Sightings - Late 2000

This page contains Sightings sent to the BDS between July and December 2000. Back to the Sightings Archive page.

4th November Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
On the 4th November we had one male and 3 female Common Darters sitting in the sunshine on old bracken at the No2 Reservoir at Bourley, nr Fleet, Hants. That looks like the last of the current rather peculiar season.

3rd November N. Ireland IR
2 Sympetrum danae seen by BDS member David Nixon at Montiaghs Bog near Aghalee, Co. Antrim, on 3rd November 2000.

15th-27th October N. Ireland IR
Another fine, if rather breezy October day on Sunday 15th. It started out promisingly with an unidentified white, possibly a Large (or Small) White at a quarry at Lisadian, a few miles west of Armagh. At Navan Quarry near Armagh, a Clouded Yellow in reasonable condition, probably a male, was seen, along with a male Emerald damselfly (Lestes sponsa), which may be the latest ever Northern Ireland record for this species (recorded on 11th October 1999 in Co. Antrim). Also seen there on the same day were about 14 Common Darters Sympetrum striolatum including a mating pair. On 27th October I also saw about 4 Common Darters at Navan Quarry. Surprisingly no Odonata were seen the same day at Peatlands Park, Co. Armagh, where I had seen both Common and Black Darters at the beginning of November in both 1998 and 1999.

15th October Ireland PD
A sunny autumnal morning prompted a visit to the bog around the lower lake at Glendalough in County Wicklow on 15/10/00. Around mid morning when the temperature rose significantly I had good views of 2 Common Hawkers Aeshna juncea chasing each other and another observation of a very close and confiding perched Common Hawker. Also 1 male Black Darter Sympetrum danae (also perched) and a number of sightings of Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum - one of three individuals perched close together - all males. These observations were made on the boardwalk running beside the bog surrounding the lower lake.

21st September Co. Durham IJW
Stillington Pond

Over the last three years this pond has produced an amazing 16 species.
Maybe not brilliant when compared with southern climes, but for County
Durham, exceptional.
A visit on Thursday afternoon (21/9/00) produced 10 species alone.
Commonest were the Migrant Hawker (8) which was only seen here for the
first time last year and only 1 male, but this year prove of breeding
has been established with exuviae and a pre-flight emergent female.
For the third year running I saw Brown Hawker at Stillington, along
with Common and Southern Hawker.
All three resident county darters were present with my first male black
at this site. Ruddy were seen in good numbers with ovipositing occurring
a foot away from the waters edge over grass. I have witnessed Ruddy
doing this on a number of occasions laying on bankside vegetation, is
this normal? A few Common darters were also about, but noticeably less
then the Ruddy.
Three damselflies species were also seen with a mating pair of blue-
tailed
, one common blue and emerald.

13th September Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
It being a reasonable day and having a little petrol left,we thought we
would give Bourley Reservoirs(on the Surrey/Hampshire Borders) another
whirl!
We found a few Common Blue Damselflies
One Red-eye ( a small specimen BUT not the new species)
Black, Red and Common Darters
Paired Mixta
Male Southern Hawker
and an Anax male in good condition---I think the possibility of migration
for these late specimens of Anax has been raised before.

Various to 9th September West Yorks. JB
Some dragonfly records for West Yokshire which may be of interest.
7th July Rodley Nature reserve 1 female libellula depressa
28th July Rodley Nature Reserve A survey on this new reserve on an old sewage works gave 4 species: aeshna grandis ovipositing in newly dug wet ditches; sympetrum striolatum abundant; 1 tandem enallagma cyathigerum and 1 male ischnura elegans
19th July Temple Newsam 1 teneral male anax imperator
30th August Temple Newsam At least 50 aeshna mixta in the woods.
9th September Temple Newsam An intensive search in good conditions produced only 2 aeshna mixta (plus 2/3 aeshna grandis and 1 male aeshna cyanea both of which are normal for the site).

29th August Various SC
Just a quick note to let you all know that Erythromma viridulum has now
been confirmed at 11 sites at least in England. These are at sites as
far apart as Essex to Hampshire. At several sites they have been present in
high numbers with egg laying observed. A common feature is ponds and lakes
with Ceratophyllum or Myriophyllum as the dominant plant species. Some at
sites where records of other species exist for some years. At present I
have been asked to keep the sites confidential due to the undo pressure
experienced by one of the Essex sites. Judging by these observations the
species must be present at many more sites in SE England. Keep a look out
as it is still on the wing. I was able to confirm a sighting at Hadleigh
Country Park near Basildon recently if anyone wants to follow it up.

28th August Lancs B&SF
The Brown hawkers, which have been a regular feature patrolling Lime Field in Middleton, have flown over the garden, which is at least a quarter of a mile from the River Irk and the ponds in Alkrington woods.
On a visit to Pennington Flash, near Wigan, on Bank Holiday Monday (28.8.00), we dodged the showers and saw 2 Common hawkers, a Brown hawker, and possibly a Common darter.

28th August Hampshire D&JD
We thought we would give Bourley Reservoirs (between Aldershot and Church Crookham) a whirl,for early Fungi. Turned out to be very disappointing since the grass had just been mown destroying the early Boleti.
However the Odonata wasn't bad! Lestes, Common Blue, no Small Red, which was disappointing after they had been visible for several years, Juncea, Grandis, Mixta, no Gold-ring although occasionly found there. Anax - a Male on territory and a very old female ovipositing, Quad still ovipositing, Coerulescens single males and a pair, Cancellatum old male plus Common Darter, Red Darter and Black Darter.
So twelve species in an afternoon cant be too bad at this time of year.

23rd August Devon DS
I fear my assessment of the mercury marked Blue Damselfly in Cambridge was incorrect (15th August) and it was possibly a female Variable Damselfly not an Azure Blue. I will need some guidance on this.
One sighting I am sure about are male and female Beautiful Demoiselles on the River Bray on the north side of the bridge adjacent to Hancock's Cider Mill in Clapworthy, Devon on 23 August 2000.

23rd August Co. Durham MH
This year gets better and better. On a southeast Durham pond today, Durham's third recorded Black-tailed Skimmer along with Emperor (2 males) and a Migrant Hawker. A tour of six sites in south and southeast Durham produced two more Migrant Hawkers, an ovipositing Emperor at a previously unrecorded site, two Brown Hawkers which are very scarce (or late) this year and several Southern and Common Hawkers. For the first time In Durham, I was able to see five species of 'hawker' in one day.

20th August Cumbria JMD
Spotted a Golden-ringed Dragonfly at Sykeside Campsite near Brotherswater today. It came within 6 feet of me when I was sitting by the car and later I spotted either it or another flying over a small stream flowing through a field and into the larger stream that leads to Brotherswater itself. It was dabbing its tail into the stream several times as it flew.

15th August Cambs. DS
I recently had a meeting in Cambridge and I took the opportunity to look for dragonflies around the Fen Causeway east of the city at lunchtime. Species included, Common Blue and Banded Demoiselle damselflies, both male and female, Brown Hawkers, Southern Hawkers, Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters. I also saw a Kingfisher flash past. On the way home, 16:00, I called in at Fen Drayton GP and saw Common Darters, 3 Black Tailed Skimmers, Brown Hawker and Migrant Hawker, plus Blue Tailed, Common Blue and a "mercury" mark Azure Blue female damselflies, (well that's what I think it was.) Bird life included 2 green sandpiper and 2 greenshank. Butterflies included comma and painted lady.

13th August Yorkshire KG
Allerthorpe Common (E Yorks) which is just off the A1079 Hull road. There is a small NR which is part of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and a small pond on otherwise dry heathland. I saw nine species : a male Emperor (there had been two a fortnight earlier) which constantly battled with a male Common Hawker, whilst a pair of the latter mated in a nearby bush. It also received incursions from Four Spot Chasers, which were returned, but it ignored a female Southern Hawker which oviposited at the edge of the pond for about half an hour.
Apart from Blue-Tailed (1), Azure, Common Blue & Emerald Damselflies and Common, Ruddy & Black Darters were all quite numerous and I saw all but Azure Damselfly and Common Darter both mating and egg-laying.
I did not see Large Red Damselfly which had been numerous on 30 July.
The nearby Pocklington Canal at Hagg Bridge, is an acknowledged site for Red-Eyed Damselfly. They were numerous on 30 July when I last visited and there were several female Banded Demoiselle along with Common Blue & Blue-Tailed Damselfly and Ruddy Darter.

12th August Co. Durham MH
Emperor still flying at Teesmouth, former Cleveland County. Also 1 male Migrant Hawker at Dorman's Pool both on 12 August. In Darlington, Co Durham, the first Brown hawker of the year - a female ovipositing and confirmed sighting of an imm. male Migrant Hawker - first seen poorly last week and strongly suspected then of being this species - probably the earliest Durham record ever.

12th August Bucks GHM
Visit to the Teardrop Lakes in Milton Keynes. Warm, sunny day with a light breeze. Damselflies: Blue-tailed, White-legged and Red-eyed all including some in tandem and ovipositing, Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue (in tandem).
Dragonflies: Brown Hawker (ovipositing), Southern Hawker, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter, Black-tailed Skimmer.

9th August Norfolk PFB
News from Patrick F. Bonham (PFB)
July 31, North Walsham Canal and Pigneys Wood, Norfolk TG 290320 6 Banded Demoiselles, 1 Brown Hawker
August 5, Winterton NNR pools, Norfolk TG 486216 4 Emerald Damselflies, 11 Emperors, 1 Brown Hawker, 1 Black-tailed Skimmer, 5 RED-VEINED DARTERS including 1 pair in tandem and female ovipositing
August 6, Catfield Fen, Norfolk TG 368214 5 Emerald Damselflies, 1 Variable Damselfly (+ Azures & Common Blues), 6 Red-eyed Damselflies, 3 Brown Hawkers, 1 Southern Hawker
August 8, North Walsham Canal and Pigneys Wood, Norfolk TG 290320 4 Banded Demoiselles, 3 Southern Hawkers

6th August Cheshire BF
I have just started taking an interest in Dragonflies and made my first positive ids. On the moorland just above Lyme Park (NT), a Southern hawker, possibly one only recently emerged as it remained on a stem for about 10 minutes.
In Lime Field in Middleton a Brown hawker patrolling over a patch of thistles: a veritable larder of Meadow brown butterlies (I saw this one a few days ago as well as this is a regular route of mine).

6th August Northants DS
At the National Dragonfly Biomuseum we managed to see Common Blue, Blue tailed, Azure, Banded Demoiselle and Red-eyed Damselflies at the centre, together with Brown Hawker, Ruddy and Common Darters. At the sanctuary we saw Common Blue and Azure Damselflies, Brown Hawker again with Ruddy Darter, Emperor but no Southern Hawker, apparently there was one about, also we had very good views of Four-spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer and a late single Broad bodied Chaser in excellent condition.

5th August Co. Durham IJW
This year just gets better and better for dragonflies.
John Hope and myself visited a pond in east Durham, lo and behold a mature male Black-tailed Skimmer, in perfect condition.
This is only the second record from Co. Durham, the first at Witton-le-Wear (26/08/84), by Bob Quigley, a friend who died a few years ago.
Does anyone have any information on how fast this species is expanding its range? especially in Yorkshire.

30th July Kent CD
Dungeness ARC area - Sunday 30th July
5 Emperors including 2 ovipositing females, 10 Black-tailed skimmers, 1 Brown Hawker, 20 Common darters, 1 Migrant hawker[imm], Common blue and Blue-tailed damselflies, 4 male Red-veined darters, 1 male Lesser Emperor [flying back and forth at a distance of about 6 feet[splendid]. At least I managed to find some people to see the Lesser emperor before it either disappeared or was eaten by the local hobby which was knocking off emperors before our eyes.

30th July Devon DS
Two Red-veined Darters Sympetrum fonscolombei were at Berry Head, South Devon, today (Mike Langman, per Dave Smallshire); one had been present for a few days.

29th July Worcs MF & BA
At leased 2, probably three red veined darters seen at Pirton lake, near Pershaw, Worcs. Up to eight have been seen recently. Cinnamon red with blue tint to wings when flying over SW end of lake. When settled could see red veins on leading edge of wings. Photographed. Also black tailed skimmers patrolling same area of lake, frequent clashes between spices.

28th July London JS
My first record of Migrant Hawker today - 2 females - In Epping Forest, north-east London.

22nd July Ireland IR
I have enclosed information from the Dragonfly Ireland Website.
"Two new species have been added to the Irish Dragonfly fauna, the Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator and the Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope. The Emperor was recorded from Lady's Lake, Co. Wexford by Killian Mullarney. The Lesser Emperor was recorded at Lough Aderry, near Castlemartyr in Co. Cork on Saturday 22nd July by Tom Gittings (apparently Southeast and Southwest Ireland are the places to be!).
The Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombi has been reported from Tacumshin Lake, Co Wexford on the 2nd of July."
I would add is that there are 1 or 2 previous reports of the Emperor Anax imperator from Ireland, i.e.: 1 from South Kerry in 1937 by A.F. O'Farrell, while Ian Smith of Wales tells me he thinks he saw 1 at Cape Clear, Co. Cork, about 1991. It would seem it may be a rare vagrant to Ireland. Note that the report also mentions "plenty" of Red-veined Darters, including a mating/ovipositing pair. The only previous records for Red-veined Darter in Ireland are small numbers at separate but nearby sites in Co. Cavan in 1941 and 1942, 1 seen by me at the same site in Co. Down on 18th and 19th August and 1 at Tacumshin, Co. Wexford, on 26th August 1998.

22nd July Surrey JA
On 22/7/00 at Thursley Common, Surrey the following species were seen -
Four-spotted Chaser - 100's at Pudmore Pond/boardwalk inc several in tandem and wheel positions and lots of females ovipositing.
Keeled Skimmer - 100+ around the bog.
Black-tailed Skimmer - a few on Pudmore Pond and a couple at The Moat.
Black Darter - 100+, inc some females.
Common Darter - several pairs in tandem.
Ruddy Darter - 1 male near the boardwalk.
Common Blue Dam' - Large numbers of males and some females at The Moat.
Azure dam' - A few males at the Moat and a couple along the boardwalk.
Emerald Dam' - 25+ males around the boggy area.
Blue-tailed Dam' - just a couple of males at The Moat.
Small Red Dam' - Several males along the boardwalk.
Large Red Dam' - a couple of males along the boardwalk and several males and females on the River Wey at Elstead.
Brilliant Emerald - 1 male at The Moat, mainly in the south east corner. On and off from 11.00am til 3.00pm at least.
Emperor - Males along the boardwalk and The Moat, at least 1 female ovipositing in The Moat.
Also nearby on The River Wey at Elstead - Banded Dem' - 100's, mainly males.
White-legged Dam - 20-30 males and females some in tandem.

21st July Co. Durham IJW
Rainton Meadows, Co. Durham
A quick visit, turned into a six hour marathon during a visit to this Durham Wildlife Trust reserve. On the first two ponds very little was moving at 11.00am, apart from Common Darter. The third pond is usually a good spot for darters, my jaw dropped as I saw a Red-veined Darter in the 'obelisk' position. As I approached to photograph
it, it flew off. I lost it for a few minutes, but it then came back into view and landed.
As I continued around the pond I saw a large 'hawker'. It struck me how bright blue its side marking was, like a 'saddle' At first I though of
'migrant' but dismissed it as too early in the year and too small and then 'emperor' but it was too black. Suddenly I realised I was watching
a Lesser Emperor, I still was not convinced but after some excellent close ups, I knew it was and it held its body straight rather than
curled and my jaw dropped further. I took a few photographs and then started ringing around. I was worried that it would disappear, so I asked the reserve
manager to come up and have a look. As it turned out everyone (10 people) who made it to the pond, saw it.
As it patrolled a male Emperor appeared and some violent tussles followed, with the Lesser Emperor winning 9 out of 10 clashes.
Over the next few hours it flew around feeding (two Meadow Browns & numerous flies) and working the bankside and would disappear from view
for longer and longer.
The Red-veined Darter turned up again, and I tried for photographs but again I disturbed it, but this time it jilted a Four-spotted Chaser,
something that I had not seen during 4 hours of searching.
Later when the Lesser Emperor came back in to view, as I stood watching it, my jaw crashed again to the floor, as it started to oviposition.
This was also seen by someone else.
I returned home to find a message on the answer machine 'Ian, you may be interested to know, someone has seen Lesser Emperor at Rainton!' Another message from Ian Cameron reported a female Emperor, laying in a pond at Benwell, Newcastle. That means for the first time Emperor is now north of the Tyne.

19th July Norfolk KM
Thompson Common - Great Eastern Pingo Trail
First really good weather day in E.Anglia for weeks proved that some dragonfly had survived!
C.splendens -1m
L.sponsa - many particularly 3rd pond
L.dryas - many.Check out smaller ponds in wood. 3rd pond also good.
P.nymphula - 2m
E.cyathigerum - many
C.puella - many
I.elegans - several
E.najas - several at Thompson Water
A.imperator - several at 3rd pond and Thompson Water
L.quadi - 2 3rd pond
O.cancellatum - many Thompson Water
S.striolatum - many teneral 3rd pond
S.sanguineum - some mature many teneral 3rd pond

Park at TL940967 . Take Pingo trail through WOOD from car park. Insects biting well!

13th July Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
Yesterday we visited Spout Pond at Finchampstead, Berks. At the Pond we found Exuvia of Anax and Cyanea. The horse-riders have done the walkers no favours as most of the lower paths are now "puddled mud". The sun came out --- so we walked up the hill to the heather area, where we found both Emperor and 2 Southerns flying and large quantities of Common Blue Damsels. Curiously no Common Darters.
We moved on to look at Eversley Pond, which had a lot of its reed removed some three years ago, open water now occupies only 20% of the surface area. It is possible that the land drains from the manicured cricket pitch are providing too rich water to the pond. Only three Common Blues were found.
They say the weather could improve!! In which case we have a number of sites that need visiting for counts.

9th July Northants PFB
Glapthorn Cow Pastures (cool, calm, showery, sunny intervals). Broad-bodied Chaser 1 female.

1st-7th July Pembrokeshire PFB
6th, Brynberian (warm, calm, sunny). Large Red Damselfly 6 males and 2 melanotum females, Azure Damselfly 5 males plus 1 pair with a green female and 1 pair with a blue female, Southern Damselfly (mercuriale) 15 adult males, Blue-tailed Damselfly 4 males, Golden-ringed Dragonfly 1, Keeled Skimmer 40+ including 4 pairs mating. No Small Reds.

1st to 7th, Dowrog Common (compiled from 4 visits). Emerald Damselfly 25+, Large Red Damselfly 1 male, Small Red Damselfly 5, Azure Damselfly 3 males, Common Blue Damselfly 20+ (1 pair mating), Blue-tailed Damselfly 35+ (2 pairs mating), Emperor Dragonfly 8 males and 1 female, Four-spotted Chaser 45+, Common Darter 1 female. No mercuriale.

3rd July Suffolk KM
13 species from R Stour + 1 from it's trib R Brett not bad for a day of mixed weather! Wormingford Bridge TL934333 access good from PFP's on Suffolk side - P.pennipes many, C.splendens many, I.elegans many, few C.puella and E.cyathigerum, c10 L.fulva, 2 A.grandis, O.cancellatum, E.najas several, L.quadi.
Stour Meadow Foxearth our land BDS members welcome - TL835462 - E.najas many, O.cancellatum many, L.depressa many, L.quadi several, S.sanguinneum T many, S striolatum T 1 definite. I.elegans, C.puella, E.cyathigerum and C.splendens all common, 2 A.imperator.(+1 Clouded Yellow!)
P.nymphula R Brett Monks Eleigh
Also good to report P.pennipes still moving up Stour - now can be seen upstream from Henny Street footbridge TL881382 - can they get through Sudbury?

3rd July Bucks GHM
This year is turning out to be like last year - no summer! I was amazed to find that I haven't made any entry here for nearly a month.

This lunchtime was calm, and warm and humid, though little sun. The ponds at Howe Park Wood had good numbers of Azure Damselflies together with Blue-tailed and a few male Large Reds. 4-spotted Chasers were abundant, a pair were seen mating and egg-laying. There were several Emperors, both male and females, again with egg-laying. I found a couple of newly emerged darters, probably Common Darter, and a lone, female, White-legged Damselfly. Howe Park is not the expected habitat for this species, although there is a small woodland edge stream which has very little flow. Single male Black-tailed Skimmer and Broad-bodied Chaser brought the species count up to 9 for the day.

Notable butterflies seen: a couple of Marbled Whites and a Clouded Yellow.

2nd/3rd July Surrey/Hampshire D&JD
The weather has been fairly appalling,but a few species have been seen.
2nd July---Claycart Stream(SU841507) very odd looking Anax, pursued through the heather but no camera available. Kept hiding in hollows in the heather with its prey which it declined to drop. New Silver Stuudded Blue improved the day.
3rd July---Church Crookham/Norris Hill-- local pool had Anax, Depressa, Grandis and Lestes.
The cleared area towards Norris Hill, (where some of the streams feed the Gelvert), when the sun came out briefly, produced Two Boltonii hanging up on Bracken (no camera with us). Common Darter emergent, Cancellatum immature and as a surprise several emergent Coerulescens! We will have to see if we can find the spagnum bed, because this could be another local outpost for Tenellum. The old records only refer to that species as being frequent on the Aldershot Heaths, with no map refernces given.

1st/2nd July Scotland IM
Highlights from recent Scottish trip:

Bridge of Grudie, Loch Maree. 1 July 2000.
Azure Hawker - three males and one female
Common Hawker - c6
Golden-ringed Dragonfly - one male
Northern Emerald - c8
Highland Darter - 1 female
Black Darter - c4
White-faced Darter - five males

Abernethy Forest. 2 July 2000.
Northern Damselfly - 100's!
Common Hawker - 3
Golden-ringed Dragonfly - one male
Northern Emerald - one male and one female
White-faced Darter - six males and one female