Sightings - Late 2005

This page contains Sightings sent to the BDS between July and December 2005. You can also go to 2004's Sightings or back to the Sightings Archive page.

18th November KR Devon
A Migrant Hawker still on the wing at Broadsands, Paignton in South Devon today - 18th November. Probably my latest ever. Also a few November common darters and migrant hawkers at Dawlish warren.


9th November TC Essex
Hanningfield Reservoir, 1.00pm. This very fine sunny October day yielded quite a lot of activity around a small pond on the Hanningfield reserve. 3 male Southern Hawkers were in attendance, together with at least 10 Migrant Hawkers, a handful of Ruddy Darters & about 20 Common darters.
A very busy late season day.


8th November DB Sussex
Common Darters still on the wing 3 males/no females. Wierwood Resevoir, Sussex


7th November MG Avon
Monday 7th November. Eight Common Darters, including two pairs, seen at Harnhill Landfill site near Bristol. Southerly breeze, bright sunshine, air temperature about 12 C.


7th November SCh Beds.
At Felmersham Gravel Pits earlier today there were still good numbers of Common Darters on the wing with ovipositing still much in evidence. Also a few Migrant Hawkers on the wing. Many of the former looked very tatty. I found several dead on the water's surface and managed to recover 4 struggling bodies. Having placed them on the bank they eventually started to wing whirrr before taking to the air again.


5th November IR Co. Armagh
I saw 4 male Common Darters at Peatlands Park, North Armagh, in early afternoon today (5th November); 2 of these were in the "Bog Garden" and another 2 around a small flooded area on the track between Mullenakill Wood and Annagarriff Wood. All seemed to be males; 2 seen at close quarters seemed to be in excellent condition with little or no tears in the wings. Weather was bright with a mdoerate to fresh SW wind and with an estimated temperature of 12-13 deg. C., ie rather mild for the time of year.


3rd November PM Shropshire
A "definite" male Southern Hawker was reported outside the Griesdale Hide at Leighton Moss on 2nd November. Is this completely unprecedented?


1st November IR Co. Armagh
I saw 2 male Common Darters in good condition in the Bog Garden at the Peatlands Park, North Armagh, this afternoon (1st). Weather was bright with a moderate to fresh wind, but the temperature was rather cooler than of late, probably c. 10-12 deg. C. I examined other areas of the Park without success. I was somewhat disappointed not to see Black Darter, which I have seen there regularly in early November in recent years.


1st November JohnH Dorset
A Common Darter vey active today 1st Nov near Stanpit Marsh, Christchurch, Dorset


27th October AN Bucks.
We still have, on the 27th, flying and ovipositing a Southern Hawker plus good numbers off Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters.


23rd October SCh Beds.
I went out this afternoon to pick my annual batch of sloes to make the sloe gin in time for christmas. This year there seems to be a bumber crop of berries of all types. Still lots of insects around with the mild weather we are experiencing this October. The afternoon sunshine saw good numbers of Common Darter still around with double figures egg laying in a pool at Willington near Bedford. Also saw 5-6 Migrant Hawkers. Several were still patrolling in and out of clumps of Typha.


22nd October PWi Hants.
There was a male Common Blue Damselfly on the edge of the Boating Lake on Southampton Common (Hampshire) on Thursday 20th October. A late date but perhaps not too surprising given how warm it is here in Southampton currently.


16th October SMcL Somerset
Whilst visiting Somerset (Wellow) this weekend, I saw a Small Red Damselfly.


17th October IR Co. Armagh
At Peatlands Park, North Armagh, on 17th October (a very mild afternoon with hazy sunshine) there were 2 male and 1 female Common Hawker (1 male and 1 female were caught and were in fair condition), about 4 Black Darters and about 8 Common Darters.


15th October CW Oxon/Berks
The warm weather continues, and so do the Common Blue Damselflies, with 6 males seen today at Dean's Farm, just over the Oxford border from Reading. A lone Red-eyed Damselfly male had been present at that site on the 7th and 10th of October, but I couldn't locate it today.
Across the Thames in Berks, a single Common Blue male was at Thames Valley Park, on the same Phragmites stem as 4 days ago.


13th October DMcG Lancs.
After very heavy rain over the last couple of days the sun has come out and there are still several Migrant Hawkers and Common Darters flying in the Heron's Reach/Marton Mere LNR area. There have been no cold nights yet this year.


2nd October SCh Beds.
There were still good numbers of Migrant Hawkers flying around today along with Common Darters. A few remaining Common Blue Damsels were also seen. Southern Hawker was also seen. Hornets are still evident and will no doubt try their luck in catching a dragonfly.


23rd September RPe North Wales
Campbells Table, near Porthmaddog, North Wales (sorry, not sure which county this is! Sorry for delay, just got back from trip)

Large number of Black Darter still very much on the wing, with pairs mating. Approximately 100+ seen, consisting of older males and females in most cases, but also 5 to 10 younger specimens. Also 3+ Common Hawkers.


Sept 23rd RPe Gwynedd
Campbells Table, near Porthmaddog, North Wales: Large number of Black Darter still very much on the wing, with pairs mating. Approximately 100+ seen, consisting of older males and females in most cases, but also 5 to 10 younger specimens. Also 3+ Common Hawkers.


Sept 25th IR N. Ireland
Around Craigavon Lakes, North Armagh, this afternoon (25th) there were about a dozen Common Darters and a Common Hawker dragonfly.


Sept 24th IDS Monmouth
Aeshna cyanea: one male emerged in my garden pond on Saturday 24th September 2005. An exceptional late date for here. May to July is the normal emergence period over the last few years, often peaking in late June.


Sept 24th SCh Beds
Earlier today in Bedfordshire there were good numbers of A.mixta in cop and egg laying. Also many S striolatum also ovipositing. Smaller numbers of S.sangunineum, A grandis and E.cyathigerum. A few A cyanea also present.


Sept 20th CW Berks
Numbers of Damselflies are holding up well at Caversham gravel pits, with 59 Common Blue seen, and 14 Red-eyed, including one tandem pair. No overnight frosts as yet though. Also a lot of Common Darters and Migrant Hawkers, plus one male Brown Hawker.


August 28th BF Devon
Ivy Bridge Devon, family elders BBQ, we were graced with the presence of a solitary male 'Beautiful Demoiselle' for over 15 minutes.


August 30th JSh Northants
I had an interesting sighting at Pitsford on Monday. I was examining the new pond in the Walgrave Bay. There were several Emerald Damselflies present and one male Common Blue. The Common Blue was perched on the blade of Reed Canary Grass (I think) when a male Emerald flew over and immediately clasped its neck and alighted above it. They remained in tandem for several minutes. I had to move on and the pair were still in that position when I left. No other sightings of note.
I could not find any red-eyed at Titchmarsh on Saturday.


August 30th MT Northants
The good weather and a reduction in workload allowed me some time at Ditchford this lunchtime, and a chance to catch up with activities since my last visit in mid July. Over 100 Migrant Hawkers were present around the main lake and along the hedgerow leading up to it. At the water, many males were searching low down among the bur-reeds for ovipositing females, only to clash with rival males when they got too close. Several females were grabbed with copulation following. A similar number of Common Darter were present, with a few pairs ovipositing - at one point a male Brown Hawker made a grab for a pair, presumably mistaking them for a female Brown. Ruddy Darters and Common Blue Damselflies were also present. No Red-eyes seen on the Lily pads, which may herald the end of their season here. The last species seen was a single Black-tailed Skimmer - a good late date for Northants.


August 29th DP W. Sussex
On Bank Holiday Monday I visited Petworth Park and was pleasantly surprised to find plenty of dragonflies around the ponds. On the main lake were Southern, Common, Brown and Migrant Hawkers, Common and Blue-tailed Damselflies and Common Darter. On the smaller pond were Common and Brown Hawkers and Black-tailed Skimmers. I also saw a Hobby chasing a House Martin.


August 30th RA Surrey
Have started observing the dragonflies at Reigate Castle ponds. Today several Southern Hawkers and lots of Common Darters.
Earlier in year (May - June) Emperors, Broad-bodied Chasers, Large Red damselflies and many blue types of damselflies.
Good viewing from the iron railings by edge of path around pond as many come to rest on exposed mud, sticks, vegetation etc. Not bad considering main A217 is only yards away.


August 25th MB Tyne & Wear
Having just used your to site to positively identify it I thought you may be interested to know that about half an hour ago (1240hrs thu 25/08/05) as I sat on the patio steps with my 4yrs old son to eat some lunch a Yellow Winged Darter landed on my cheese spread toast!! We live in the Whitley Bay area of Tyne & Wear and have purposefully had a wildlife garden for the last 10+ years with two ponds. Had various darters/ etc before but not one of these bright yellow wonders.


August 21st SCh Beds.
I had excellent views of a male A. parthenope on Sunday afternoon at Willington Gravel pits near Bedford. I was able to photograph it as well as several male and female A. imperator. What surprised me is that they all seemed to be in pristine condition with no signs of wear and tear, which I would expect for this time of year, late in their flight season. Does anyone have any evidence for a second peak of emergence this year?


August 19th GL Fife
I have spotted 3 darters in my garden in the last week. One, I am 100% sure, was a common darter, the other two, who appeared at the same time may be ruddy darters. Hard to say. However what makes this interesting is we live in the East of Scotland, Tayport, just across the river Tay from Dundee and I believe that these species are rare or perhaps “absent” from Scotland altogether. Climate change?


July 29/30th TC Norfolk
July 29th: Combined a trip to Norfolk with checking out some of the sites.This afternoon walked the Roydon Common reserve. Plentiful numbers of Southern Hawkers, Migrants & a few Browns. Common Darters, Ruddy Darters & Emerald damsels, & Blue tailed were commonplace. Eventually located the site speciality the Black Darter near one of the larger pools. Counted at least 5 males & several yellow females/immatures.
July 30th: This morning visited the wonderful reserve of Holt Lowes, within the Holt Country park. The site speciality the Keeled Skimmer was present in large numbers all over the Lowes. Also counted a single of each, Brown, Common, & Southern Hawker that frequented the far pond on the Lowes. Found one female Scarce Emerald Damselfly by a small pool at the far end of the Lowes. Stopped off at Winterton-on-sea on the way home mid afternoon, but the weather had changed to very cloudy unfortunately. Not much about by the dune pools. Distubed one Emperor, & one Common Hawker. Plentiful numbers of Emerald & Blue tailed Damselflies.


August 8th RPe Glamorgan
Kenfig NNR, Monday 8th August: A lengthy walk around the main pool and a visit to the smaller Sker pool produced Emperor (many), Southern Hawker (5+), Migrant Hawker (only 1), Black-tailed Skimmer (many), Broad-bodied Chaser (1), Ruddy darter (5+), Common darter (many), Blue-tailed and Common Blue damselflies. No sign of any Red-veined darter, but the Lesser Emperor was reported, although I did not see it in a 20-minute look from South Hide. 3 Clouded yellow butterflies seen.


July 20th AndrewN London
I have witnessed over the last two days, two visits of Aeshna cyanea to our Crab Apple tree, which is overlaid with Passion fruit (not yet flowering).


July 17th RJR Hants
Location: Ogden's water, New Forest, Hampshire. Weather: hot and sunny. 11 species on the wing at mid-day. Beautiful demoiselles and keeled skimmers (both common over 1km stretch of river and seen in tandem and ovipositing), large red, small red, azure, blue-tailed, and southern damselflies. Golden ringed, broad-bodied chaser, brown hawker and emperor dragonflies. Sadly, the large area of standing water where we saw four-spotted chasers in previous years was almost totally dried up.


July 31st/August 7th MP/SP Cambs.
Wicken Fen (Dragonfly Project) 30/31 July: Brown Hawker, Common Darter, Emerald Damselfly, Blue Tail Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Black Tailed Skimmer, Ruddy Darter, Emperor, Migrant Hawker, Red eyed Damselfly, Four Spotted Chaser, Southern Hawker, Variable Damselfly.
Woodwalton Fen (Great Raveley Drain) 07/08/2005: Common Darter, Blue tail Damselfly. Migrant Hawker, Red eyed Damselfly, Ruddy Darter, Southern Hawker, Azure Damselfly, Emerald Damselfly, Brown Hawker.


August 2nd JWS Berkshire
Englemere Pond, Bracknell. Single male Small Red-eyed Damselfly (E. viridulum) recorded here, the first that I have seen or heard of in this part of Berkshire. Indeed it might be a first for the county. Also, this has so far been a good year for Small Red Damselfly (C. tenellum) in the Bracknell area with records from 13 sites, with breeding activity at 6.


August 2nd NJ Hants.
Romsey, Hampshire. The first Small Red-eyed Damselfly for our garden pond was on the lily pads today. A mature male, it was harassed by the Blue-tails and Red-eyes. I believe that the nearby Lower Test Marshes NR has also been colonized this year.


July 29th ClareC Devon
Exminster Marshes, nr Exeter, Devon: 1 teneral migrant hawker, 3 common darter, 1 female emperor and common blue damselflies. Plus: red-eyed damselflies and common blue damselflies on the Exeter Canal.


July 21st GavinH Kent
Just to report that, in spite of extensive searching on 21st July through the juncus/sedge at the northern end of Sandwich Bay (see last year's report by KN on 17th August), I am fairly certain there are no Southern Emerald Damselflies currently present there. This could be due to the fact that the adjacent, presumably, fresh water area has completely dried out. In all, I only saw a single male Common Darter & Emperor during a 4 hour ramble on a pleasantly sunny day (tidal, salt water!).


July 26th IR N. Ireland
The Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) was more abundant than I have ever seen it anywhere before at Leitrim Lodge in the Mourne Mountains near Hilltown, Co. Down, today (26th July), in spite of (or perhaps because of) the fact that the area was possibly as dry or drier than I have ever seen it before. Many of the flushes were dry, but perhaps this meant that the dragonflies clustered around the 3 or 4 wet ones. It is difficult to be sure about the numbers and I am sure I missed some, but I think the minimum number was 70 though probably 80 or so; 90 or even 100 is possible. This was in an area about 1 km. long and 100 metres wide. About 4 mating pairs were seen and 3 or 4 females on their own, but the great majority were mature males. One ovipositing female was seen. Also seen were 3 Large Red Damselflies, a Common Darter and 4 Common Hawkers.
I was somewhat surprised at such numbers as I have only seen a single male during 2 recent visits to Killevy Castle on Slieve Gullion, South Armagh; although this is a smaller site I have seen it in numbers up to about 10 in recent years.
At a gravel pit near Cranfield, Kilkeel, there was a single Emerald Damselfly, and about 3 each of Blue-tailed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly and Common Darter. It also looked a potential site for the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, which I have seen for a number of years up to 2004 at a similar site within half a mile, but which I have not visited yet this year. It is probably too late for the species (though I once saw it on 1st August at the latter site).


July 10th-23rd TC Suffolk/Essex
July 10th: Sudbury water marshes, Suffolk: This quintessential Constable country, with its mill, colour washed houses & the highland cattle cooling off in the river on this very hot day was the backdrop to a stunning display of dragons. Good numbers of Emperors, Browns & Black tailed Skimmers abound, a few Quads, with one Southern in the shade of trees. A handful of Common Darters. Damsels included Banded Demoiselles, Blue tailed, Common blue & Red eyed.
16th July: Millennium Breathing space, nr viaduct, Chappel, Essex: The main pond here had good numbers of Black tailed Skimmers, Quads, a few Emperors & large numbers of Small Red Eyed damsels on the floating mats of algae. Also large numbers of Common Blues & Blue Tailed. A few Banded Demoiselles were on the site from the nearby river.
July 23rd: Hadleigh, Country park, Castle marshes, Essex: I was shocked to find most of the ditches had dried out. It hit home that we haven't had any significant rain for months. Did find one ovipositing pair of Scarce Emerald Damselflies on a small pond, with wooden dipping platform that had a few inches of water present. Walking in the Benfleet direction found a ditch that had a 3 x 1.5 meter puddle left with a few inches of water. This was holding a population of one ovipositing pair of Scarce Emeralds, plus two males & several Blue tailed. I found one more deeply cut ditch that had more significant volume of water along a good length & counted 7 Scarce Emeralds, with one pair ovipositing. Blue tailed also present. Did come across an unidentified damsel, appeared very large & chunky (more so than the Scarce Emerald) & predominately Bronzy brown in colour? Unfortunately wasn't able to get a close look to check for white pterostigma, before it took to strong flight high & over the marsh. These Essex marshes are definitely worth more thorough checking in the future for Southern Emerald. A few Ruddy Darters were also noted. The afternoon was completed by a Solo Emperor dragonfly feeding as the sun tried to come out. Looked suspiciously like it had a blue saddle & brown abdomen that showed up in flight. Fortunately after tracking it for 10 minutes it came to rest & was able to get close & take photographs & positively id it as the blue form female, before I got too excited!


July 23rd AI N. Yorks
A pair of Lesser Emperors were seen and photographed, whilst in tandem ovipositing at Farnham Gravel Pits, near Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. There may be a 2nd male at this site, which is private, and no access is available except to members of the Harrogate and District Naturalists Society.


July 24th PM Lancs.
Middleton Ponds: The Red-veined darters seem to have peaked at 6 males and two females with ovipositing noted on a few occasions. I ASSUME that many of the recent sightings in this country have involved immigration, not a resident population. In this respect, Middleton has shown a different pattern with no definite increase since late June and ideal weather conditions probably responsible for the revised peak of 6 males.
Despite the thoroughly well-documented ["parcelled up" & flight shots ready to send in to you] Lesser Emperor at relatively nearby Clitheroe, no evidence that any of the Red-veined Ds at Middleton involved (primary) immigrants.


July 16th SCh Beds.
I think Migrant Hawkers are emerging earlier than ever. I found an exuviae on 16th July in Bedfordshire which is very early for the area. Also interesting to note that SRED is emerging earlier each year, now that it has colonised much of SE England. It is on the wing during much of June compared to first emergents during July a few years ago.


July 8th ME Cambs.
Sutton Gault, Ouse Washes: Miserable damp morning didn't prevent me from recording my first Ruddy Darter and Emerald Damselflies of the year. Since then, most of my observations have been in my back garden (Fenstanton, Cambs), including Ruddy Darter, Banded Demoiselle, Southern and Brown Hawkers. The best record was Scarce Chaser, albeit in the form of a single wing hanging in a cobweb! We are about 2km from the Great Ouse, and 1km from the gravel pits also used by L. fulva, as the chaser flies.


July 21st DWB Cleveland
I am visiting with my wife from Nova Scotia. Today in the Guisborough Forest in Pinchinthorpe, Cleveland I saw my first Southern Hawker, a male. What a beauty? So close at times I thought it would almost land on me. My first time being up close & personal with a British ode. I hope to see more as I am here for another 2 weeks.


July 16th-17th R&CC Devon
16th July 2005 – Smallhangar. Good count here on Saturday afternoon … getting later on so slightly cooler, but still 16 species in total. All the usual damselflies … Common Blue, Blue-tailed, Large Red, Small Red and Scarce Blue-tailed (no Azures to confirm). Beautiful Demoiselles and Emeralds plentiful. Broad-bodied Chasers, Keeled Skimmers, Black-tailed Skimmers and Four-spotted Chasers in good numbers. Common Darters and Black Darters only in single figures. Common Hawkers, Golden-ringed and Emperors finishing off the list (one Emperor enjoying a tasty Four-spot … lovely sight!).
17th July 2005 – Bystock Ponds: Good views of Emperors, Common Blues, Azures, Black-tailed Skimmers, Four-spotted Chasers and Golden-ringed over the main pond. The small ponds provided a good count of 40+ Small Reds and lots of Keeled Skimmers, with a Beautiful Demoiselle or two on the way up there. A Southern Hawker topped the morning off nicely.
17th July – Squabmoor Reservoir: Unexpected day here on Sunday … all the usual suspects. Keeled Skimmers and Black-tailed Skimmers in good numbers, with lots of Common Blues and Azures. A handful of Blue-tailed, Red-eyed, Large Reds and Beautiful Demoiselles. Emperors abound with the notable exception of a pair of dull-looking Emperors ovipositing in tandem … these have been confirmed as Lesser Emperors (thanks Dave). That is, until the female became lunch for a family of moorhen!! With any luck, the male is still around … if a little shaken!


July 16th RPe Glamorgan
Kenfig NNR Saturday, 16th July. Lesser Emperor still present. Shows well from the south hide and seems to prefer the area straight out in front of the hide, quartering over the reeds / sedges. Unfortunately mainly keeps quite a distance out from the hide and binoculars are essential. Also is frequently chased off by male Emperors holding territory. Red-veined Darter also still present. There has been up to 9, with 6 present on Saturday, prefer the stony area on the eastern bank of the main pool. Ruddy and Common Darter, Black-tailed Skimmer, Broad-bodied Chaser, Southern Hawker around the south hide area.


July 16th GH Glocs.
Lake 26, Cotswold Water Park (West Section), near South Cerney. Amongst 3 Brown Hawkers, 2 male Black Tailed Skimmers and a teneral Common Darter was a male Lesser Emperor. Flying high and fast like a hawker, it flew past me at close range clearly showing the blue “spot” and the predominantly dark abdomen. Please keep a look out for this in the Cotswold Water Park.


July 17th DSm Devon
Rick and Clare Carter photographed a pair of Lesser Emperors egg-laying at Squabmoor Reservoir in East Devon. Most unfortunately, the female was eaten by a Moorhen and the male was not seen again. This is the first indication of breeding in the county. At least two male Scarce Chasers were on the Grand Western Canal this afternoon, west of Ebear Bridge.


July 16th AJB Lancs/Derbys
I visit a good site at Ludworth Moor on the Derbyshire border. Today I saw two male emperors, plus one female ovipositing. These have been visible for a few weeks now, as have 3 or 4 four-spotted chasers. New today, though, were at least three black darter tenerals. Also there various blue damselflies, plus a few emeralds.


July 12th/14th DSm Devon
A new colony of Southern Damselflies was discovered today by Mark Tunmore cold searching under contract to the Environment Agency. The site is 12km west of the other two Dartmoor sites, on the NW fringe at Prewley Moor (SX543909), just off the A30. About 70 were counted, with 54 on the 14th. Not to be outdone, the Scarce Chasers have been seen egg-laying in the Grand Western Canal in the area mentioned for 22nd June, with about 8 seen on 14th July. (The species has got to be present in Somerset - there was a convincing report of one last year on the edge of the Levels.)


July 15th MT Nothants.
Over 20 male Small Red-eyed Damselfly were at the Castle Ashby/Grendon fishing lakes this lunch time, resting on both lily pads and surface breaking hornwort. Even through my x10 binos, the blue tail markings were very clear. Small Red-eyes were recorded ovipositing here last year, so this is a good sign! Also present were many Black-tailed Skimmers, Four-spotted Chaser, hundreds of Common Blue, Blue-tailed and "Large" Red-eye Damselflies & Brown Hawker including ovipositing females. Perhaps most surprisingly, over 20 White-legged Damselflies, including ovipositing pairs and an exuvia were also present. This is the first confirmation of breeding in a still water habitat in the county.


July 12th RPe Glamorgan
Of interest, I have just heard that the Lesser emperor was still at Kenfig, Glamorgan on Tuesday 12th July and another has been found dead there. Also two Red-veined Darters there this week. I haven't seen any of these so cannot confirm, but the source of the info is very reliable.


July 9th/10th MP/SP Cambs.
Wicken Fen: weekend of the Dragonfly Project. Saturday not so good for people or dragonflies. Sunday very warm, plenty of people and lots of dragonflies. Black-Tailed Skimmer, Four-Spot Chaser, Azure damselfly, Common blue damselfly, Variable damselfly, Blue-tail damselfly, Emerald damselfly, Ruddy Darter, Red-eyed damselfly, Emperor, Hairy Dragonfly, Banded Demoiselle, Broad Bodied Chaser, Brown Hawker and Southern Hawker


July 11th/13th PW S. Yorks
A Lesser Emperor has been at Treeton Dyke,6 miles east of Sheffield. First seen on 11th July, it was seen again today(13th July) from 13.30 until at least 15.15. Favouring the area around some large clumps of Amphibious Bistort in the southwestern corner. It was found by the same observer who found one here in August last year. The only 2 records for South Yorkshire I think.


July 12th IR N. Ireland
I saw a nearly mature bluish male Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) around flushes near Killevy Castle on Slieve Gullion, South Armagh, on 12th July. Weather was warm and sunny (after a cloudy morning) though not as hot as 11th. I also saw a glimpse of a yellowish medium-sized dragonfly which could have been another (or it might have been a Common Darter). To only see 1 Skimmer was disappointing as I had been expecting several. I also saw a Brown hawker (Aeshna grandis) which, though I have recorded it once before, is presumably a stray (from where I cannot say as the nearest breeding sites would be some miles away in SW Armagh). There were also about 40 Banded Damselflies (Calopteryx splendens) on the River Bann at Dynes Bridge c. 3 miles south of Portadown, Co. Armagh, earlier. Only 2 or 3 females were seen and a mating pair, the rest being males. The visit was less than 5 minutes and only the 50 yards or so of river south of the bridge were examined, so there were probably many more.


July 12th WB Cheshire
Location: Bidston Moss LNR, Wirral. (Junction 1 M53) 1st pool on the right as you enter the reserve from Bidston railway station. Species: Anax imperator - Emperor Dragonfly (1male and possibly 1 female) Weather: Hot, sunny, (approx.80F) Wind: SW 0-1.


July 12th JB Devon
In hot midday sunshine, I had a total of 17 species of dragonfly on the wing today (12th July) at Smallhanger, on the southern edge of Dartmoor. Totals as follow: 2 Beautiful Demoiselle, c.30 Common Emerald, 4 Azure, 13 Large Red, 400+ Common Blue, 2 Blue-tailed, 4 Scarce Blue-tailed, and 130+ Small Red Damselflies, 1 teneral Common Hawker, c.15 Emperor, and 5 Golden-ringed Dragonflies, 20+ Black-tailed and 40+ Keeled Skimmer, 5 Four-spotted and 6 Broad-bodied Chasers, c.20 Black and 6+ immature Common Darters! The only species not ovipositing were Blue-tailed Damsel, Golden-ringed, Common Darter, Common Hawker and the two Chaser spp.


July 10th AB Norfolk
Norfolk hawker observed ovipositing in the new dragonfly pond at the University of East Anglia (follow the board walk round the broad and then take the branch off towards the Yare, pond is twenty yards down on the right). This follows sightings at Whitlingham great broad and Surlingham Church marshes.


July 11th AN Bucks.
Probable Lesser Emperor dragonfly reported by Dave Parmenter at Marlow. He saw it in the bay 50m W of the picnic table in the NE corner. There was nothing in the bay apart from Emperors and Black-tailed Skimmers but after ten minutes watching at the picnic table a Lesser Emperor appeared from the S flying c30m out. It passed the table c15m away and disappeared behind reeds. Five minutes later it reappeared, flew down the E side of the lake for 120m turned round and flew back again passing the table and disappearing. Not seen it again after an hour's watching. It was slightly smaller than an Emperor, was all dark olive-green with a distinctive pale blue band at the base of the thorax. It flew very low and fast and was up to 50m out from the shore.
I've seen many female Emps showing a varying amount of blue on the abdomen some very blue all along the addomen and some very blue just behind the thorax. This last week very good number at Wicken Fen and Wildmoor Heath. I may have pics of partly blue form female ovp at Wicken. Do you know if there is an influx of lesser emp or are these just blue form females?


July 10th NJ Hants.
Romsey, Hampshire. 10th July. The first Migrant Hawker seen in our garden today as well as 16 other species (Emperor, Southern Hawker, Four-spot & Broad-bodied Chasers, Black-tailed Skimmer, Downy Emerald, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Common & Ruddy Darters, Red-eyed, Azure, Blue-tailed, Common Blue, Emerald, Large Red & Small Red Damselflies).


July 6th-8th DMcE Berks.
On Wednesday 6th July, several Southern Hawkers (Aeshna cyanea) were seen emerging from a school pond in Burghfield, Berks over the course of the morning – much to the delight and fascination of the local schoolchildren. More then emerged on Friday 8th – a total of 6 being observed over the two days.


July 9th C&RC Devon
Aylesbeare Common, Devon: Good views of Southern Damselfly. We saw our first Emerald Damselflies and common darter (teneral) of the year. We watched emperors, keeled skimmers and broad bodied chasers egg laying. Also saw golden ringed, four spotted chaser, black tailed skimmer, azure damselfly, beautiful demoiselle, common blue damselfly and large red damselfly.


July 6th AI Highland
Allt Mhuic Nature Reserve. With reference to the report of Azure Hawkers at this site on 19th June, I would like to comment that I saw a male basking on a log during the afternoon of 6th June at the exact spot detailed in this previous report.


July 3rd IJW Lancs.
Here are some records made by Phil H. Smith, Mike Wilcox and Ian Waller on the 3rd July in the Lancashire area.
Stone Cross pond, Golborne. SJ6197: Emperor male and a female ovipositing, Four-spotted Chaser, Common Darter, Large Red, Common Blue, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies.
Highfield Moss, Golborne. SJ613955: Emperor male, 32 Four-spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer male, Large Red, Common Blue, Azure, Blue-tailed and Emerald Damselflies.
Colliers Moss formerly Bold Moss. St Helens SJ5394: This is a large diverse site covering a range of ponds. The site consists of acidic, neutral and alkaline habitats. The totals recorded are from the whole area - 4 Emperor male and females, 17 Four-spotted Chaser, 20 Black-tailed Skimmer including ovipositing, 4 Broad-bodied Chaser including ovipositing, Brown Hawker, Common Darter, Large Red, Common Blue, Azure, Blue-tailed and Emerald Damselflies. Eleven species, on one day, at one site, I think is a respectable figure!


June 19th DB Highland
Allt Mhuic Nature Reserve - Sunday 19th June 2005 - from 16.30 hours in good sunshine over two hours we saw 6 Azure Hawkers in total. 5 along the wide track that leads into the Pine Forest area (turn left at the top of the western most Butterfly trail footpath and walk 300 metres). Most were basking on old fallen pines trees. The other was within 100 metres of the entrance to the footpath leading from the car park. We were following up reports of this site from others and it does indeed seem to hold better numbers of Azure Hawkers than Bridge of Grudie. Perhaps further observations by others will confirm its potential.


July 3rd PBm Borders
Don't know if it is of interest to you but on Sunday 3rd July at Newcastleton, just over the Scottish Border on the ourskirts of Keilder Forest Park I saw a Cordulegaster boltonii - Golden-ringed Dragonfly feeding on a bee. It flew past me and landed on a bracken frond to enjoy it's meal. I took a few photographs before it flew off.


June 29th GCx Surrey
Small Red-eyed Damselfly observed at Woodhatch, near Reigate, Surrey at a large pond in the grounds of Canon (UK) Ltd HQ. On 29th June 2005 I observed 6 male and 1 female [in tandem with male] on the pond's surface vegetation. The males were constantly bullied and chased by male Common Blue Damselfly and the pair in tandem were chased all over the pond whilst trying to find a place to settle. I managed to get good views using binoculars and was able to compare the size with the Common Blues and Blue-tailed. The small red-eyed were shorter than both species. The males held their abdomens slightly up-curved when at rest.
The observations were made between 13.00 and 14.00. The weather was cloudy with sunny spells, warm with a slight breeze.


July 2nd IR N. Ireland
I saw my first 2005 specimens of Emerald Damselfly, Black Darter and Ruddy Darter today. Emerald Damselfly: About 8 at Peatlands Park, North Armagh; Black Darter: At least 2 immatures at Peatlands Park, North Armagh; Ruddy Darter: c. 15 at Brackagh Bog near Portadown, North Armagh.
There were also up to 6 Common Hawkers at Peatlands Park though I had seen 1 at Glendermott Bog near Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone, on 28th June. Also seen were Large Red Damselfly: About 4 at Peatlands including a mating pair, Azure Damselfly: Several at Peatlands and Brackagh, Variable Damselfly: Some at Peatlands and Brackagh, Blue-tailed Damselfly: At least 1 at Peatlands, Four-spotted Chaser: Common at Peatlands and 2 at Brackagh, Common Darter: About 12-15 at Peatlands, most of which were actually teneral specimens around a shallow ponf associated with sewage disposal, although a fairly red male was also seen.
This makes 10 Odonata species seen today (9 at Peatlands, 4 at Brackagh Bog).
I understand a Brown Hawker was seen at Montiaghs NNR, Co. Antrim, on 2nd July, along with 30+ 4 spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, 5 Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum, 2 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, many Variable Bluet Coenagrion pulchellum and Common Emerald/Spreadwing Lestes sponsa, 3 Common Hawker Aeshna juncea and 1 female Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense; see http://www.iol.ie/~wicklowweather/dragonfly/irishodonata2005.htm
This now means that all the 17 resident Odonata species of Northern Ireland have been seen in 2005.


July 2nd AI N. Yorks.
A male Lesser Emperor was seen briefly during the afernoon by 2 observers on the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Reserve at Staveley, near Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. It was not seen again that day.


July 1st MT Northants.
I took the afternoon off today to check out some unrecorded areas of the Nene, expecting the usual Banded Demoiselles, Red-eyes etc. These were in abundance, along with Emperors including two oviposting females. The highlight was coming across about 10 male Scarce Chaser at territory along the fringes and clashing over the water. These are the first confirmed sightings in the Northamptonshire. See Northants Group website for location details and photo.