Sightings - Late 2002

This page contains Sightings sent to the BDS between July and December 2002. You can also go to 2001's Sightings or back to the Sightings Archive page.

22nd Dec
Devon
PB
Stover Country Park / Devon: First and Last Odonata Sightings 2002 Species, First Seen, Last Seen, Max Count / Date
large red damselfly, 9th April, 13th August, 120 / 12th May; emerald damselfly, 7th July, 31st August, 15 / 29th July; azure blue damselfly, 4th May, 28th September, 60 / 18th June; common blue damselfly, 8th May, 31st August, 5 / 8th June; beautiful demoiselle, 16th May, 1st September, No Max Data; blue tailed damselfly, 4th May, 16th September, 12 / 18th June; red eyed damselfly, 9th May, 7th July, No Max Data; broad bodied chaser, 4th May, 4th August, 20 / 19th June; four spotted chaser, 4th May , 31st August, 20 / 19th June; keeled skimmer, 18th June, 28th September, 5 / 5th July; black tailed skimmer, 4th August, 4th August, 1 / 4th August; common darter, 1st July, 17th November, 50+ / 12th August; ruddy darter, 29th July, 28th September, 2 / 28th September; downy emerald, 18th June, 18th June, 1 / 18th June; hairy dragonfly, 4th May, 18th June, 4 / 18th June; emperor, 18th June , 18th August, 4 / 29th July; migrant hawker , 26th August, 22nd October, 6 / 6th September; southern hawker, 1st August, 12th October, 4 / 12th September; common hawker, 1st July, 14th October, 1 / Numerous; golden ringed, 19th June, 14th September, 1 / Numerous

27th Nov
Glamorgan
AC
Sorry, Steve Moon has pointed out the confused nature of my message. It was a migrant hawker, not a southern hawker at Glamorganshire Canal, Pontypridd on Monday. More haste, less speed.

25th Nov
Glamorgan
AC
Thought you'd be interested that we have a southern hawker dragonfly moving around above a small patch of recently cleared Wildlife Trust Glamorganshire Canal nature reserve in Pontypridd, the old county of Glamorgan, South Wales. This was about 1pm today 25th November 2002. Three people watched it. I'm Alex Coxhead, the Reserves Manager of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, and I was accompanied by Roy Jones, Chairman of the Trust and Neil Jones, Secretary of Butterfly Conservation, South Wales.

10th Nov
Glos.
IE
Hawker sp. (probably migrant) sighted in damp overcast weather Sunday 10th November 2002 - Robinswood Hill, Gloucester, hunting along a ride next to larches.

4th Nov
Lancs
DMcG
There are still single male Migrant Hawkers flying at Marton Mere, Blackpool during sunny spells upto 4th November, despite generally atrocious weather.

27th Oct
N. Ireland
IR
Following the third successive night of heavy rain, 27th October was fairly bright for a time in early afternoon, though with a strong and coolish wind, and an estimated temperature of only 10-11 deg. C. During this bright period I saw a single male Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) in the "Bog Garden" at the Peatlands Park, North Armagh.

26th Oct
Northants
C&LE
Just to let you know that at Pitsford Reservoir Northamptonshire, yesterday 26th October there was a single male ruddy darter noted in a sheltered area. No others noted at the site

19th Oct
Essex
TC
19th October, Hanningfield reservoir, Essex: A fine Autumn afternoon walk around the reservoir yielded at least 6 Migrant Hawkers. These were hawking around the vacinity of a small pond just off the main footpath around the reservoir. Also several Common Darters were around this pond, including a pair in tandem. Common Darters were also in abundance along the sunny side of a woodland footpath, numbers too many too count, but probably in excess of 50.
A sighting that may be of interest from back to bank holiday monday, August 26th. I saw 2 Southern Hawkers at Nelly Moss Lakes, Cragside NT, Northumberland. I am not familiar with how far North this species extends?
Also several Common Hawkers were seen, but this was not a common species for me. So I patiently waited for one to perch, so i could take a photo. One duly obliged after about twenty minutes, landing on my hand holding the camera! A great view for about 30 seconds, but i am still waiting for that elusive photo.

18th Oct
Lancs.
DMcG
I am Dave McGrath, warden of Marton Mere Nature Reserve in Blackpool. I have not sent information to you before but hope to be able to keep you informed next season.
We are doing quite well for Odonata at the moment, several new species have been recorded and some scarcer ones have increased in number. Large Red Damsel has sadly become extinct with no sightings for at least 5 years now.
Here are our recent highlights;
Black Darter - new for the reserve was found at the end of september, and last seen on 13th Oct
Migrant Hawker - small numbers still flying despite cold wet weather.
Common darter - last seen on 18th Oct
Brown Hawker also last seen on 18th Oct

7th Oct
N. Ireland
IR
Today (7th October) was a calm and dry afternoon; although cloudy, Odonata were relatively active at Montiaghs Bog NNR (J0965) near Aghalee, South Antrim. I was surprised to see as many as 5 Common Hawkers (2 males and 3 females) and another was seen at the Derryhirk Inn about half a mile away. Only 2 Common Darters were seen, but there were at least 25 Black Darters, generally mature black males but with about 3 females. Finally a single male Emerald Damselfly was seen; the only slight disappointment was not seeing a Ruddy Darter, though the weather was not perfect and this may be over. No doubt the first 3 species will be seen for a week or two yet although the weather is predicted to become more unsettled with near normal temperatures for October.

3rd Oct
Bucks.
GHM
Sunny and reasonably warm at lunchtime visit to Walton Lake, Milton Keynes. About a dozen Common Darters and a similar number of Migrant Hawkers flying.

3rd Oct
N. Ireland
IR
Today (3rd October) was a mild and mainly bright day in North Armagh; there were 2 Common Darters Sympetrum striolatum at Drumnagoon a couple of miles from Portadown, flying around an area of Ivy Blossom where there were many Hoverflies and 2 Red Admiral butterflies. There were also about 6 at Navan Quarry near Armagh, with 3 male Emerald Damseflies (Lestes sponsa).

28th Sept
Devon
PB
The fine autumnal weather has produced some very interesting records. Ruddy darter keep appearing throughout the park - still in very low numbers and no females spotted as yet, although we are convinced they are now breeding. Common darter numbers are very high - up to 40 females have been seen ovipositing in ponds only dug the previous day. High numbers of migrant hawker 20+. The most unusual record was a pristine male keeled skimmer seen on the 28th September - is it possible that this species could complete it's life cycle within one year? (it has been exceptional weather in the south-west leading to low water levels and very high water temperatures) I would welcome any comments on the unusually late appearance of this species for the region.

28th Sept
Cambs.
C&LE
At Paxton Pits Little Paxton Cambridgeshire on Saturday 28th September were seen:
Migrant Hawker 27 mainly males with three female with one pair in tandem. 6 Ruddy darter with one pair ovipositing; 3 Common Darter and 1 Southern Hawker.

27th Sept
Cornwall
SG
I have already notified the regional recorder and Adrian Parr about this sighting - a pristine male Calopteryx virgo in Nanquidno valley, Cornwall on Friday 27, September. Rather late but not an all time record I am told!

20th Sept
Scotland
OL
Common darter dragonflies were seen in active courtship on the recently constructed eastern extension of the Forth & Clyde Canal near Grangemouth, Scotland on a warm and sunny day (20 September 2002). (NS905816)

8th Sept
Hants.
GV
This may be of interest. While doing some caddisfly work on the River Test, I saw males of Cordulegaster boltoni at Wherwell, North Hampshire on 8 September. Four were seen on separate sections of the River Test (carriers etc.). There do not appear to be many records of the species from chalkstreams - the nearest known sites for the species appear to be in the acid areas of the New Forest and the similar areas of the Berks/Hants borders.
It seems unlikely that freshwater biologists have completely missed it in the past. This is a fairly cold river fed from numerous springs in the chalk - 15 deg max. Perhaps it is expanding its range ? Comments please.

25th Sept
Hants.
RC
On September 25th, at Bishop's Dyke in the New Forest, a Golden-ringed Dragonfly was ovipositing in one of the boggy areas. This is quite a late date for this species, in my experience.

22nd Sept.
Worcs.
MA
Following the influx of around fifty Red-veined Darters at Pirton in Worcestershire, there was always the question of whether they could produce any viable offspring. Although there have been no reports of adults after the 28/7/02, over six exuviae were readily collected for the margins of the lake on 22/9/02, proving successful breeding.

21st, 22nd Sept.
Northants.
C&LE
Some 50 plus Migrant Hawkers with 1 pair in tandem and at least two noted ovipositing in reeds; plus 10 Common and 8 Ruddy Darter were noted at Summerleys Nature Reserve Northamptonshire on 21st September.
At The Woodlands Trust Reserve Wood Burcote near Towcester on 22nd September 2 Common Darter were present.

15th Sept
W. Yorks.
IM
At Fairburn Ings, Pontefract West Yorkshire: Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Common Darter.

8th Sept.
W. Sussex
JH
Recent observations in the Crawley area, West Sussex:
8th Sept 2002 Tilgate Park small pond @ TQ277341 20+ Common Darter (6 or more tandem prs ovipositing) 1 Brown hawker, 1 Blue-tailed Damselfly, 1 Migrant Hawker, 3 Emerald Damselfly, 2 Azure Damselfly, 1 male Southern Hawker, 1 Red-eyed Damselfly on nearby Silt Lake @ TQ278340

Going back to 14th July, there was a single White-legged Damselfly and Banded Demoiselle plus many Azures, along with Blue-tailed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Emperor and a male and female BB Chaser in and around a waterlogged ditch near Faygate @ TQ233351, with a male Brilliant Emerald present at a woodland pond @ TQ227336.

7th Sept.
Hants.
CW
On 7th Sept, 3 miles north of Ringwood Hants,at a small pool on gravel workings, one immature Red-veined Darter. Also Southern Hawker, Common Darter and Common Blue Damsels.

5th, 10th Sept.
Northants.
DS
Moulton Park and Bradlaugh Fields 5 September 2002, groups of upto 5 Migrant Hawkers and the occasional Common Darter.
Brixworth Country Park, lower pond, 10 September 2002, 2 male Southern Hawker competing for territory, at least 3 male Migrant Hawkers and 1 male Brown Hawker. Numerous Common Darter, mainly male and one pair in tandem ovipositing. Two Common Blue Damselfly and 1 Emerald Damselfly.

7th Sept
Wilts.
SC
Following on from my report of teneral male S. fonscolombii at Chippenham Lake, Wilts at the turn of the month; we have now had 2 teneral females there yesterday (7th Sept). Myself and 2 others photographed them, and I've posted 2 digital images onto the dragonfly-uk yahoo group's files section. Also there this week were: Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Emerald damselflies; Common & Ruddy darters, Migrant and Brown Hawkers plus an ancient male Broad-bodied Chaser whose abdomen was two thirds black rather than powder blue and its wings were almost none existant - but it could still fly!

4th,5th Sept
N. Ireland
IR
I have seen a reasonable range of odonata in the last 2 days in North Armagh.
Banded Demoiselle: 1 male seen during a brief visit in late afternoon to Dynes Bridge on the River Bann south of Portadown on 5th September.
Emerald Damselfly: A mating pair and about 6 males at Navan Quarry, Armagh, on 4th September. At least 1 at Brackagh Bog on 5th September.
Common Blue Damselfly: 3 males at Navan Quarry, Armagh, on 4th September.
Common Hawker: Male and ovipositing female in a pool at Navan Quarry on 4th September and an ovipositing female at Brackagh Bog on 5th.
Brown Hawker: 1 at Navan Quarry on 4th and 3 or 4 at Brackagh Bog (1 possibly ovipositing, in the same pool as the Common Hawker). I also saw 1 when driving along the Armagh Road on the outskirts of Portadown on 4th.
Four-spotted Chaser: 1 around a recently created bog pool at Brackagh Bog NNR south of Portadown on 5th September, perhaps the same specimen as seen here recently by Brian Nelson. I saw it through binoculars and the wings looked to be in very good condition; I wonder if it could have been a migrant or even a recent locally emerged specimen (having seen 1 in Co. Meath on 1st September). This I think perhaps the latest I have ever seen this species, though I think I have at least 1 other early September record.
Black Darter: 1 black male at Brackagh Bog on 5th September. This species has seldom been seen at the site in recent years, though formerly more common there, as the habitat has becoming overgrown and insufficiently acid; however the creation of ponds in peat during last winter may help it and other species at least temporarily.
Common Darter: About 25 at Navan Quarry and 2 at Carganamuck quarry, both near Armagh, on 4th. Several possible specimens were seen at Brackagh (where it is regularly seen) on 5th, but none could be positively identified as such; undoubtedly the Ruddy Darter was very much more abundant.
Ruddy Darter: "Hundreds" were reported at Brackagh Bog very recently by Brian Nelson and on 5th, though the numbers are difficult to count, I would estimate at least 100 seen, certainly very many more than I have ever seen before at this site. The great majority seemed to be reasonably mature males though in 2 areas there were plenty of mating pairs and in another area there seemed to be several females

31st August
Wilts.
SC
Yesterday and today saw the emergence of two RV darters at the lake on the edge of Chippenham ( ST904721 ) where 3 individuals were seen during June. I was at last able to see one of them myself - it was a pre-flight teneral male with yellow instead of red veins. So not only do we have a first for Wiltshire, we now have proof of breeding!! Hopefully with higher observer coverage more will be found there.

24th August
I.O.W.
JP
Good numbers of Erythroma viridulum on the duck pond opposite the entrance to "Dinosaur Isle" at Sandown, Isle of Wight, 24 August 2002.

25th August
N. Ireland
IR
On 25th August, a mainly fine day though becoming cloudy in late afternoon, I spent some time in Co. Donegal. The highlight was seeing at least 2 male Black-tailed Skimmers at Lough Gorman, a limestone "marl" lake near Ballintra in South Donegal, though these have been seen by me and others previously (it also exists at at least 2 sites further north in Donegal). Also seen were: Brown Hawker: About 6 at Ardpatten Lake near Ballintra, and another on the roadside north of Lough Gorman: Common Hawker: A female near Lough Gorman, 1 or 2 near Gweebarra bridge south of Lettermacaward, West Donegal, and 1 at Kilkenny wood between Gweebarra bridge and Maas. Common Darter: 1 at Tawnawanny near Pettigoe, Co. Fermanagh, 30+ including about 10 mating pairs and 10 tenerals at Ardpatten Lake near Ballintra; 10 at Lough Gorman, 1 at Owenea Bridge north of Ardara and 1 or 2 near Gweebarra Bridge. Black Darter: 1 black male at Lough Gorman; possibly also 1 at Gweebarra Bridge where I think I saw it about 2 years ago. Blue-tailed Damselfly: 2 at Ardpatten Lake near Ballintra. Common Blue Damselfly: 4 males at Ardpatten Lake and 1 of each sex at Lough Gorman.

Surprisingly no Emerald Damselflies were seen: The Ardpatten site looked possible for it and also Ruddy Darter, but the latter has been seen only in North Donegal and may not actually breed.

Ken Bond also reports Large Red Damselfly (a male and a mating pair) in Co. Laois on 25th August, either at Ballybrittas or Abbeyleix.

26th August
Devon
PB
Spent 2 hours at Smallhanger (Hemerdon) Ponds, Dartmoor, only a slight breeze and unbroken sunshine. 15 emperors with females egg laying. Other hawkers included migrant, common, and southern. Golden ringed were also seen around scrub peripheries of all the ponds. 50+ common darter and 35 black darter seen egg laying and in tandem. On the damselfly front common blue, azure, emerald and small red; the latter seen in tandem and egg laying. At Stover Country Park this last month we have had two records of ruddy darter; both were male and were seen adopting their aggressive stance when threatened. These are very encouraging as we hope to attract this species back as a breeding record which has been lost since the 70's. The hawkers are becoming better represented now with migrant, common, southern, and emperor. A record for 4 spotted chaser for the 24th was confirmed which is very late for the Park. A list of firsts and lasts for Stover will be posted later in the year.

22nd August
Oxon.
RMcH
Visited Otmoor with family this PM, Ruddy and Common Darters in large numbers, Migrant, Brown and Southern Hawkers also present plus singles of Common Blue and Blue Tail Damsels and Banded Demioselle. Several species of Butterflies too (but lack the expertise to be definitive).

18th Aug
Kent
CT
Having watched the Pallid Harrier and Marsh Sandpipers was surprised to find at least 12 Small Red Eyed Damselflies on Elmley RSPB Reserve. Whilst in the hide watching the Sandpipers asked assistant warden if he knew of any nearby and he didn't know of any, imagine my surprise when just minutes later I found them just 20 yards away in dyke that runs upto hide! I don't know if main warden knew about them or if they are new for reserve but either way it was a nice experience!

21st Aug
N. Ireland
IR
On a fine day, 21st August, I paid a visit to Slieve Gullion Forest Park and the adjacent Killevy Castle area of South Armagh, mainly to see Silver-washed Fritilllary butterflies at virtually their only regular site in Co. Armagh. However I was more surprised also to see 2 blue male Keeled Skimmers (Orthetrum coerulescens) in the area of flushes above Killevy Castle, as since it was first recorded in 1998 records have ranged from 4th July 2000 to 10th August (1998) and 9th August (2001). Interestingly the only females seen at the site were 6 (along with 6 males) on 6th July 2001. In South Co. Down where there are 1 or 2 larger populations, records however have ranged from about 15th June to about 5th September.

Also seen there on 21st August was at least 1 rather late Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), 2 Common Hawkers (Aeshna juncea) and 2 Common Darters (Sympetrum striolatum).

19th Aug
Angus
LP
Sympetrum danae (black darter) recorded in Elliot Den, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland on 19th August. It is unusual to see this dragonfly in this area but I managed to get photographs of this rare find.

10th-12th August
Beds/Northants
C&LE
Bedfordshire: 10th August Felmersham G.P. Brown Hawker 9; Southern Hawker 1; Common Blue Damselfly 4; Red Eyed Damselfly 10; White Legged Damselfly 2; Banded Demoiselle 1 male.
Northamptonshire: 11th August Woodland Trust Reserve, Wood Burcote Towcester: Two Migrant Hawker.
Belle Baulk Balancing Lake at Towcester: 12th August: Blue tailed Damselfly 113; Common Blue Damselfly 15; Southern Hawker 1

15th August
W. Sussex
DF
Latest sightings for the Pulborough Brooks RSPB reserve.
Several sightings of Brown Hawker, up to 3 patrolling areas, Emergence of common darter with many sightings seen on the reserve. Black-tailed skimmer on a couple of sites with at least 2 males today, Lestes sponsa at a couple of sites with a total of 4 seen on the reserve. Large Red still present, as are blue-tailed, azure,and Beautiful demoiselle. Southern hawker at another couple of sites 1 present near the visitor centre today. Migrant hawker seen on a couple of occasions last week 07.08.02.

13th August
Angus
LP
A new sighting in Angus, Scotland. Two Common Hawker Dragonflies observed flying together at Elliot Den near Arbroath.

12th August
Glos.
J&VP
A male Keeled Skimmer at the Dilke Lagoon in the Forest of Dean on August 12th was only the third sighting in the county since 1995, but it now begins to look as if there must be a very small - and very isolated - breeding population in the Dean.
Also, belated report of single Red-veined Darters in West Glos, at Flaxley Pool on July 19th and at Awre on July 21st.

4th August
Isle Of Wight
TC
Whilst following the village walk of the pretty village of Brightstone on the I.O.W, I came upon the old mill & millpond. Following down from here, there is a stream that runs from the pond on the left hand side. Over a stile, it opens out into a small meadow, with another small stream on the righthand side. It was here that I observed 4 Golden Ringed Dragonflies, feeding & clashing with each other, occasionally coming to rest on brambles & ragwort. Other species noted on walk were Banded d, Blue tailed d, Common Blue d, Common Darter & Ruddy Darter.

3rd August
Kent
MikeH
Small Red-eyed Damselflies can be seen easily at Bluewater Lakes, Bluewater shopping Centre, near Greenhythe in Kent (close to the Dartford Tunnel). They are most easily seen on the western lake, along some of the more sheltered areas containing lillies. Red-eyed Damselflies are also present. Small Red-eyed Damselfly can be easily recognised as it is smaller, daintier, and with blue wedges when seen from the side on segments 3 and 8. When seen from above the diagnostic 'x' on segment 10 is readily apparent through binoculars. The less intense red eyes were also noticeable. I saw two highly territorial males 19 July (before hopping across the channel) and another two males in the same area on 3 August. The general area is good for dragonflies with 6 or 7 Emperors, lots of Black-tailed Skimmers and both Common and Ruddy Darters.

7th August
Northumberland
HTE
Emperor Dragonfly and Ruddy Darter are continuing their range expansion with new site records being made in the south of the county. A lake on a private estate some eight miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne produced a count of 50+ Banded Demoiselle. This species has had a very good year locally with at least three counts of 50+ specimens on separate sites. A visit to Blackaburn Lough, a high altitude acidic lake in the Wark Forest on 7th August very large numbers of Common and Black Darter, numerous Common Hawker, Common Blue and Emerald Damsels, and few Large Red Damsels. Migrant Hawker has also been recorded, again from a new site in the county. I have also had a report of a single Broad-bodied Chaser being seen on ponds in the suburbs of Newcastle upon Tyne.

4th August
Beds.
SCh
Today there were 12 Small Red-eyed at Priory CP near Bedford and 2 at Willington Gravel Pits. The former is where they were seen last year.

3rd August
Cambs.
GHM
MKNHS visit to Dragonfly Project at Woodwalton Fen.
About 16 members of the Milton Keynes NHS were guided round this English Nature reserve by Dragonfly Project volunteers. 11 species in total were seen. Many Red-eyed d's on the lily pads, lots of Blue-tailed and Common Blue d's along the ditchsides together with lesser numbers of Azure d's. A few Emerald Damsels and 2 or 3 Banded Demoiselles complete the Zygoptera tally. Several Migrant and Brown Hawkers were seen together with a few Southern Hawkers. Ruddy and Common Darter were also seen.
After the tour of the reserve we were shown some larvae under the video microscope by Henry Curry. He showed a short video of a C. boltonii larvae using its mask to catch a bloodworm.

2nd August
Norfolk
SS
Visit to Strumpshaw Fen near Norwich, hot about 24 Deg, late pm. Four spotted chaser, Brown hawker, Norfolk hawker, Common D, Azure D, Blue tailed D, Emerald D, Southern hawker, Black tailed skimmer, Ruddy darter and common darter{female}. Also seen Grasshopper warbler, Sedge warbler and Marsh harrier but no swallow tail butterflies.

27th/31st July
Suffolk
TC
Rendlesham Forest Suffolk, 27/7/02.
The first pond you come to on the red walk from the visitors car park, was partically good for the Emerald Damselfly. Counted at least 20. Other species present were Emperor, Four spotted, Black tailed skimmer, Brown Hawker, Southern Hawker, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter, Common Blue d, Large Red d, Blue Tailed d.
Hadleigh Castle grazing marshes 31/7/02.
Came here in search of the Scarce Emerald Damselfly. Was not disappointed. Found them instantly different in first visual impact, slightly larger & more robust, than the Emerald. Also I thought more metallic in colour on the thorax. When i focused my camera lens on them I could see the blue colouration only covered the first one & half segments, to the full two on the Emerald. Last weeks Emerald viewing clearly helped in my identifacation of the Scarce.

29th July
Hants.
DF
I have a few sightings for the New Forest. They were all seen in the area of Godshill car park near the Fordingbridge road, not far from Blackgutter Bottom. Here came across a male Keeled Skimmer it was resting on a length of juncus. It stayed for a long time enough for me to get a good drawing of the individual. It was in superb condition, also in the same piece of juncus was a male Lestes sponsa. I presume sponsa as it looked relatively small. I could focus my scope onto the 2nd segment but could not see any separating line to distinguish. The segment was all one colour (powder blue). I did not see any other species here but at the beginning of the track and by the car park I noted another keeled skimmer but this was a female. This also sat on the same piece of heather for a short while, enough to get it in the scope. Along by the river towards the right a male sanguinium patroling the water. No other species for the day but plenty of birds as well. Redstart, hobby, buzzard, and dartford warbler.

27th July
Northants.
C&LE
A visit to Salcey Forest, Hartwell, Northamptonshire last Saturday, 27th July 2002 produced 19 Brown Hawkers, 2 Southern Hawkers, 1 Common Darter and 1 Broad Bodied Chaser.

29th July
Beds.
SCh
This afternoon I saw nine E. viridulum at same site near Bedford where they were see last year. This included 4 ovipositing pairs. This is probably the most inland site so far and is very suggestive that breeding has occured. Interestingly the individuals seen today were in exactly the same patch of Hornwort as last year. I have also heard of 400+ being seen at site in the south where they were seen last year. Can anyone better this total or better still find the most inland site?

27th July
Bucks.
GHM
Blue Lagoon LNR, Milton Keynes. Sunny and very warm with light winds. Despite the favourable conditions dragonfly numbers still seem very low. 9 species seen. 3 male Banded Demoiselles, a few Emerald Damselelfies, several Blue-tailed and many Common Blue Damselflies (incuding tandem pairs). A few dozen Common Darters (seen in tandem and ovipositing) and one pair of Ruddy Darters in wheel. 3 male Emperors, 3 male Black-tailed Skimmers, and about a dozen Brown Hawkers including a female ovipositing.

to 27th July
W. Sussex
DF
Here are some sightings for the reserve over the last few months, sorry about the delay in some of the sightings but we tend to do things in blocks here. I will probably say that the sighting for Scarce chaser was of a female individual seen very close. Previous experience of this species was of two individuals - one male and one female; at another site (non RSPB). Sightings as follows.
16/05/02 Beautiful demoiselle
31/05/02 Red-eyed damselfly - 12 total
31/05/02 Hairy Dragonfly - 4 total
31/05/02 Large Red Present in numbers
31/05/02 Banded Demoiselle present in small numbers
31/05/02 Four-spot chaser a few seen in the area
31/05/02 Other small damselflies including Azure, Blue-tailed, Common, all present in smallish numbers.
22/05/02 Variable Damselfly Present although not fully counted.
11/06/02 Scarce chaser
12/06/02 Emporer Dragonfly
12/06/02 Ischnura elagans + n n violacea and rufescens
27/06/02 Leste sp. probably sponsa Sevaral individuals seen - 4
28/06/02 Orthetrum cancellatum
29/06/02 Sanguinium (teneral male)
22/07/02 Striolatum (teneral)
23/07/02 Golden ringed (one seen briefly)
27/07/02 Brown Hawker
All sightings are for first dates seen Any last dates will be sent when verified.

25-26 July
Essex
JD
I have recorded Small Red-eyed Damselfly at 2 new sites in Essex this week. Three males and an ovipositing pair were recorded at Thorpe-le-Soken on 25th July and one male seen at Salcott on 26th July. Clearly this species is still spreading and should be looked for at any site with floating vegetation. The Thorpe site had one patch of water lilies with perhaps 30 leaves and the Salcott site was a small pond with floating algal mats.

25th July
N. Ireland
IR
On 25th July in company with Ted Rolston, I saw about 7 Keeled Skimmers (only males, which were fairly mature, were identified) around a small area of flushes (where the species has been known since the 1950s) in the Bloody Bridge River valley near Newcastle in South Down. Also seen was a Common Hawker, while a Common Darter was seen on the dunes at Murlough NNR near Dundrum, also South Down.

22nd July
Hants.
RC
Today (22nd July) at Brownwich Pond I saw a male Brown Hawker. This is unusual for this part of Southern Hampshire (the nearest place I see them with any certainty is the New Forest), but there are a few previous records of presumably wandering individuals.

21st July
Devon
PB
A visit to Smallhanger Ponds (South Dartmoor) on Saturday 21st July yielded some good records. Male and female golden ringed, emperor, common hawker, southern hawker, keeled and black tailed skimmer. Numbers of keeled skimmer were especially good 75+. Both black and common darter were found; although only males of the latter. On the damselfly front, common and azure blue, emerald, scarce blue tailed, blue tailed, small and large red were seen. Small red were seen in high numbers egg laying and mating and also sheltering in gorse/scrub peripheries. It was an interesting day on one of the very best sites in Devon.

21st July
N. Ireland
IR
Today (21st July) in reasonably good weather, I saw 3 Keeled Skimmers (Orthetrum coerulescens) at Killevy Castle in South Armagh, the only breeding haunt in County Armagh. Two were fairly dark blue males and the other was dark brown, either a female or an immature male. This contrasts with maxima of 12 on 6.7.2001 and 3+ on 17.7.2000, and equals 2 on 26.7.1999; the species probably only colonised the site about 1998 when 1 was seen. Given the run of poor weather this year, the numbers (in a historical context) are not too bad! Hopefully there might be a further increase over the coming days especially if the weather improves.
The only other Odonata species seen was a Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula). I have noticed that late specimens of the latter are often seen at sites for Orthetrum coerulescens (eg in the Mourne Mountains in Co. Down, as well as this site).

18th July
Angus
LP
While out walking in Elliot Den, near Arbroath, Angus. I found what I suspect to be a new site for the Blue Tailed Damselfly in this area. In the same location there is also the Common Blue Damselfly. Will update you all further if I find anything else of interest.

18th July
Glos.
J&VP
Interested to read JWS's comments on June 2nd about Cordulia in Berkshire. Here in the Forest of Dean (Glos.) it also seems to be a good year for Cordulia, with sightings at some half dozen sites including a couple of singles at "new" sites. Numbers continue to be apparently low though, with no more than 3 individuals at any one site and often just singles, as has been the case over the last five years or so. However as in previous years rather poor weather (and less free time) meant that not many visits could be carried out in early June, so some were possibly missed.

17th July
Hants.
CW
Warren Heath, Hartley Wintney. Went there to look for Black Darter and Golden-ringed, but none found. 14 other species seen: Common Blue, Azure, Blue-tailed, Emerald, Small and Large Red Damsels, Four-spot and Broad-bodied Chasers, Emperor and Southern Hawker, Black-Tailed and many Keeled Skimmers, 3 Brilliant Emerald, and just 3 Common Darters. One Keeled Skimmer was seen easily chasing a Black-Tailed Skimmer male out of his territory.

15th July
Hants.
GHM
Continuing sunny weather (two days in a row, a record for this summer!) tempted me to make the trip to the New Forest in the hope of seeing Southern Danselfly. I visited Hatchet Moor. The first species seen was an Emperor. A male buzzed very close around me near the car park for about 10 minutes allowing me to get a really good look. Black-tailed and Keeled Skimmers were about in numbers, particularly the Keeled with several hundred seen. A few Common Darters and a Broad-bodied Chaser were also found on the pond near the car park. Damselflies seen; Blue-tailed, Common Blue, Small Red and Large Red. I walked over very wet ground to where the stream flows into Hatchet Pond and was lucky enough to find 3 Southern Damselflies, a pair in tandem and a male. Also present was a single male Beautiful Demoiselle.
In the afternoon I drove to King's Hat and took a look at the heathland and river there. I added Black Darter to my species count for the day, no black males though. I was surprised that I was unable to find any Beautiful Dems or Golden-ringed on the river.

15th July
Glos.
MJJ
July 15th, DuPont Site Pond, Brockworth Gloucester.
After two real summer days with bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid 20's things are finally taking off again. First pairs of dipping Common Darters today, two pairs seen. Also over a dozen teneral Common Darters seen rising and sunning between 12.00 and 13.00. Still numerous Blue Tailed Damsels ovipositing and several pairs of Azure Damsels. There are still some Large Red Damsels around too, but fewer than normal for this time of the year. I suspect the very early emergence this year coupled with the poor weather immediatly afterwards will have reduced the breeding success this year.
Also today, the first sighting of a Southern Hawker. Looking immature but still quite capable of taking a Large White butterfly from the air. Unfortunately this meal was consumed high in a willow, well out of camera range.
A single male Emperor patrolling and taking what appeared to be ladybirds. Last but by no means least, our first ever record of a Four Spotted Chaser on the pond. An immature male, harrassing the Common Darters and pursued, itself, by the Emperor on several occassions This takes the records list up to 12 with 9 confirmed as breeding.

15th July
Northants.
DS
Sunny day today 15 July 2002, loads of Common Blue Damselfly at Moulton Park Industrial estate, also the small pond for the first time in my experience had a male Four-spotted Chaser set up a territory, much to the annoyance of the resident male Emperor. A Brown Hawker and another male Emperor were seen hunting in the grasslands near to the pond. Only one Common Darter was seen perching on a reedmace, there may be others though, and a few Blue-tailed Damselfly were seen in the reedbed. Of interest, the grassland was covered in Skipper butterflies.

14th July
Surrey
JA
On Sunday 14th July 2002 at Thursley Common, Surrey the following species were observed -
Black-tailed Skimmer - several at The Moat.
Brown Hawker - one male at The Moat.
Downy Emerald - one male at the Moat.
Common Blue Damselfly - lots at The Moat and from the boardwalk.
Azure Damselfly - a couple at The Moat.
Four-spotted Chaser - a couple at The Moat, 100+ from the boardwalk.
Black Darter - lots from the boardwalk, mainly imms.
Keeled Skimmer - 100+ from the boardwalk, mainly males.
Emperor - one male at The Moat, 4-5 males from the boardwalk.
Emerald Damselfly - a few from the boardwalk.
Large Red Damselfly - several from the boardwalk.
Small Red Damselfly - a few from the boardwalk.
Common Darter - several from the boardwalk, mainly tenerals.
Golden-ringed Dragonfly - one male from the boardwalk.
Broad-bodied Chaser - two males on a small pool on the common.
Southern Hawker - one teneral female on the common.

Nearby on the River Wey at Elstead there were -
Banded Demoiselle - several along the river edge and in nearby field.
Beautiful Demoiselle - 2-3 males.
White-legged Damselfly - 10+.
Brown Hawker - one male patrolling along river.

On the Basingstoke canal at Brookwood there were -
Brilliant Emerald - one male.
Brown Hawker - one male.
Common Blue Damselfly - several.
Blue-tailed Damselfly - a few.

14th July
Bucks.
GHM
Stony Stratford Wildlife Cosevation Area (BBOWT Reserve). Just about the first decent day for two weeks tempted me to visit this site. Odonate numbers seem to be down, not surprisingly, but the following 10 species were seen. Blue-tailed (mating), Red-eyed, Azure and White-legged Damselflies, Banded Demoiselles (only males seen), good numbers of Common Darter and a few Ruddy Darters, 2 Emperors, 1 Brown Hawker and 1 Four-spotted Chaser.

13th July
N. Ireland
IR
On a surprisingly good day (for this summer) in company with Ted Rolston, I saw my first Black Darters (c. 20) of the season at Peatlands Park, North Armagh. All were immature and 2 which were caught proved to be females. Also seen were about 6 Emerald Damselflies, 2 Common Hawkers, 2 Blue-tailed and Large Red Damselflies, and about 12 Four-spotted Chasers and Variable Damselflies. At Craigavon Lakes, Common Blue Damselflies were surprisingly scarce (c. 12) and mostly teneral, and no other species were seen.
Apart possibly from Brown Hawker, which I have not yet seen or heard about in Northern Ireland, all 17 resident species have been seen this year. I also saw a small dragonfly which I suspect was a Hairy Dragonfly at Carne near Portadown on 1st July, the first time I have seen this species there; it may have been a stray from nearby Derryvore Moss where I think I saw it about 1986.

11th July
Herts.
DT
Libellula depressa darting and hawking in my garden today, resting on a poppy head that has "gone over". Characteristic broad abdomen and wing patches, in green/bronze phase.

6th July
Surrey
PWe
I paid my first visit to Thursley Common on Saturday 6 July. The weather was initially overcast and cool with nothing to be seen until about 12:30. The Moat revealed several Blue-tailed and Common Blue Damselflies (which were also common elsewhere) whilst the sky remained cloudy. Heading out onto the boardwalks I saw 1 or 2 Emerald Damselflies, 20 or more Small Red Damselflies and greater numbers of Large Red Damselflies. Over 100 Keeled Skimmers were noted with smaller numbers of Four Spot Chasers and up to 30 Black Darters. Single Ruddy and Common Darter were also seen. A walk down the stream revealed 5 Beautiful Damselflies but no Golden Ringed Dragonflies were positively identified although a large Dragonfly was seen flying across the grass some way from the stream. Walking over the common away from the boggy areas I saw a single Southern Hawker. Later in the afternoon I headed back to The Moat to look for Emerald Dragonflies. A single male Black-tailed Skimmer patrolled the sandy area close to the car park and up to three Downy Emeralds were seen flying around the car park edge of the pond close to the area of reeds along with several Four Spot Chasers and up to 4 Emperor Dragonflies. A single Red-eyed Damselfly was also located on The Moat. Later in the evening when the Downy Emeralds had vacated the pond a single Brilliant Emerald made an appearance over the far side of the pond hawking for prey and eventually settling in a Silver Birch tree allowing a positive identification.