaton Marshes.

July 9th, 14th-15th DSm Devon
9th July: Despite cool wind, cloud and showers, the BDS/DWT meeting at Prewley Moor, Dartmoor, located good numbers of Southern and three Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfies.
14-15th July: On 14th, Small Red and (6) Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies at Lydford. On 15th, a male Red-veined Darter and 3 Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies at a Bovey Basin site with no public access; also a female Black-tailed Skimmer with white tip to the abdomen due to clay deposit, looking superficially like White-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum albistylum! Also, on Dartmoor, 4 Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies in flushes above Walla Brook at Riddon Down but only one at nearby Corndonford Bog.

July 9th BO Devon
Grand Western Canal, 3 miles E of Tiverton, by the picnic area. Female Lesser Emperor ovipositing.

July 15th PM Lancs.
Red-veined Darters still prominent at this site (near Heysham, Lancs) with the average time taken to see one in sunny conditions about THREE seconds! Photographs also easy to obtain, especially as there are still only a few Common Darter. No huge counts but certainly 15+ males and at least three ovipositing females.
However, we have fallen foul of Great-crested Newt legislation and cannot do any of the proper management work in the foreseeable future. It is inappropriate to rant on on this site - & will be edited anyway! However, I wonder if anyone else involved in trying to manage a wetland area where inactivity (even for one autumn) would lead to problems with invasive species has fallen foul of GCN leglslation taking priority over all other initiatives? Please e-mail Thanks.

July 14th BH Norfolk
Snettisham Coastal Park: Late morning visit in windy and partly cloudy conditions produced Small Red-eyed Damselfly 1 male flying around marginal vegetation, Red-eyed Damselfly 1 male flying over aquatic vegetation in open channel, Blue-tailed Damselfly 100's, Common Blue Damselfly 100's, Emperor 3, Black-tailed Skimmer 5, Four-spotted Chaser 3, Ruddy Darter 2, Common Darter 20.

June 17th PWa Hampshire
Scarce Chaser female in the Ringwood Forest, Hampshire.

July 11th ROM Surrey
Thursley NNR 2 - Male Black Darters which I thought were early until we saw a pair ovipositing. Many Small Red Damselflies, Keeled Skimmers, Black-tailed Skimmers and 1-Ruddy Darter. Water levels look sadly low.

July 11th SN Staffs.
There are now 3 LESSER EMPERORS at Belvide reservoir Staffs 11th July. 2 males and a female including a pair ovipositing along the south east bay. Is this the first time more than 2 have been seen at one site? I have set up a view point for anyone wanting to see them. It is located off the main footpath along the south east bay. Also 3 male Red veined Darters still.

July 8th BH Lincs.
Crowle Moor Lincs Wildlife Trust Reserve: Black Darter 100 (mostly tenerals). Also present were common darter, brown hawker, southern hawker, emerald damselfly, blue-tailed damselfly, azure damselfly and common blue damselfly.

July 7th EdithP Shropshire
In the last 2 weeks there have been about 30 banded damselflies by the River Bridge at Waters Upton on the A442 in Shropshire. They disappeared on 6th July with several dead ones spotted on the pavement.

July 6th BL Lancs.
Update from previous posting. Whabbs Tip / Rimrose Valley, SJ335992: Permanent pond near main path. 1 Male BBC patrolling pond, mated with 2 different females, one female with touches of blue on abdomen. Both females ovipositing. Male BBC seeing off male Emperors (2) and male grandis (2). Few I.e. present. Now no water in other temporary pond.
Leeds-Liverpool Canal Litherland SJ336991, 04/07/06, along 1/2 mile stretch 26 male Emperors + 3 ovipositing females, many I.e., few Azure damsels and 1 male Banded Dem.

June 29th/July 2nd MN Berkshire
In response to the request by TE for sightings of Brilliant Emerald, I saw a single male at the pond at Aldermaston Court, Aldermaston, Berks on 29th June. I have also observed Downy Emerald throughout June on this site, up to a maximum of 7 males. A visit to Oval Pond on the Englefield Estate on 2nd July failed to turn up any Brilliant Emerald, but Downy Emerald were well into double figures, plus Four-spotted Chaser in similar quantities. A single male Brown Hawker was also present plus 2 male and 2 female Emperor, the latter ovipositing.