Sightings - Late 2006

This page contains Sightings sent to the BDS between July and December 2006. You can also go to 2005's Sightings or back to the Sightings Archive page.

July 6th IR N. Ireland
This afternoon at Brackagh Bog NNR near Portadown, Co. Armagh, there were probably about 30 Darters. Nearly all looked like Ruddy Darter, and 2 mature males and 2 immature males were caught and identified as this species, though I also caught a female Common Darter. Also seen were a Common Hawker, about 50 Four-spotted Chasers mainly around newly created or opened pools, several Blue-tailed Damselflies, about 20 assorted Coenagrion species (at least 1 Azure and 1 Variable damselfly were present) and a female Banded Damselfly. The latter has been recorded occasionally and generally singly at Brackagh Bog over the years and this like the others was probably a stray from the nearby Newry Canal, Cusher or Bann River which lie within a half mile or less from the site. On a walk earlier in the afternoon near Dynes Bridge on the River Bann about a mile away I saw about 25 Banded Damsefllies and a Darter which looked like it was a Ruddy Darter, and thus a stray from Brackagh Bog!


July 6th MD Somerset
I have a small oval garden pond appx 9' x 6', less than 2' deep in the middle, containing several tall plant species and with a small pumped waterfall switched on occasionally. So far this year I know of at least 55 hatchings of southern hawker dragonflies. Today there were at one time eight preparing for flight, two of which have remained all day. Some have hatched and departed by the time I manage to take the first look of the day. By observing them on and off during each day I have found that there has been a failure rate of approximately 10% - one had only three wings, several fell into the water, one failed to develop properly. I noticed the same failure rate last year. Prior to the mass hatchings last year (again about fifty) I had no knowledge of dragonflies and the pond was not built for the purpose - just generally as a wildlife pond. Most of the pond is in shade for probably three quarters of the day, a huge volume of leaves fall into the pond and have accumulated as a mass of silt at the bottom - but the dragonfly nymphs appear to love it! I saw a female ovipositing in the moss on the sandstone rocks at the side of the pond today - as I also saw last year. Sadly I am going to have to leave the pond as I expect to be moving withing two weeks - and will have to build another pond at the next house.
The saddest moment was on watching one dragonfly struggle to hatch - almost falling in the water - and when on its tentative maiden flight it was snatched out of the air by a bird! The bird was in my line of sight so briefly that I had no chance to identify the species of bird but it was undoubtedly a small garden bird.


July 5th IR N. Ireland
At Peatlands Park, North Armagh, in very warm weather on 5th July I saw 2 Brown Hawkers and about 4 Black Darters, which I think are the first reported in Ireland so far this year. I also saw about 8 Common Hawkers (having seen my first on 30th June near Randalstown, Co. Antrim), about 6 Four-spot Chasers, 1 or 2 Common Darters, several Emerald and Variable Damselflies, and a Blue-tailed Damselfly.


July 5th RS Lancs.
Fleetwood Marsh Nature Reserve: All the RVDarters were on the new pool that has the bridge over it, they were just sat around the edge on stones and pebbles. RVDarter 16+, BT Skimmer 10, Emperor 1, Blue T Damselfly 10, Azure 1, Common Blue 1, Other blues 20+.
Cypress Point: This is a series of pools in a housing estate in St.Annes, Emperor 1, Broad Bodied Chaser 1


July 5th SimonH Lancs.
At least 9 Red-veined Darters and a similar number of Black-tailed Skimmers at Fleetwood Nature Park (SD 355466) today (R. Stinger, S.J. Hayhow). We think the RVD are the first for the Fylde area of Lancs


July 2nd MikeH Cleveland
It has been an unprecedented couple of weeks for odonata migration in Cleveland with Red-veined Darters found at four or five widely scattered sites including South Gare, the Tees Estuary and Billingham involving at least 10 individuals. At least one could still be seen found at Teesmouth on 2 July. Black-tailed Skimmer has been threatening to break through to the region for the last few years with the odd sighting over recent years, though breeding was suspected at Stillington pond last year when a pair was found. This year, a male has been found at Hartlepool (30 June), the coastal location strongly suggesting a migrant. Up to double figures around the Tees Estuary (end June) suggests a southerly movement into the region propelled by global warming. Likewise, too, Broad-bodied Chaser which, until three years ago was an extreme vagrant, but now seen annually in ones or twos. This year a pair on a pond near Darlington (1 July), and another at Stillington Pond (2 July) taking that site's tally to a remarkable 17 species, suggests that that this species is now poised to take the region by storm as both Four-spotted Chaser and Emperor have done so successfully before it in the last five years.


July 4th AS Notts.
Pond immediately to the north of Roehoe Wood adjacent to the A46, Grid Ref: SK 653302:
Pyrrhosoma nymphula - Large Red Damselfly - 1
Enallagma cyathigerum - Common Blue Damselfly - 20+ including many tenerals
Coenagrion puella - Azure Damselfly - 10+ with many tenerals
Ischnura elegans - Blue-tailed Damselfly - 5+
Aeshna juncea - Common Hawker - 1 male
Libellula quadrimaculata - Four-spotted Chaser - 1 male
Sympetrum striolatum - Common Darter - 2 tenerals


July 4th KatieF Beds.
Went to see the Red-veined Darters at Broom gravel pits, Beds, today (1pm). At least six males were present, though 38 individuals [not sure of precise male/female numbers] were reported by Mark Ward in very warm conditions on Saturday 1st, including a mating pair. Large numbers of Black-tailed Skimmers also present at the site today.
The R-vDs were first reported at Broom on 23 June.


July 4th JWS Berkshire
Today, at Felix Farm Trout Fishery, a large lake north of Bracknell, there were two male Small Red-eyed Damselflies, the second site in Berkshire where this species has been recorded. A mature male Brown Hawker was also on the wing, the first of the season in this area. A single male Brilliant Emerald was recorded at Swinley Brick Pits on 2nd July.


July 4th DW Gtr. Manchester
Two 'colonies' of this species have been found on the River Roch in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Before today this species was conisered a very rare migrant, in the last few years this species has been looked for on the River. Today 3 males and female were on the Roch behind Back o'th Moss in Heywood and 6 males and 3 females were on the Rochdale at Queens Park. Lets hope this species continues to increase. More inforamtion on the Dragonflies of Rochdale can be found at www.wildlifeofrochdale.co.uk


June 24th-July 2nd PD Highlands
Azure Hawker dragonfly, Aeshna caerulea, was of course the highlight and a new species for me. The first one was observed in Glen Affric for a maximum of twenty minutes on a log allowing good close scrutiny through close focussing 8.5x42 Swarovski binoculars. The second was on the trunk of a Scot’s Pine at the Bridge of Grudie for somewhat longer and also allowed close scrutiny through bins. The third one (probably the same one), was flushed in the same patch of pine trees the following day at the Bridge of Grudie and landed on a rock nearby. It allowed exceptionally critical scrutiny for up to an hour, initially with bins from various angles and then at point blank range with the naked eye. I gently touched the tip of its abdomen which it just lifted into the air. Eventually it flew off a short distance and I left it in peace – thoroughly satisfied.
24/6: Loch Airkig, Ailt Mhuic Butterfly Reserve: 1 Four Spotted Chaser dragonfly (Libellula quadrimaculata)
25/6: Glen Affric: 9+ Downy Emerald dragonfly (Cordulia aenea). 3/4 Golden ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii). 7/8 Common Hawker dragonfly (Aeshna juncea) 20+ Four Spotted Chaser. Large Red, Common Blue and Blue tailed damselflies
26/6: Glen Affric, Pollan Bui: 4+ Downy Emerald. 20+ Four Spotted Chaser. 12+ White Faced Darter dragonfly (Leucorrhinia dubia). 1 Male Azure Hawker dragonfly (Aeshna caerulea). 1 female Golden ringed Dragonfly. 1 Common Hawker.
27/6: Glen Affric, Pollan Bui: 25+ White faced Darter. 2 (male/female) Golden ringed Dragonfly. 4+ Downy Emerald. 40+ Four spotted Chaser. Plodda Falls: 4 Common Hawker.
28/6: Bridge of Grudie by Loch Maree: 2 (male/female) White faced Darter. 5+ Northern Emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora arctica). 2 Golden ringed Dragonfly. 4+ Common Hawker. 1 male Azure Hawker (A.caerulea). 6+ Four spotted Chaser. Large Red and ‘Blue’ damselflies etc.
29/6: Bridge of Grudie: 1 male Azure Hawker (A.caerulea). B.E.N.R.Centre:1 Golden ringed Dragonfly, 1 Northern Emerald
30/6: Lough Coulin: 6+ Golden ringed Dragonfly. 1 teneral Common/Highland Darter dragonfly (Sympetrum striolatum/nigrescens).
01/7: Bridge of Grudie: 2 Northern Emerald. 4 Golden ringed Dragonfly. 4+ Common Hawker. Beinn Eidhe Reserve: 2 Northern Emerald. 6+ Golden ringed Dragonfly. 6+ Common Hawker
02/7: Black Wood of Rannoch: 2 Golden ringed Dragonfly. 1 Four spotted Chaser.


July 4th NJ Hampshire
Two adult male Small Red-eyed Damselflies on our garden ponds in Romsey today (first record was a male last year for one day). Also 400+ Azure, 100+ Blue-tailed, 40 Large Red, 12 Small Red, 10 Common Blue, six male Red-eyed and two male Emerald Damselflies, two male Banded and two male Beautiful Demoiselles, a male and three female Emperors, two male Black-tailed, one male Broad-bodied and 15 Four-spotted Chasers, a male Golden-ringed Dragonfly plus a male Ruddy Darter.


July 4th PM Lancs.
Middleton, Lancs. Red-veined Darter numbers increased today to an absolute minimum of 23 - all flying over the water and including a pair in cop. There were almost certainly several others basking around the edge of the "model boat" pond. Also on the site as a whole, c130 4-spotted Chaser, c25 Emperor, c32 Black-tailed Skimmer, 2-3 Brown and one Common Hawker. Common Darters are just about ready to start mixing with Red-veined over the "model boat" pond so RVD estimates are going to be difficult in an day or two.
There was also a dragonfly seen very briefly which may have been a male Lesser Emperor but it could not be relocated in a oppressive heat and general dragonfly hyperactivity. It was at the back of the "model boat pond" and appeared to disappear towards the "No Swimming" pond but was not on there when checked.


June 15th-30th RA Sussex/Surrey
From mid- to end of June:
Old Lodge nature reserve: Broad Bodied Chasers, Four Spotted Chasers, Black tailed Skimmers, Downy Emerald, Emperor
Tilgate Park, Crawley: Downy Emerald, Emperor, Broad Bodied Chaser
Maidenbower, Crawley: Beautiful Demoiselle on stream at junction of Pallingham Drive and Lucerne Drive. Banded Demoiselle and Black Tailed Skimmer on flood pond by Billinton Drive.
Reigate Castle ponds: Emperor, Broad Bodied Chaser.


July 2nd/3rd AS York
Sandburn Hall Golf Club, Just outside York Grid Ref: SE 680610: Habitat - several man made lakes.
Species seen on 3 July 2006: Emperor 1 male, Emerald damselfly (Lestes sponsa) several 10+, Common Blue damselfly 10+, Azure Damselfly several, Blue-tailed damselfly 10+. An unidentified darter type - couldn't get a view - very mobile not like usual darter behaviour when they return to favourite perch, any guidance on this species would be appreciated.
Big emergence of the damselflies - many tenerals on the wing on Sunday morning 2 July 2006.
During the early part of the year I also saw at this site: Large Red damselfly, Four-spotted chaser, Brown Hawker.


July 3rd JSt Lancs.
This afternoon on the Lancaster Canal south of Hest Bank, Lancashire: 2x male Emperors, 1x male Beautiful Demoiselle. OS Grid ref roughly SD 467 654.


July 2nd BH Lincs.
2 July I saw a male Lesser Emperor at Whisby Nature Park, Lincoln, at 16.00. I believe a pair had been seen there the previous day.


July 2nd GF Hampshire
I made an interesting observation on July 2nd 2006 at Longwood Warren near Winchester. A Golden-ringed Dragonfly was observed resting on Hogweed along a hedged bridleway on the site - Grid ref SU520261. I wondered how unusual this was as this is a dry site on the chalk downs south-east of Winchester? The nearest waterbody being the River Itchen a couple of miles to the west, which is a chalk river of course. I look forward to any comments.


July 2nd BP Tyne & Wear
Two new species for Gateshead Tyne & Wear today. Lesser Emperor, a female apparently egglaying at Kibblesworth. Also seven Four spotted Chasers and a Banded Demoiselle there.
Male Red veined Darter at Crawcrook Quarry (private site). Also male Emperor there.


July 2nd AshB Northants.
Saw a pair of WL Damselflies at Burton Latimer, Northants this pm.


July 2nd GHo Lincs.
The monthly task of checking water levels was rewarded on Saturday 1st July, when I found a tandem pair of Lesser Emperors with the female ovipositing at Whisby Nature Reserve, 8 miles south west of Lincoln. The pair were from the only viewpoint which overlooks Willow Lake on the Willow Walk. The male was seen today (Sunday 2nd July) patrolling the western side of Willow Lake, but there was no sign of the female.
This is a Reserve and I believe a County first.


July 2nd SW Devon
4 male and 1 female Red-veined Darters at Lower Bruckland Ponds, Musbury. Nearby 50 White-legged Damselflies at Kilmington.


July 2nd DEG Berkshire
Brown hawker today 2 July at Sunninghill, Berks. Also common darter.


July 1st SN Staffs.
Just to let you know there is a Lesser emperor at Belvide Reservoir Staffordshire today. It showed well between the Bryant hide and Gazebo bay. This is a first for the reserve.
Also at least 40+ Red veined Darters today with several pairs ovispositing. There have been 20+ for over 2 weeks now. Another first for the reserve. Also seen today were 100+ Black-tailed Skimmers.


July 1st RG Essex
Hadleigh Marshes/Benfleet Downs, Essex: Good numbers of Scarce Emerald Damselfly, plus a few Blue-tailed and a handful of Common Blue. Also Emperor Dragonfly and Ruddy Darter.


July 1st SW Devon
Been at least three male Red-veined Darters at Lower Bruckland Ponds, Musbury, Devon for a few weeks now. Observed a pair ovipositing last week.


June 24th-30th JWS Berkshire
Responding to TEs request for further information on S. metallica. It seems to have been very late on the wing around Bracknell, but males have now been observed at four sites. First seen at Butter Bottom on 24th June, this was followed by a sighting at Englemere Pond on 28th June. Yesterday, 30th June, a group of 5 wildlife enthusiasts had prolonged views of 2 males at Forest Pond, and later, a single male at the Upper Star Post Pond.
Incidentally, a single male C tenellum was observed at Englemere on 28th June, after zero records for this species there in 2005. This species has also been seen at Casars Camp Pond, Crowthorne Woods and Gormoor.


June 30th CC/LH Devon
River Otter ( White Bridge to Otterton), Devon 4+ white legged damselfly, 2 x golden ringed, azure damselfly, large red damselfly, 40+ banded demoiselle.


June 25th R&CC Devon
The Lesser Emperor (male) was seen at Squabmoor Reservoir, Near Exmouth, Devon today at approx 3.30 p.m by Liz Hamling. We did see the Lesser Emperor (male) on 25 June patrolling the at the dam end of the reservoir. Also seen: four spotted chasers, downy emeralds, golden ringed, red-eyed, emperor, black-tailed skimmers, common blue, azure, blue tailed and beautiful demoiselle.


June 27th BH Cambs.
Cambourne, Cambs: The various waterbodies around the Cambourne development site held Southern Hawker (just emerged from exuvia), Emperor 4, Black-tailed Skimmer 5, Four-spotted Chaser 2, Common Darter 15, Blue-tailed Damselfly 20 and Common Blue Damselfly 1000's.


June 27th TE Hampshire
Good nos of Downy Emeralds on the two man made pools along the stream at Warren Heath near Hartley Whitney Hants (aprox SU783588). The less vegetated upper pool held c6+ while the lower lily covered pool hosted at least 2. Also present good nos 4 Spot Chaser, and assorted Damselflies. No sign of any Brilliant Emeralds. If anyone has news of any sites currently hosting this species in the south and could post details I would be very interested.


June 11th PM Lancashire
Middleton Ind. Est. Lancs.: Poorer coverage than usual so far this year due to people searching elsewhere for migrant Red-veined Darter!
Visit on 11th June by Colin Whittle revealed 4 male Red-veined Darter in the 'usual area' (as per the last six years). The next bout of suitable weather/observer availability was today and revealed 4 prob 5 males on settled territories in close proximity in the north-west corner. The problem is that we have had not had time to search for nymphs or exuviae, have not seen any obvious immatures and therefore have no idea whether these are partly or wholly the on-going breeding population or migrants.
Black-tailed Skimmers number c18 (2+ females), Emperors 18-20 and 4-spotted Chasers c70-90. A single female Broad-bodied Chaser on 11th June on the nearby Heysham Nature reserve unfortunately the only sighting so far at this north-western outpost.


June 25th PaulB W. Yorks.
On June 25th a male Lesser Emperor was still present at Moorhouse Lane Ponds, just east of Anglers Country Park, SW of Wakefield in West Yorkshire. Had been present for several days on the pond nearest to the metal gate, first reported on 17th June. Also 4+ Emperors, a pair of Broad-bodied Chasers and a large hatch of Common Darters (providing food for the Emperors!).


June 22nd IR N. Ireland
I saw 1 or 2 immature female Emerald Damselflies (Lestes sponsa) at Peatlands Park, North Armagh, on 22nd June; this is I think the first report of the species in Northern Ireland in 2006.


June 25th CH Worcs.
On Sunday 25 June, three Common Darter successfully emerged and flew from my small garden pond in Kempsey, Worcestershire. Unfortunately, one further emergence was unsuccessful. The dragonflies flew out of the garden between about 9.30 and 10.30am. The pond was newly constructed in Spring 2005 and my children and I were very excited to see these dragonflies emerge. I collected four exuviae (on various vegetation between 3 and 8 inches above the waterline) and have noted that there are several further larvae in the pond. They seem to prefer the shallower water, where they have been visible for some time.


June 24th ChrisB Hampshire
Hatchett Pond, Hampshire on Saturday 24th: Western End – 2 Beautiful Demoiselle, Small Red Damselfly, Black-tailed Skimmer, Broad-bodied Chaser, Keeled Skimmer, good numbers of Southern Damselfly, at least 2 Scare Blue-tailed Damselfly.
North Eastern corner – Four-spotted Chaser, BT Skimmer, BB Chaser, Emerald Damselfly.


June 24th JWS Berkshire
At Butter Bottom Ponds, south of Bracknell, over 40 White-legged Damselflies were counted, including 1 teneral and 11 mating pairs, of which 8 were ovipositing. Altogether 11 species were on the wing, including 1 Brilliant Emerald and several Downies. Following last year's sighting of 4 mating pairs of White-leggeds at Butter Bottom, there is now strong evidence that this species has become established in recent years at this still water site. This record increases to 24 the number of species of Odonata resident in Bracknell Forest Borough.


June 24th MartinG I. of Scilly
Porth Hellick pool, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly. 24th June: 2 male Black-tailed Skimmer ( Orthetrum cancellatum), 1 male Lessser Emperor (Anex parthenope). Present all day.


June 24th JPH Suffolk
The recently formed Bungay Local Group of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust held a dragonfly day today. Although only six members attended, we spent the morning watching photos by John Harrold that illustrated anatomy, lifecycle and behaviour, and local species, then went to Outney Common in the afternoon for field work. Along the dykes, pools, gravel pits, and river Waveney we saw at least ten, possibly 11 species of dragons and damsels, including Aeshna isosceles, Erythromma najas, and hundreds of males Calopteryx splendens. What was very noticeable was the very few female C. splendens – any that did venture forth was immediately pursued by several males. Is this common? There were also a few E. najas on the floating river vegetation, and some newly emerged common toads along the ditches – must be very early. This is obviously a good spot, combining a number of suitable and different habitats, and would repay closer study. I would expect at least a further five species later in the year.


June 17th MP/SP Norfolk
Carlton Marsh 17/06/06 Warm and Sunny: Azure Damselfly 8/10, Large Red Damselfly 2, Blue Tail Damselfly 8/10, Norfolk Hawker 10/12, Variable Damselfly 10/12, Four Spotted Chaser 10/15, Emperor 6/8, Hairy Dragonfly 4/5. Also found 3 Norfolk Hawker Exuvia.
Winterton Dunes 17/06/06 Warm and Sunny: Emperor Male and Female (Laying) 3/4, Four Spotted Chaser 6/8, Azure Damselfly 6/8, Blue Tail Damselfly 6/8, Broad Bodied Chaser 4. Also Found 2 Emperor Exuvia.


June 20th JT Somerset
The side stream just downstream from French Weir in Taunton (right outside my office) is a regular site for Banded Demoiselles, which are present again this year. About a week ago I thought I had seen both male and female Beautiful Demoiselles there, and was able to confirm that today (20 June). Stuart Holdsworth and I found a few Beautifuls present alongside Bandeds at Bishops Hull, about a mile upstream last year, but these are the first records of Beautiful Demoiselle for this site.


June 17th/18th KR Devon
At least six Red-veined darter were reported at Mansands, South Devon over the weekend of 17-18th June.


June 20th DW Lancs.
A male Red-veined Darter was present today (20/06/06) in Rochdale, Manchester at the BMX Track Pool at Queens Park. It was seen around 13:45 for half an hour, landing a number of times, before seeming to fly off in a north-west direction, was not seen again by 14:45. This is the first record for this area, but I see there were 6 males at Pennington Flash a few days ago so who knows perhaps Manchester will have good numbers of this species as the year goes on. Also present were 5 male and 1 female Broad-bodied Chaser.
More information on the dragonflies of Rochdale can be found at www.wildlifeofrochdale.co.uk


June 20th NJ Hampshire
First adult Emerald Damselfly of the year on the main pond in our garden in Romsey. Also, 500+ Azure, 50 Blue-tailed, 50 Large Red, 10 Common Blue, 6 Small Red and 6 Red-eyed Damselflies, plus 2 Emperors, 10+ Four-spotted Chasers, a Downy Emerald and a male Broad-bodied Chaser. Also, a male Golden-ringed Dragonfly on our small stream.


June 20th BL Lancs.
Update from previous posting. Whabbs Tip / Rimrose Valley, SJ335992: Small temporary water body next to permanent pond near main path. 1 Male BBC still patrolling pond. Very breezy, water getting pretty low now in both ponds.


June 16th BH Norfolk
SNETTISHAM COASTAL PARK, NORFOLK: In superb conditions noted 15 Hairy Dragonflies, 50 Four-spotted Chasers, 12 Black-tailed Skimmers, 5 Emperors, a very brief view of a red coloured darter, 1000's Common Blue Damselflies, 1000's Blue-tailed Damselflies, 10 Large Red Damselflies and 2 Red-eyed Damselflies.


June 17th DavidF Herts.
6+ Red-veined Darters at Wilstone Reservoir, Herts on 17 June.


June 17th TC Essex
Hadleigh Marshes, Essex.
My earliest visit to this particular site. Nice to see all the ditches filled to the brim after last years visit in July when they were down to a few puddles. What drought!
Hundreds of Emerald damselfies were present at the ditches & ponds, which hasn't been the case before when visited in July when Scarce Emerald is in the ascendancy. Even though the Emerald males looked like they could be Scarce by the presence of S1 & 2 being one & half coloured by the powder blue pruinescence, the insects didn't look chunky enough. Concluded that the pruinescence was developing on these immature Emeralds. Did however find two insects that were chunkier & the photographs did reveal the longer ovipositor found on these two immature teneral female Scarce Emeralds. The main emergence time for the Scarce Emeralds is probably about 10 days away.
Also had a good sighting of my first Darter of the season a teneral Ruddy Darter. Other sightings through the afternoon, included, 3 Black tailed Skimmers, 2 BB Chasers, 2 Hairy Dragonflies & 7 Emperors. Plenty of Blue tailed & Azure damselflies concluded the afternoons count.


June 18th RM Norfolk
Haddiscoe New Cut Norfolk grid ref 435447: One male Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope basking on bare dried mud at edge of newly excavated dyke.
Also Red eyed damselflies Erythromma najas and Emperor dragonflies Anax imperator colonised this area this year for the first time. Large numbers of Black-tailed skimmers Orthetrum cancellatum here too, and a few Norfolk Hawkers Aeshna isosceles.


June 17th/18th TE Hants/Herts
17/06/06: 1 Scarce Blue tailed Damselfly Hatchet Pond NF also 1M Emperor, 1 Keeled Skimmer and plenty of Black Tailed Skimmers.
18/06/06: 3 Red Veined Darters at Wilstone Reservoir Tring Herts. Seen walking SW from the car park to the overflow. Also good numbers of Black Tailed Skimmer and assorted Damselflies.


June 16th/18th ROM Surrey
18th June 2006: Esher Common - Black Pond - At least 1 male Brilliant Emerald photographed flying over the water and rushes, several male Downy Emeralds, 4-spotted Chasers, Keeled Skimmers, Large Red and Common Blue Damselflies. (Not sure if the Brilliant Ems can breed here as most of the sheltered tree covered area is where the dogs and children were seen playing in the water)
16th June 2006: Thursley - signs of approx 10 previously emerged Brilliant Emeralds at Forked Pond but access to waters-edge to see if any were flyiin was severely restricted by several groups of fishermen who were trying to catch carp. (Can anything be done to encourage the owners not to stock this pond with carp and thus give the Brilliant Ems a greater chance of improved breeding?). On the heath to the west of the pond a good number of white-legged damsels were seen amongst the bracken together with Black-tailed Skimmers, Beautiful Demoiselles, the odd 4-spotted chaser and a couple of curious Golden-ringed dragonflies who came close to inspect us before quickly disappearing over the bracken before I could get the camera focussed!


June 17th DP Hampshire
A trip to the New Forest on Saturday 17 June was quite rewarding. At Hatchet Pond there were Emporer, Downy Emerald, Black-tailed Skimmer, Keeled Skimmer, Broad-bodied Chaser, Four-spotted Chaser, Azure, Blue-tailed, Large Red and Small Red Damselflies. One or two Black Darters were found on Beaulieu Heath. Along the Crockford Stream there were Gold-ringed Dragonfly, Southern Damselfly and Beautiful Demoiselle.


June 17th IP Essex
Large numbers of Scarce Emerald damselflies in ditches at Fobbing Marsh Essex Wildlife Trust site this afternoon; Mostly males with a few females; also an Emperor M; a Common darter F and Blue tailed & Azure damselflies.


June 8th IJW Gwynedd
Male Emperor in the dune system at Morfa Harlech. Later in the day visited one of the Cors Ceirch sites and had several Keeled Skimmers, Broad-bodied Chasers and Four-spotted Chasers. Also photographed a female immature Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly.


June 17th DSm Devon
Male Lesser Emperor at Little Bradleys Ponds; also 3+ Downy Emeralds. The Lesser Emperor follows one on 16th at Exminster Marshes.
There were 2 Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies each at Chudleigh Knighton Heath (new site record) and Bovey Heathfield.


June 16th GB Oxon.
Thames at Goring ; 6 Club Tailed @ territory + 1 female Club Tailed in the Little Meadow, 3 Black Tailed Skimmer male, 2 Emperor ovipositing + 4 @ territory, 20+ White legged m & f, 50+ Red eyed, 100s Banded Demoiselle.


June 15th PL Hampshire
At Mill Lawn Brook, Burley in Hampshire today (June 15th), several male Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies in the boggy patch between the car park and the stream. Didn't manage to positively identify any females.


June 15th PA Lancs.
I found at least 6 male Red-veined Darters frequenting a relatively new pond (only constructed a few years ago as part of a reclamation scheme) adjacent to the main lake today 15/06/06. As far as I am aware this is a new species for the site. Managed to get some photos. Also at least 15 Black-tailed Skimmers at the same location. Location details: Pennington Flash Country Park, Leigh, Lancs SJ636993.


June 13th SS Essex/Suffolk
Goldins Hill Epping, warm and sunny, 6 Emperor, 10+ Four Spooted Chaser, black Tailed Skimmer, Azue Damselfly and Common Blue Damselfly and Red Eyed Damselfly.
Carlton Marshes Suffolk, warm and sunny, 10+ Norkolk Hawker, Hairy Dragonfly, Four Spotted Chaser, Blue Tailed Damselfly (Rufus form), Azue Damselfly, Commom Blue Damselfly and Black Tailed Skimmer.


June 10th LW Hampshire
On June 10th I was searching for Dragonflies at the Western end of Hatchet Pond in the New Forest, when I encountered at least one (possibly up to 3) red-abdomened Libellulid that showed features of Red-veined Darter. This is my first year of looking closely at Dragonflies so I may have got it wrong ! I eventually had good views of one individual under good lighting conditions as it rested on the mud at the edge of the lake, near where the stream run's into the lake. The veins along the leading edge of the forewings were strikingly red (not just the costa ), the pterostigma was mustard yellow with a well defined black border, and the bottom half of the eyes were slaty-blue. This individual did not however exhibit a yellow patch at the base of the hindwings that the Lewington guide mentions is normally present in Red-veined Darter. The Lewington guide is the only book I have as a reference, and Red-veined Darter seemed to be the only species that fit, though it did seem a bit silly that it should be my first Darter species ! I would welcome any confirmation or other opinions from more experienced folks out there.
Also of note were 2 Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies among the Blue-taileds, a Downy Emerald and a couple of Red-eyed Damselflies on the small pond next to the car park.


June 13th NJ Hampshire
On the River Test at Romsey saw first teneral Common Darter of the year.


June 9th/12th TC Suffolk
June 9th, North Cove nature reserve & Barnby, nr Lowerstoft, Suffolk: Today took a trip to one of my favourite sites. Perfect weather & perfect Dragonflies. A busy day. The list included the site speciality, the Norfolk Hawker, around 15 individuals, including a pair in tandem. 20+ Hairy Dragonflies, Scarce Chaser 30+ by river Waveney & in reserve, numbers were down on previous years *(PLEASE NOTE.. Restricted access along footpath, alongside River Waveney, because of works). All the usual smalls, including, Red eyed, & Variable. Large numbers of Banded Demoiselles. Also had good views in the reserve of 1 teneral Black tailed Skimmer, 1 Broad Bodied Chaser, 2 immature Emperor's, including one taking a female Banded Demoiselle, & settling to devour its large meal. The suprise of the day was when a immature Southern Hawker came bustling past, its larger size obvious after viewing Hairy Dragonflies during the day.
June 12th, River Stour, Stratford St Mary & Dedham: Started the afternoon by walking along the river from Stratford St Mary in The Higham direction. Very good numbers of Banded Demoiselles & all the usual smalls. 30+ Black tailed Skimmers, mostly in their brown/yellow, black teneral colours. 2 Hairy dragonflies & pleased to find 4 Scarce Chasers, all males. When came back to S.S.M walked the stretch to Dedham. Numbers were definately down on this stretch for the smalls & B.Ds. Only found 5 black tailed Skimmers, although 3 were blue males. Two Male Emperors completed the day.


June 13th NJ Hampshire
Two adult Small Red Damseflies seen on our garden pond today in Romsey. Also, over 350 pairs of Azures in cop, plus Downy Emerald, Emperor, Four Spotted and Broad-bodied Chasers, Large Red, Common, Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselflies.


June 7th-12th ROM W. Sussex/Surrey
June 7th, W. SUSSEX: Burton Mill Pond - many male and female Scarce Chasers and mating pairs. 1 pair of variable damselflies.
Newbridge - Several male Hairy and 1 female who kindly sat for a couple of minutes for photos! 3 female and 4 male Scarce Chasers. Several Beautiful Demoiselles.
June 8th, SURREY: Thursley Moat Pond - Good number of active Downy Emeralds - seems a good year. A number of recently emerged 4-Spot Chasers and exuvia in reeds.
June 12th, SURREY: Thursley Forked Pond - Lots of male and female Beautiful Demoiselles in woods near the pond. 1 Gold-ringed flying around the little stream and fields to the north of the pond. 1 female Brilliant Emerald along wooded Northerly pathway from forked pond.


June 11th-13th JHa N. Yorks.
11th June, Filey: 40 Red Veined Darters all males bar 3- 4 females seen in tandem and ovipositing
12th June, Burton Riggs NR near Scarborough: 1 Male Lesser Emperor (details sent to Adrian Parr) 20 male Red-veined Darters
13th June, Reighton (between Filey and Flamborough): 50 Broad Bodied Chasers + 2 Red-veined Darters


June 12th PJC Suffolk
5 Norfolk Hawkers at Sizewell Belts this lunchtime along the dykes just inland from the Nuclear Power Station. I believe that this is currently the most southerly regular site. Also a Hairy and a couple of Emperors amongst the many 4 spots.


June 12th SC Wiltshire
While looking for Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies [unsuccessfully] in the Cotswold Water Park today, myself and Gareth Harris [CWP Biodiversity Officer] found a male Lesser Emperor patrolling a shallow margin of one of the pits in the Wiltshire section. The exact location must remain undisclosed unfortunately due to access problems. On the move constantly so unable to get pics - it also evaded capture! It disappeared when overcast conditions occurred. Also found Downy Emeralds at a new site in CWP.


June 11th MT Northants.
Sightings of Downy Emeralds at Yardley Chase continue to increase with over 20 adults now sighted including copulation and oviposting. Although a private site, there have been a steady stream of records from permit holders over the last few years, and no records of Downys have appeared - even from the ponds where they are now being recorded. I have theorised that this is a cyclical population occurring every 3-4 years, perhaps the result of a single female oviposting. As this finding has generated a lot of interest, I am sure next year will yield some interesting results to add-to or disprove this theory.


June 10th RG Essex
River Colne, Ford Street, Essex: Abundant Banded Demoiselle, good numbers of red-eyed damselfly, plus many azure, large red and few blue-tailed.
Cornard Mere, Suffolk: Late afternoon - 1 female/imm. male Scarce Chaser and few Common Blue Damselfly.


June 12th FT W. Sussex
Found your website whilst trying to identify a dragonfly I was photographing on the River Rother, between Stedham and Stedham Mill, located between Petersfield, Hampshire and Midhurst, W.Sussex. I thought I'd send an email because the river on this stretch is positively buzzing with species your members might be interested in. I know nothing about dragonflies, but there are at least 4 different body colours present at an Idyllic spot.
[Perhaps someone could report on species from this site? - Webmaster]


June 8th/12th JWS Berkshire
At sites near Bracknell, Keeled Skimmer has been on the wing since 8th June, when 1 mature male and 2 tenerals were seen at Wildmoor. Today (12th June) several mature males were holding territory at Caesars Camp Pond and Crowthorne Woods, and at the latter site a pair were in cop. Also today, good numbers of Small Red Damselfly (both mature males and tenerals) were present at Caesars Camp and Crowthorne Woods. Also, all the usual early species were present. The sites were buzzing, with spectacular activity, especially from the Four-spotted and Broad-bodied Chasers, and Emperors.


June 11th IHal Lancs.
Female broad bodied chaser flew into my conservatory and decided to rest behind the blinds for the morning. Maghull (10miles north of Liverpool).


June 10th RPe Perthshire
Brief visit to Loch of Lowes, Scotland Saturday 10th June - tandem pair of Northern damselflies and 2 other males - in unusual habitat as in amongst scrub at edge of main loch unlike the habitat of small shallow pools with extensive emergent flora in which Ive seen them in previous years. Is this a usual site for this species? Its not far from the Perthshire population.


June 9th/11th MikeH Co. Durham
Three male Red-veined Darters near Sunderland on 11th June. This is the second time in three years that this site has held this species. Also of note in the Durham area, an Emperor maturing on woodland near Darlington on 9th June represented the earliest county record so far despite the largely miserable spring.


June 11th NM Suffolk
2 male small red-eyed damselflies in Hollesley, Suffolk. Hundreds of Azure, several large red, common blue and blue tailed damsels. Emperor and c. 10 4-spot chaser.


June 9th FA S. Yorks.
Barnsley: On Sandhills Golf Course on Friday 9th June at approx 7pm, spotted a large male Keeled Skimmer resting on one of the boundary ropes. The evening was very warm and sunny with a gentle breeze.


June 11th/12th IR N. Ireland
I saw at leat 1, probably 2, Keeled Skimmers (Orthetrum coerulescens) at Leitrim near Hilltown, Co. Down, on 10th June. Also seen was a Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata), the first time I have seen it at this site, and about 15 Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula).
At Legalough near Belcoo, Co. Fermanagh, there was a Commonm Darter in a rushy field along with several Four-spotted Chasers; I also saw at least 1 Hairy Dragonfly. David Nixon reports 2 of the latter at Bohill Forest NNR near Ballynahinch, Co. Down, on 11th June; this is as far as I know a new site for the species.


June 10th DSm Devon
At Stover, two sightings of what can reasonably be assumed was a male Red-veined Darter; also Downy Emerald, ovipositing Hairy Dragonfly and 20-25 Red-eyed Damselflies. At nearby Bovey Heath, a pair of Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies at little more than a puddle. Southern Damselflies were on the wing at Colaton Raleigh Common on the 6th (Lesley Kerry) and Scarce Chasers along the Grand Western Canal on the 8th (Simon Mitchell).


June 7th CH Worcs.
Eckington Bridge, River Avon, Worcestershire. Time: 6.30 - 8.00 pm, very warm, no breeze: Several Scarce Chasers seen flying and resting in reeds and meadows adjacent to the river, on the east side of the bridge. Both immature and mature males observed, one with mating scars on abdomen. I also briefly saw a Clubtail, as I arrived. Plenty of Banded Demoiselles about feasting on the mayflies.


June 8th IR N. Ireland
On 8th June there were up to 4 male Hairy Dragonflies at Drumnahavil Bog near Keady, Co. Armagh, and about 25 Irish Damseflies including several mating pairs, probably 50+ Four-spotted Chasers, c. 20 Variable Damselflies and 1 or 2 Large Red and Blue-tailed Damselflies. At Carnagh Forest near Keady there was another Hairy Dragonfly, and at Straghans Lake not far away, a few Common Blue damselflies, and 1 or 2 Large Red Damselflies and Four-spotted Chasers.


June 8th PAB Norfolk
Upton Fen NWT (TG3813): Dragonfly Sightings. 08/06: Hairy Dragonfly 10+, Emperor Dragonfly 1, Norfolk Hawker 10+, Four-Spotted Chaser 20+, Black-Tailed Skimmer 15+, Broad-Bodied Chaser 1, Common Blue Damselfly 1, Azure, Blue-Tailed, Large Red & Variable Damselfly present.
Also 1 Swallowtail Butterfly.


June 7th/8th BL Merseyside
07/06/06: Whabbs Tip / Rimrose Valley, SJ335992: Small temporary water body next to permanent pond near main path. 1 Male BBC being chased off every time it got near to any one of 3 roosting Four-Spot Chasers. Cracking sight through binos!
Also, Leeds/Liverpool Canal alongside Rimrose Valley SJ336991, many dozen Blue-tailed damselflies, some in cop, some ovipositing.

08/06/06: Whabbs Tip / Rimrose Valley, SJ335992 : Small temporary water body next to permanent pond near main path - it's starting to look nice this water body considering it's a seasonal pond! 1 Female Broad-bodied Chaser, ovipositing, 1 male BBC (strangely taking no notice of female!), 1 male Emperor, 5 Four-Spot Chasers making nuisance of themselves to everything else by trying to chase the other dragonflies off!


June 7th CB London
I've got two pairs of (mating) red damselflies at my tiny inner London (Wandsworth) pond this morning. (I had to clear away the spiders' web so they could land!)
On Monday there were just singles flying about, Tuesday one pair laying and several others flying about, today two pairs laying - others about - tomorrow an orgy?!
They stayed for a couple of hours in the heat of the sun yesterday.


June 6th IR N. Ireland
Kenny Murphy reports Banded Damselfly(ies) Calopteryx splendens on the River Callan at Aughinlig near Loughgall, Co. Armagh, on 31st May and also one flying past his home on 6th June. On 6th June in Co. Fermanagh I saw about 8 males and 14 females along the Sillees River at Sligo Road, Enniskillen.
Earlier on 6th June I had seen about 20 Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura pumilio) at Tonnagh Quarry near Derrygonnelly, also Co. Fermanagh (this has also been recorded this year from Co. Clare and Co. Wicklow); there were 3 mating pairs, one female aurantiaca and one mature female, and the rest males. One Ischnura elegans and a few Pyrrhosoma nymphula were also seen. At Monawilkin near Derrygonnelly there was a female Hairy Dragonfly. Four-spotted Chaser was seen at Carricknagat Bog near Belcoo, with Pyrrhosoma also here and at Braade Bog near Derrygonnelly.


June 5th MP/SP Cambs.
Castor Hanglands (Near Peterborough): A quick visit between 5.30 & 7.30pm on a warm sunny evening. The following were flying : Hairy Dragonfly (6/8); Four Spotted Chaser (8/10); Large Red damselfly (2); Blue Tailed Damselfly (5.); Common Blue Damselfly (8/10); Broad Bodied Chaser (1 sunning itself in the sunshine).


June 6th RG Essex
Meadowfield Nature Study Centre, Hockley, Essex: Broad-bodied Chaser - 2 males, 1 female; Black-tailed Skimmer - 1 recently emerged female (2/6); Four-spotted Chaser - first record for the site; Many damselflies: Azure very numerous, plus a few blue-tailed and red-eyed.


June 4th MT Northants.
I have received reports of 2 male Downey Emerald at Yardley Chase. This is a permit only site with no public access. A single territorial male was recorded here in 1995, and despite regular recording this species has not been seen since. Only time will tell whether this is part of a small undiscovered breeding colony or more vagrants from the nearby site in Bucks.
[Follow-up from Steve Cham] The species has been discovered in Beds as well. Single adults were seen at two sites first and now one of the local birders has found another site that looks to be the breeding site. Amazing co-incidence!!


June 2nd SCo Moray
First sightings this year of Large red male (1) and 5 male teneral blue-tailed damselflies in the Cairngorms near Grantown-on-Spey on 2 June. Warm, sunny day with a bit of breeze saw damselflies in amongst vegetation or flying below vegetation at a large pond in Revack Estate opposite the Strathspey Smokehouse. (Vice-county 95, Moray)


June 4th ROM Oxon.
River Thames at Goring: In the late morning, saw 6 exuvia of previously emerged club-tailed dragonflies which were carefully collected so that any new larvae could easily be spotted. Then much to the delight of myself and several other enthusiasts, my wife located 1 emerged club-tailed dragonfly which was keenly photographed. Then later, from 1230hrs to about 1530hrs another 9 club-tailed larvae were then seen leaving the water, 8 of which went on to emerge with the tenerals then flying into nearby trees and the remaining larva was sadly washed back into the river from the outwash from a passing river launch. It was amazing how quickly the afternoon nymphs came from the river up the rendered wall and were able to maintain sufficient grip to enable emergence with some emergees flying off in about 1 hour. I suspect that there may have been more after we departed.


June 3rd/4th DMcE Berkshire
Sunday 4th June 2006 Theale, Berkshire: Two male Downy Emerald dragonflies (Cordulia Aenea) were seen at 3.00pm this afternoon on the south side of Hosehill Lake LNR, a few miles from Theale. The insects stayed close to the margins where there was ample shade from overhanging willow, marginal vegetation and algal growth on the water. Their presence came as a something of a surprise as Hosehill Lake is a popular and well-watched site, and there has been no previous indication of Downy Emeralds being present. Incursion is the most likely possibility, but the nearest population I'm aware of is at Paice's Wood near Aldermaston, some 6 miles away. However, previous entries on this site do seem to suggest that Downy Emeralds are having a very good year in 2006!
With the recent spell of warm, dry weather there are literally thousands of Common Blue damselflies present at Hosehill at the moment, ranging from newly emerged individuals to breeding pairs. In some places the reeds are crusted with empty larval cases (sometimes two or three layers deep, where the emerging larvae climbed over others). Red-Eyed Damselflies are also present with counts in the hundreds, and there are smaller numbers of Large Reds, Azures and Blue-Tailed Damselflies. The first Black-Tailed Skimmers are also flying, along with 8 immature Emperors.
Hosehill Lake also has a breeding colony of Black-Headed Gulls, and several of these were seen to be flying low over the centre of the lake and picking at the surface. There were pairs of Common Blues and Red-Eyed Damselflies oviposting in the same area. Is this a coincidence, or would Black-Headed Gulls predate breeding damselflies?
Saturday 3rd June 2006 Kennet and Avon, Southcote: The Variable Damselfly colony previously described by CW is still going strong, with over 80 adult males seen amongst the Common Blues, Azures, and both Banded and Beautiful Demoiselles (the Demoiselles including several breeding pairs).
Whilst there was no sign of any Club-Tails or White-Legged Damselflies, there was plenty of compensation provided by the sighting of 18 x Four-Spotted Chasers (Libellula Quadrimaculata) flying over the nearby gravel pit at Searle's Lane, just to the south of the Kennet Offshoot.


June 3rd LB Surrey
Two pairs of large red damsels in the little pond in my back garden on Sunday 3 June mating and then depositing eggs.


June 3rd/4th IR N. Ireland
On 3rd June at Aughnadarragh Lake near Saintfield, Co. Down, there was a single Hairy Dragonfly, probably a male. There was also a mating pair, one female and one male Common Blue damselfly, the first Northern Ireland specimens I have heard of this year, and a female Azure Damselfly.
Today (4th) there were about 4 Large Red Damselflies at Stoneyford Reservoir and also at the so-called "Rumbling Hole" Quarry at Colin Glen near Belfast, Co. Antrim.


June 2nd/3rd C&RC Devon
Friday 2 June 2006: Bystock Pools, Nr Exmouth, Devon: 2 x Emperor flying in the top field. Large red damselflies, Common Blue damselflies and 1 four spotted chaser.
Saturday 3 June: Aylesbeare Common (RSPB), Devon: Emperor, Broad bodied chaser, hairy, four spotted chaser, large red, common blue, azure, blue-tailed.
Bystock Pools, Nr Exmouth, Devon: Hairy, common blue, large red, four spotted chaser.
Squabmoor Reservoir, Nr Exmouth, Devon: Downy Emerald (two males sparring), hairy, red-eyed x 3, common blue.


June 3rd/4th MarkW Glos.
We have been lucky enough to have had a number of large, red dragonflies coming to our pond to mate. At any one time there must have been about 10 couples flying about the pond and landing on the plants and surrounding foliage. Standing still some even landed on my shoulder! They are truley beautiful!


June 2nd DSh Essex
2nd June 1200 - 1300. On a short walk along the River Wid in Essex from White's Bridge to the A12 I found about 20 Banded Demoiselles and 8 newly emerged White Legged Damselflies in the fields adjacent to the river.


June 2nd TC Essex
Much warmer today than of late, although not much sunshine. Decided to vist the river Chelmer/Blackwater, Langford, nr Golf course,Essex, late afternoon.Rewarded by good views of 22 Scarce Chasers. The meadow alongside the river was alive with 100s of damselflies amongst the tall vegetation. Mostly tenerals of White legged & Red Eyed, with Blue tailed, Azure & common Blue. Good three figure counts in the vegetation alongside the river of Banded Demoiselles & a scattering of Large Reds.


June 3rd JasonB Derbyshire
Female Broad Bodied Chaser seen whilst walking through a wildlife nature reserve in my area of Derbyshire, Amber valley near codnor castle.


June 2nd IR N. Ireland
Today (2nd June) was a sunny and warm day in the low 20s C. and Odonata were very much more abundant at Montiaghs Moss NNR near Aghalee, Co. Antrim. Irish Damselfly was easily the most abundant Odonata species, with probably at least 50 seen. These were mostly mature males flying over the bog pools, but there were 2 or 3 mating pairs. Variable Damselfly though common was barely half as abundant. Hairy Dragonfly was as common as I have ever seen it there; as well as a mating pair and an ovipositing female (in Potamogeton spp.) there were probably 6-8 males; to see this in double figures is unusual. Four-spotted Chasers were however even more abundant, with probably at least 40 (counts should be regarded as approximate and possibly a considerable under-estimate). A few Blue-tailed damselflies and Large Red Damselflies were also seen. There may have been a few Azure Damselflies also, but I did not [catch] any to check.


June 1st GB Oxon.
Goring, River Thames: 10 immature Club Tailed Dragonflies (8f + 2m) 2 emerging Club Tailed in rain 11am; 10 + White Legged Damselflies;50+ Banded Demoiselle; 1 Large Red Damselfly. Overcast, showers 12c changing to sunny intervals 17c.


May 28th MP/SP Cambs.
Paxton Pits ( Near Huntingdon Cambs): Despite weather being cold, wet, windy Species seen were Scarce Chaser (8/10 females) Common Blue Damselfly (20/30) Banded Demoiselle (M/F 10/20) Red eyed Damselfly (20/30) Blue Tailed Damselfly (10/15)


May 28th TC Cambs.
Angelsey Abbey, NT, Lode Mill: Spotted one male Hairy Dragonfly on the stretch of water by the mill. Plus good nos of Large Red, Blue tailed, Azure & Common damselflies.
Afternoon went to Wicken fen, NT. Good views of at least 10 Hairy Dragonfly in sunny sheltered spots out of the wind, amongst the tall vegetation. Also 12 or so Quads & the appearence of a beautiful fresh unmarked blue male Broad bodied chaser, simply stunning. All the usual smalls, including Variable.


May 31st JWS Berks.
Walking through grassy area at Wildmoor Heath, near Bracknell, flushed an immature Emperor Dragonfly. At two different ponds on the site, also saw two ovipositing females, one Four-spotted Chaser the other Broad-bodied Chaser. Several males of both species about, as were Large Red and Azure Damsels. Earlier in the week (28th) mature male Downy Emerald over water at Englemere Pond.


May 30th IR N. Ireland
Ballykilbeg Fen near Clough, Co. Down, seems to be a regular haunt for Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) as I have seen it there in small numbers for several years. Today was no exception as there were up to 6; a female, one presumed teneral and 4 males were seen. There were also 15-20 Large Red Damselflies. Earlier I had seen several Azure Damselflies and 1 Large Red Damsely. Finally a male Variable Damselfly was seen at Carrickanab Lake near Clough.


May 29th D&GE Worcs.
Today we have found 13 exuviae in our garden wildlife pond. Two Emperors seen drying out, but finding it hard going in the rain and wind. We assume all emerged dragonflies are the same species as exuviae identical. Still more larvae in the pond to come!


May 26th-29th MT Northants.
26th - I came across the first teneral White-legged Damselflies on the River Nene along with hundreds on Banded Demoiselle, Red-eyes and Common Blues.
28th - Chris & I went "Scarce Chaser hunting" around the site where Darryl first recorded the immature specimens in the week. We added 6 new 1km squares to the distribution map, including a couple of sites that were surveyed last year without them being seen, and one site with over 50 immatures!
29th - Immature male & female Beautiful Demoiselle flying between the frequent showers and hail storms, along the River Tove near Towcester.


May 25th EvaR Oxon./Bucks.
Marsh Gibbon pond. Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator): 1 emerging and 2 exuviae.


May 11th-25th PAB Norfolk
11 May '06: Reedham Marshes (How Hill) TG 365 192; Large Red Damselfly 4, Blue Tailed Damselfly 6+, Variable Damselfly 6+, Azure Damselfly 5+, Red Eyed Damselfly 2+, Hairy Dragonfly 3+, Four-Spotted Chaser 1.
23 May ‘06: How Hill TG 373 194; Black Tailed Skimmer 1.
25 May ‘06: Gillingham Levels TM 415 906; Four-Spotted Chaser 1, Scarce Chaser 2 (Fems.), Broad-Bodied Chaser 1.


May 25th CW Berks.
Crowsley Park Woods, north of Reading... I wasn't looking for Dragonflies there, no ponds or streams close by, so it was a nice surprise to see a male Downy Emerald, and an immature female Common Clubtail which was eating a Crane-fly. Closest site for the Clubtail's emergence would be the Thames, 3.5 km away.


May 24th/25th IR N. Ireland
I saw a male Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) at Killywoolaghan, Ardboe (near the Co. Tyrone shore of Lough Neagh at about H932723) on 24th May. The only other Odonata species seen that day were 2 Large Red Damselflies at Milford Railway Cutting near Armagh.
Today (25th May) was dry and a good bit warmer and less windy of late, though with increasing high cloud in the afternoon. At Montiaghs NNR near Aghalee, Co. Antrim, I saw a slightly teneral male Irish Damselfly (Coenagrion lunulatum) after considerable searching. About 15 or so mature coloured Variable Damselflies (Coenagrion pulchellum), at least 1 (female) Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) and about a dozen Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) and Four-spotted Chasers (Libellula quadrimaculata); there were were however no Hairy Dragonflies (Brachytron pratense) to be seen though I had seen 1 in Co. Tyrone on 24th May.


May 24th DS Northants.
No less than twelve recently emerged Scarce Chasers on a stretch of the River Nene in Northamptonshire were seen around 12:45 on 24 May 2006, by two members of the Northampton Dragonfly Group, thus confirming the breeding status of the species in our region. I now have pictures over two years of a probable father and son! If you need to know the precise location may I suggest purchasing an excellent copy of "The Dragonflies of Northamptonshire," details of which are found in that illustrious publication "Dragonfly News."


May 21st GavinH Kent
No hot news from Kent so far this year has prompted me to report my Stodmarsh NNR and Marshside (near Herne Bay) sightings on a very inclement & windy 21st May. I only saw a few Variable, Blue-tailed & Large Red Damselflies (no Hairy Dragonflies at all) in a two hour visit to each site.


May 19th/20th TC Essex
May 19th; Visited Roman River valley, Layer de la Haye, nr Colchester, Essex this afternoon.Lucky to see my best count of Beautiful Demoiselles, well in excess of 200. Most of the males were in the very attractive immature colour combination of blue abdomen/body & female colour bronze wings. Interestingly only counted 4 banded Demoiselles. Supporting cast of 12 Large Red Damselflies, & a scattering of Azures & Blue tailed.
May 20th; Marks Hall estate, nr Coggeshall Essex. A walk round the ponds on the estate produced over 40 Quads exuviae, with 5 with the nearby freshly emerged adult. Also fair counts of common blue, Large Red, & Azure. Also i convinced myself i saw a solitary teneral Emerald Damselfly, but i was unable to be sure, as it flew into grass & i couldnt pick it up again to view closely & photograph.


May 23rd TJW W. Sussex
Tottington Wood, near Edburton today produced 10 Broad-bodied Chasers, 6 Hairy Hawkers, 1 Beautiful Demoiselle and 30 Azure Damselflies.


May 23rd GB Beds.
5 Teneral Scarce Chasers (1 male, 2 female, 2 ?) + 1 immature flying (?); 10+ Banded Demoiselle (m & f) ; 10+ Large Red Eye ( m & f ) - Great Ouse near Wyboston Lakes. Sunny and windy with heavy showers (13 c) causing the 5 teneral Scarce Chasers to stay in reeds near to the river sheltering - still there when I left the site at 18.30.


May 23rd MT Northants.
A break in the dismal weather was capitalised by the dragons at Ditchford, with 100+ Red-eyed Damselflies, many newly emerged and still emerging. Several were already with mature colouration. Common Blue, Azure & Blue-tailed were also in evidence although greatly outnumbered by the Red-eyes. I encountered a single male Hairy Dragonfly hawking the hedges - still with immature colouration although I noticed that the blue spots were appearing from the base of his abdomen upwards. Four-spotted Chaser were also present including several emerging, although from an exuvea count, there are still many more to come. A single Large Red completed the set.


May 18th/20th C&CL Cambs.
On the 18/05/2006 we had our first Broard Bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) from our oldest established pond (11 years since creation). Between the 18th and 20th we had four more. One of them is still in the carport and due to the inclement weather hasn't flown. The Larvae had an epic journey for a start by exiting the pond walking 11 feet across a gravel driveway, then climbing 3 feet up the garden fence to emerge! I think they have all been females. Our newest pond is about 18 months old now and will be completing its first breeding cycle for Odonata this year. It has rewarded us with a plethera of Blue Tailed Damselflies since the 11/05/2006. I think this was the only species to emerge, I have yet to study the exuvia I have collected. It will be interesting to see what else emerges from this pond this season. Our Garden is in the village of Fen Ditton in Cambridgeshire (OS ref. 603487).


May 20th/21st AW Surrey
Visited a private nature reserve in Holmbury St Mary, Surrey (TQ 114 442), many recently emerged Blue-Tailed and the occasional Azure. Three newly emerged Four-Spotted Chaser with plenty more exuvia around too.Visited again the following morning and found one of the Four-Spotted Chasers still in the same spot and also found 3 teneral Downy Emerald, a first for the site.

Also visited a pond at the top of Holmbury Hill, near Dorking Surrey (TQ 101 430) and found the first Broad-Bodied Chaser of the year, albeit a very weak looking male that I doubt will last long in the current weather.


May 20th SH Leics.
The following species were recorded at Priory Water today, Four-Spotted Chaser, White-Legged Damselfly, Variable Damselfly, Red-Eyed Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Blue-Tailed Damselfly, & Large Red Damselfly.


May 18th TJW W. Sussex
A newly emerged Hairy Dragonfly in Tottington Wood near Edburton.


May 18th JSt Lancs.
Blue-tailed Damselfly, female rufescens type, at Heysham Nature Reserve. (Heysham, Lancashire). Looked like it was not long out of the water. On reeds next to the viewing platform at the southern end of the pond, sunning itself. OS ref is roughly SD407599.


May 16th/18th ROM W. Sussex
16th May 2006 Buchan Country Park, W. Sussex Saw 1 recently emerged male Downy Emerald with exuvia on a fence post some 6 metres away from nearest water and about 4 metres above water level - quite a marathon journey! There was also an empty Downy Emerald exuvia nearby from an earlier emergee together with another empty exuvia in reeds much nearer the water. Cold weather gave good photo opportunity.

18th May 2006 Moat Pond, Thursley, Surrey. Saw Downy emerald recently emerged with exuvia on tree stump close to waters edge. Also 1 female Downy emerald sheltering in reeds trying to get warmed up enough to fly in the dull and windy conditions but allowed for some photos between the gusts of wind.

Hope someone may find this useful if the are looking to see downy emeralds.


May 17th DSh Essex
Today May 17th on the River Wid at White's Bridge in Essex I saw 3 male and 2 female Banded Demoiselles and 1 Large Red Damselfly.


May 17th MT Northants.
The weather was overcast today, but that didn't stop good numbers of Large Red, Banded Demoiselle, Azure, Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselflies emerging onto the rapidly growing emerging vegetation on the RiverIse. I am always amazed to see Red-eyes emerge from this site, as I have never seen adults here. Lots of exuviae were collected from all the above species!


May 16th RPch Channel I.
Jersey C.I. May 16th First Beautiful Demoiselle Fm. for 2006.


May 16th GV Oxon.
First exuviae (for 2006) of Gomphus vulgatissimus seen at Shiplake, River Thames, Oxfordshire bank of river. Calopteryx splendens now fairly common on river.


May 13th AW W. Sussex
Visited Newbridge on the A272 between Billingshurst and Wisborough Green in search of Hairy and Downy Emerald dragonflies. Sadly nothing found but there were 10+ Banded Demoiselle on the wing and also 6+ Azure Damselflies.


May 14th TC Essex
River Blackwater/Chelmer, Langford, Essex. Weather quite a bit colder & overcast today. Not really conducive to Dragonfly activity. Did however find 3 Large Reds, 2 Azure & interestingly 1 Red Eyed damselfly, I think my earliest personal sighting.


May 14th DSm Devon
At Little Bradley Ponds, a total of 52 Downy Emerald exuviae (10 with adults emerging) were found over 12-14th; also a male Hairy Dragonfly seen on 14th. At Bystock Reservoir, Rick and Clare Carter found two Downy Emerald exuviae and at nearby Squabmoor Reservoir, one Downy Emerald exuvia - the first proof of breeding for both sites!
Dave Smallshire, Clare and Rick Carter, Simon Mitchell, Lesley Kerry, Pete Gotham


May 14th R&CC Devon
Visited Squabmoor Reservoir (Exmouth) early this morning and saw one Downy Emerald exuvia, plus a few Large Red Damselflies. Followed on later to Bystock Pools about 16:00. One Downy Emerald exuvia and another emerging Downy Emerald on the boardwalk. There were still a few Large Red damselflies on the wing.


May 13th PV Hampshire
Single Beautiful Demoiselle teneral adult male seen at Bartley Heath, North-East Hampshire, on Saturday 13th May.


May 11th IR N. Ireland
On Thursday 11th May, a very warm day with bright though hazy sun, I visited Brackagh Bog NNR near Portadown, Co. Armagh, and Montiaghs Moss NNR near Aghalee, Co. Antrim. At the former, I saw 3 or 4 Large Red Damseflies, 3-4 Azure Damselflies and 2 Fours-spotted Chasers; at the latter 2 Variable Damselflies, 3-4 Large Reds, and 3 Four-spots. I had hoped to see Hairy Dragonfly which occurs at both sites but none were seen.


May 11th BH Lincs.
River Witham near Lincoln: Banded Demoiselle 1 female, Large Red Damselfly 2, Blue-tailed Damselfly 2, Azure Damselfly 10.


May 13th/14th DSm Devon
A total of 26 Downy Emerald exuviae (plus 3 emerging adults) found around the old and "new" Little Bradley Ponds. Also good numbers of Four-spotted Chasers and Azure Damselflies emerging, Beautiful Demoiselle, Blue-tailed Damselflies and lots of Large Red ovipositing.


May 13th PT Norfolk
Overcast day following several of warm sunshine. Several Large Red and Variable damselflies at both Catfield Fen and Cockshoot Broad, including a few pairs. Also the first handful of Red-eyed Damselflies and a few Azure Damselflies braving the cool conditions.


May 6th/13th TC Essex
Last week 6th, visited Wake valley pond Epping, with the hope of Downy Emeralds, but to no avail, but did find 3 Hairy Dragonfly emerging, plus a dozen or so Large Red damselflies. Went on to Waltham Abbey Cornmill meadows & found 2 Banded Demoiselles. (Please note, as far as I am aware, Beautiful Demoiselles are not present at this site, as mentioned in an earlier report.)
13th May. Today just back from Wake valley pond, Epping. Downy Emeralds in profusion. Counted in excess of 115 exuviae, which around 30 had the newly emerged adults alongside. The rest probably emerged yesterday or maybe wednesday & Thursday. Interestingly it was noted that all the exuviae today were emerging in the reeds, 0.75 to 1.5 metres up. Whereas in previous years I have visited the site I have found them emerging some great distances away, usually in beech trees, with the record distance travelled last year of 7.5 metres. Poses the interesting question Why? Does temperature, weather conditions, impending weather, atmospheric conditions have a bearing on the exuviae choice to travel or not. Perhaps this years batch are a lazy bunch!
Also counted 27 Hairy Dragonfly exuviae, & a dozen or so large reds. Also saw a very large Terrapin/Turtle (dinner plate sized) basking on a floating log. I hope it doesnt like Dragonfly larvae in its diet!


May 11th EvaR Bucks/Oxon.
Ponds in Marsh Gibbon area. Broad-bodied Chaser: 6 emerging, 4 tenerals and collection of 17 exuviae. Large Red Damselfly: 2 ovipositing pairs, 2 males and 1 female. 1 Blue-tailed Damselfly.


May 9th/11th RJ Lincs.
On the 9th May good numbers of Blue-tailed Damselflies out at Messingham Sand Quarry, with smaller numbers of Azure and Common Blue newly emerged on the 11th. Also 2 Red-eyed on lily pads and some Large Red Damselflies showing in the woodland ponds on the 11th.


May 6th/10th AN Bucks.
At last things are moving Hairy Hawker reported at Willen on 6 May and I noted 3 immature Banded Demoiselle on the River Thame nr Thame - Bucks on 10 May


May 9th CW Berkshire
Just one Clubtail exuvia found along the one-kilometre Thames-side Promenade upstream of Caversham Bridge, Reading.


May 7th/10th IR N. Ireland
On Sunday 7th May, a fine sunny day, I saw Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) at the following sites in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland: 2 at Sharvogues Bog near Randalstown; 3-4 at Frosses Bog near Cloghmills; 1-2 at Black Lough, Loughguile; 4 at Cabragh Bog, Ballymena; 1 at Killybegs Bog, Ballymena.
I also saw what I think was one today (10th May) at Craigavon Lakes, North Armagh.


May 9th MT Northants.
Numbers of Azure Damselflies are building well, if a little slowly, at Wilson's Pits, where I recorded over 100 immature males and females today flying around the hedges. A few Blue-tailed, Red-eyed and Common Blue Damselflies were also present, but were vastly outnumbered by the Azures.


May 7th AW Surrey
During early morning visit to a private nature reserve in Holmbury St Mary, Surrey (TQ 114 442) I found at least 20+ Large Red damselflies, many recently emerged. No sign of any other species at this time.


May 7th DSm Devon
The first BDS Devon Group meeting of the year succeeded in finding 12 Hairy Dragonfly exuviae around Stover Lake, of which six had newly-emerged adults nearby. Teneral and emerging Broad-bodied Chasers were also in evidence, along with a few Blue-tailed and many Large Red Damselflies.


May 7th SE Essex
On the 7th May 2006 I visited Cornmill Dragonfly Sanctuary near Waltham Abbey. Of particular interest were plenty of Beautiful Demoiselles, plus two dragonflies (one of which was dead, apparently having failed to emerge properly). My dragonfly identification isn't too good so I attach the pics with this e-mail. [The dragonfly in the photos is Hairy Dragonfly, Brachytron pratense. Also see report for May 6th/13th re Beautiful Demoiselles.]


May 6th MP/SP Cambs.
Visit to woodwalton Fen. Species seen: Hairy Dragonfly, Large Red Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Variable Damselfly (Female).
Mick & Sue Parfitt, Henry & Lynn Curry


May 6th PT Norfolk
First really good dragonfly day of the season. Over 50 Four-spotted Chaser and over 20 Hairy Dragonfly exuviae found within two pond areas on Upton Fen. Almost half still had their emergents pumping-up nearby. There was a report of one "large dragonfly" seen yesterday, but no ID. Also present today were lots of Large Red Damselflies (over 40 exuviae found in 10 minutes) and the first few Azure Damselflies.


May 5th CW Berkshire
2 Teneral Beautiful Demoiselles at Clayhill Brook near Reading, with a few Large Red Damselflies. At nearby Searles Lakes were more Large Reds, one Common Blue and 20+ Variable Damselflies.
Foudry Brook in Reading is a sorry sight ... vegetation mown down again by developers ahead of any agreed management plan.
No Club-tail exuviae evident yet by the Thames at Caversham.


May 5th DK Cheshire
Today at Little Budworth Common (56Y SJ584661) there were plenty of Large Red Damselfly emerging. At the dipping pond at Anderton Nature Park (67M SJ651751) there were the same species recorded on 3rd May [Large Red, Common Blue and 4-spotted Chaser] plus several Blue-tailed Damselfly. Both Large Red Damselfly and Common Blue Damselfly were seen ovipositing. [From Cheshire Dragonflies]


May 5th CW Berkshire
2 Teneral Beautiful Demoiselles at Clayhill Brook near Reading, with a few Large Red Damselflies. At nearby Searles Lakes were more Large Reds, one Common Blue and 20+ Variable Damselflies.
Foudry Brook in Reading is a sorry sight... vegetation mown down again by developers ahead of any agreed management plan. No Club-tail exuviae evident yet by the Thames at Caversham.


May 5th SF Northants.
Daily monitoring of the school pond, here at Wollaston, Northants (SP913629), has today resulted in my first record of the year of 4-spotted chaser. I disturbed a teneral from some iris leaves, which then flew into some nearby bushes. As I stooped down to collect the exuvia, I disturbed a teneral Large Red Damsel too :-)


May 4th JWC W. Yorks.
At Pontefract park/race course (4-5-06) I watched 2 Large red damselflies hanging! around trees at the irrigation pond.


May 3rd MT Northants.
At last, the Dragons have arrived in Northamptonshire! This lunchtime at Ditchford, the first Hairy Dragonfly of the season was emerging - I had just finished setting up my camera for a shot and she flew! With a consistently chilly April, this is about 4 days later than last year. Also emerging were Large Red Damselflies and Common Blue Damselflies, with several of both species taking their maiden flights.


May 2nd AN Bucks.
At last a single Large Red Damselfly, mature male, in North Bucks today 2nd May, that’s around 10-14 days later then previous years.


April 30th DSm Devon
First Hairy Dragonfly emerging at Stover CP today (Simon Mitchell per Dave Smallshire).


May 1st CI Avon
1 Large Red Damselfly sitting on a marsh marigold leaf by my garden pond in Midsomer Norton, Avon, today (1 May).


April 29th C&RC Devon
Bystock Pools, Nr Exmouth: 18+ Large Red Damselflies. Mostly teneral. Plenty of Large Red Damselfly exuviae on the struts of the boardwalk. Watched 1 emergence.


April 27th DK Cheshire
With strong sunshine but a cold wind blowing I decided to have a look at some sheltered areas at Newchurch Common. Here there were plenty of teneral Large Red Damselfly to be seen along with seven species of butterfly. Maybe spring really is here now.


April 27th NJ Hampshire
Romsey, Hampshire: A teneral Blue-tailed Damselfly was seen at our garden pond today in Romsey, Hampshire.


24th April RL Cornwall
3 species of damselfly already! 30 x Lg.Rd.Dams; 20 x Comm.Bl.Dams and c.5 Azure Dams!


April 22nd CW Berkshire
One male Banded Demoiselle today at Reading's Foudry Brook


April 22nd SCh Beds.
I visited a small Nature reserve in Bedfordshire around midday today and had Large Red Damselflies emerging. The season has started.


April 21st IR N. Ireland
Today was ideal (sunny, warm and with a light wind) and during a visit to Derryloiste Bog near Lough Neagh, North Armagh, I saw and filmed a male Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula); the colours were reasonably red indicating it was not quite freshly emerged.


April 22nd PT Norfolk
Spent three hours at Upton Fen searching for dragonflies. Found larvae of Black-tailed Skimmer and Brown Hawker close to the water surface, but nothing on the wing. Returned home to find the first dozen Large Red Damselflies had emerged from my own garden pond, not far from the south side of Hickling Broad.


April 21st JWS Berkshire
Large Red Damselfly: Teneral at Cobblers Hole Bog


April 14th DSm Devon
Stover Country Park, Devon: First Large Red Damselfly of the year.