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JCL
Tuesday 2nd April 2013, 18:03
There's a similar thread on UK orchids each year, so why not one on Odonata? Share your sightings, intel, musings etc here.

Farnboro John
Wednesday 3rd April 2013, 18:10
If it ever warms up....

John

JCL
Wednesday 3rd April 2013, 20:17
Premature, I know.. but I'm dreaming of a twitchable whiteface

Larry Sweetland
Thursday 4th April 2013, 16:28
Hoping to get a chance to head out east for Willow and Southern Emeralds and Southern Migrant Hawker this year. Be great to hear about them when/where/if they start appearing. I guess this thread could be a heads up for that kind of thing?

JCL
Friday 5th April 2013, 08:06
Absolutely. Plus dainty damselfly (?), red-veined darters etc etc. And first emergences of other stuff that folk might be interested in, e.g. Scottish specialities, small red-eye etc. We might want to give MEGAs (e.g. last year's white-face) their own thread, however...

harry eales
Friday 12th April 2013, 11:14
Last year was the worst year for insect recording that I can recollect in my 55 years of being an active recorder. The torrential rain washed hundreds of emerging dragonfly and damselfly nymphs off their emergence posts before they had time to dry their wings. I fear that it will be a poor year for them this year as a result of that happening.

On some ponds I know very well, I was seeing some species in just twos and threes where I was used to seeing them by the scores and occasionally in their hundreds.

Most butterfly and bumblebee species suffered just as much. Moth counts in local traps were also very poor.

Harry

Sandy73
Friday 12th April 2013, 15:24
Afternoon all. I've just received the Dragonfly Society magazine, fingers crossed for the Dainty Damselfly which seemed to have a bad year last year.

Farnboro John
Friday 12th April 2013, 16:44
Last year was the worst year for insect recording that I can recollect in my 55 years of being an active recorder. The torrential rain washed hundreds of emerging dragonfly and damselfly nymphs off their emergence posts before they had time to dry their wings. I fear that it will be a poor year for them this year as a result of that happening.

On some ponds I know very well, I was seeing some species in just twos and threes where I was used to seeing them by the scores and occasionally in their hundreds.

Most butterfly and bumblebee species suffered just as much. Moth counts in local traps were also very poor.

Harry

In general I agree but it was very much subject to timing - for instance at my local Small Red-eye location numbers were well up on the previous year.

Lets hope for better weather this year, though starting with a micro Ice Age is not auspicious!

John

Paul Woolnough
Friday 12th April 2013, 18:52
Last year was the worst year for insect recording that I can recollect in my 55 years of being an active recorder.
Harry

Afternoon all. I've just received the Dragonfly Society magazine, fingers crossed for the Dainty Damselfly which seemed to have a bad year last year.

In general I agree but it was very much subject to timing

John

A bad year Harry and John - did not help with recording at all.
Given the weather it will be hard to tell when species will emerge this year.

2012 my worst year. Compared to 2011 with four new species looked for and all four seen and "ticked". White-faced darter, on a BDS trip, plus the three Scottish species of azure hawker and northern damselfly at recommended sites and a lucky find of a northern emerald on a lochan.

Never seen a dainty damselfly. Not easy to identify and am concerned about damage to habitat where found and searched for. Hopeful dainty damselfly will spread to other sites in Kent and cross the Thames into Essex to save me a trip through the Dartford Crossing.

JCL
Friday 12th April 2013, 19:04
Afternoon all. I've just received the Dragonfly Society magazine, fingers crossed for the Dainty Damselfly which seemed to have a bad year last year.

Interesting. Can you summarise?

JCL
Friday 12th April 2013, 19:04
Afternoon all. I've just received the Dragonfly Society magazine, fingers crossed for the Dainty Damselfly which seemed to have a bad year last year.

Interesting. Can you summarise?

Sandy73
Saturday 13th April 2013, 20:16
Sorry for the delay in replying. Apparently there were no sightings made in 2012 at the publically accessible site. There were sightings at another site which is private. With such apparent few sites, any negative impact is bad news. Hopefully the species has been overlooked at other nearby sites.

JCL
Sunday 14th April 2013, 05:00
Thanks for clarifying. That won't stop me trying the public site again this year!

Swindon Addick
Saturday 4th May 2013, 06:20
BDS site has a report of hairy dragonfly from Essex on 3 May, which seems to be the first identifiable individual of any species other than large red damsel that they've had this year.

pdwinter
Saturday 4th May 2013, 20:19
There's a picture of WAB of BB Chasers emerging today.

Baron Birder
Sunday 5th May 2013, 13:49
I have read that Clubtails can be seen at Goring. Any news yet or though probably still too early?

I plan to try to visit this year so any local information would be great.

BB

aeshna5
Monday 6th May 2013, 16:03
My first today. 2 immature Large Reds at Chobham Common.

pdwinter
Monday 6th May 2013, 16:26
In a small pond beside the M271 today were 5 Azure, 2 Blue-tailed and Large Red Damselflies + three fresh Broad-bodied Chasers

Swindon Addick
Monday 6th May 2013, 21:04
Four immature large reds at Ravensroost meadow, Wilts. That's me finally up and running for the year.

Baron Birder - I'm intending to go for the clubtails at Goring this year so I hope someone will post when they start to emerge. It's a bit early yet, especially with the late spring, but the local view is definitely that the Thames at Goring is the place to go if you want to maximise your chances of seeing them.

pdwinter
Tuesday 7th May 2013, 06:03
This thread http://www.ukdragonflies.com/index.php?topic=1537.0 has useful information where to park / look.

As far as I can tell, 12th May was the first date for Goring last year - a bit difficult to guess what will happen in this 'late' season.

I found two resting in this wild-flower meadow (http://gridreferencefinder.com/?gr=SU6049379590%7CClub-tails%7C0&z=17&v=h&t=Club-tails) last year on 26th May. Excellent views through bins (even better through telescope). The wildflower meadow was intact unlike the bankside vegetation which looked like it was part of an army assault course rather than had been visited by self-described 'nature loving' photographers.

pdwinter
Tuesday 7th May 2013, 18:43
Came across a teneral Downy Emerald, two immature male Common Blue Damselflies, two Four-spotted Chasers and an imm female Azure damselfly as well as about 50 Large Reds today - still rather quiet. Some pics on my blog (http://patchwatch.blogspot.co.uk/)

JCL
Sunday 12th May 2013, 17:38
Hairy hawker at RSPB Dungeness, kent today: one watched well near Hanson hide and a few others seen in the talons of Hobbies!

Swindon Addick
Saturday 18th May 2013, 06:39
The first emerging downy emeralds reported (http://wiltshire-dragonfly-news.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/16th-may-2013-lower-moor-farm.html) at Lower Moor Farm in the Wiltshire part of the Cotswold Water Park 2 days ago.

The boardwalk where they seem to like emerging is the one that cuts across the southern tip of cottage lake (pit 53) leading to mallard lake (pit 52). The dipping ponds are in the educational area which isn't on the maps yet - from the car park head east past the iron age hut. Access to these ponds is unrestricted as long as you don't bring a dog and don't disturb any educational groups.

Steve Babbs
Sunday 19th May 2013, 17:51
Hairy, four-spotted chaser and large red today.

Baron Birder
Sunday 26th May 2013, 17:01
At last my first dragonflies of the year! Common blue damselfly, blue tailed damsefly, large red damsefly and a new emerged male common darter all at Kent Wildlife Sevenoaks reserve this afternoon
3:-)
BB

pdwinter
Sunday 26th May 2013, 18:09
Found a male Scarce Blue-tailed at a local pond beside the M271 today. About 10 miles from the nearest (known) New Forest location.

Farnboro John
Thursday 30th May 2013, 06:45
Found a male Scarce Blue-tailed at a local pond beside the M271 today. About 10 miles from the nearest (known) New Forest location.

Lovely shot. What set-up do you use?

John

Swindon Addick
Thursday 30th May 2013, 06:51
Apparently there were a small number of emerging clubtails at Goring last Sunday. Hopefully means the main emergence is imminent? Now all I need is a sunny day when I'm free to travel...

pdwinter
Thursday 30th May 2013, 07:06
Lovely shot. What set-up do you use?

John

That was a Canon 600D with the 100mm 2.8L USM IS macro. I've recently changed to DSLR (a retirement gift to myself!) from Panasonic FZ100 and one of the main reasons was never getting a good shot of a damselfly. I'm very pleased with the macro lens.

pdwinter
Saturday 1st June 2013, 06:13
As it was a fine day (31/5) I walked the Ober Water from Puttles Bridge to Markway bridge (almost) and back (including Silver Stream) and saw just 5 species.
Broad-bodied Chaser 5
Four-spotted Chaser 3
Blue-tailed Damselfly 3
Azure Damselfly 2
Large Red Damselfly 135+

In 2012 I saw 12 species on 27/5 and in 2011 I saw 15 species on 3/6.

I would suggest leaving it a couple more weeks for any NF visits.

On the way back I saw my first Banded Demoiselle of the year at Testwood Lakes. That's about a fortnight late for my Lower Test area.

pdwinter
Saturday 1st June 2013, 21:06
Visited a NF pond today (1/6) and greatly improved activity with plenty of battling Broad-bodied and four-spots and two patrolling Downy Emeralds - the first I've seen since a teneral in early May.

aeshna5
Sunday 2nd June 2013, 05:18
I received a photo of a teneral Sympetrum from a London park yesterday for ID. They were of a Red-veined Darter, so good record as I only received one record from the London area last year which was an adult male at Rainham.

JCL
Sunday 2nd June 2013, 06:35
Freshly emerged white-faced darters posing next to their exuvium yesterday at rspb abernethy.

MarkHows
Sunday 2nd June 2013, 20:27
Several clubtails emerging yesterday morning at Goring

Mark

RobinD
Monday 3rd June 2013, 15:10
A lunch break today at Thames Valley Park, Reading produced 2 Hairy Dragonfly, 2 Downy Emerald, 5 Four-spotted Chaser, 3 Banded Demoiselle, 10+ Blue-tailed, 20+ Red-eyed, 30+ Large Red, 50+ Common Blue and 200+ Azure Damsels.

Club-tail exuviae further up the Thames but none seen.

RobinD
Tuesday 4th June 2013, 13:23
Today added a teneral Emperor and a couple more Hairy to the TVP list.

prhodes
Tuesday 4th June 2013, 18:34
Had a brief lunch time walk along the River Stour at Stratford St Mary, and located a single immature Scarce Chaser.

Mark Batten
Tuesday 4th June 2013, 19:11
Plenty of scarce chaser at Paxton.

JCL
Saturday 8th June 2013, 07:05
Follow-up from my earlier post re WF Darter in RSPB Abernethy. We had a few emerging on two late afternoons (but not in identical conditions in between times). On each occasion, two emergents had succumbed, two caught by spiders, the other two apparently drowned. More surprisingly, we also found two tenerals in a small area of (entirely) dry heath by the B970 near Street of Kincardine.

Despite repeated visits 1-5 Jun, no sign of any northern damselflies at the pond near Loch Garten. No sign of northern emerald at Uath Lochan nor (per a friend) at Loch Maree on 4 Jun. Late spring put paid to chances of both, I guess.

creedence
Saturday 8th June 2013, 13:12
Thanks for starting this thread; I hope to hear about C scitulum, A affinis and some other rarities this season! I have nothing to report. Two days ago I visited Fittleworth and Stopham Bridge in Sussex, but no riverine species were seen.

Swindon Addick
Tuesday 11th June 2013, 21:18
Despite repeated visits 1-5 Jun, no sign of any northern damselflies at the pond near Loch Garten. No sign of northern emerald at Uath Lochan nor (per a friend) at Loch Maree on 4 Jun. Late spring put paid to chances of both, I guess.

I hesitate to say this, but BDS website now has a report of northern damsel at Loch Garten on 9 June. Also allegations of "hot weather".

JCL
Wednesday 12th June 2013, 05:49
I hesitate to say this, but BDS website now has a report of northern damsel at Loch Garten on 9 June. Also allegations of "hot weather".

Yes I saw. Was gripped but not surprised. My feeling was 'any day now' which is why I kept checking. Same happened to us earlier in the week with chequered skipper: we left two days before they emerged a the site we had been watching

prhodes
Saturday 15th June 2013, 19:51
Sorry JCL. We had an immature female Northern Emerald, flushed by chance on Wednesday evening at Uath Lochan. A couple of warm days I guess.

Nick and Phil

JCL
Sunday 16th June 2013, 08:25
Sorry JCL. We had an immature female Northern Emerald, flushed by chance on Wednesday evening at Uath Lochan. A couple of warm days I guess.

Nick and Phil

Splendid stuff, both. Next year...

Swindon Addick
Tuesday 18th June 2013, 22:04
Big news on the BDS website today is confirmation of Norfolk Hawker breeding (http://www.british-dragonflies.org.uk/content/new-breeding-site-norfolk-hawker-confirmed) at Paxton Pits (26 exuviae found). First UK record of breeding outside Norfolk and Suffolk for more than a century, according to the press release.

Larry Sweetland
Wednesday 19th June 2013, 07:44
Big news on the BDS website today is confirmation of Norfolk Hawker breeding (http://www.british-dragonflies.org.uk/content/new-breeding-site-norfolk-hawker-confirmed) at Paxton Pits (26 exuviae found). First UK record of breeding outside Norfolk and Suffolk for more than a century, according to the press release.

Wow! Hmmmm, might be easier/nearer for me to get there from Bristol one day:smoke:

boiler
Wednesday 19th June 2013, 11:51
Hi Guys,
Not sure if you all know about a website called Bugalert (http://bugalert.net/)? It is run by a friend of mine. He is trying to collect all info about these creatures. He has, on the Bugalert section, all the dates of when these should be, and/or are out flying about. Would help with anyone wanting to know about any certain creatures whereabouts!! Check it out, you may also want to send in your sightings too, all helps?
Cheers

jpoyner
Wednesday 19th June 2013, 17:11
Sorry JCL. We had an immature female Northern Emerald, flushed by chance on Wednesday evening at Uath Lochan. A couple of warm days I guess.

Nick and Phil

Great photos....lucky find!

Mark Batten
Wednesday 19th June 2013, 17:15
Big news on the BDS website today is confirmation of Norfolk Hawker breeding (http://www.british-dragonflies.org.uk/content/new-breeding-site-norfolk-hawker-confirmed) at Paxton Pits (26 exuviae found). First UK record of breeding outside Norfolk and Suffolk for more than a century, according to the press release.
Four plus Norfolk Hawker this pm at Hayling lake Paxton.

Matthebirder
Monday 24th June 2013, 22:15
Norfolk hawkers at Paxton pits Cambs. 23 June. On Hayling pit. 2 seen from the viewing point near the allotments. Good value cups of coffee at visitor centre , they should be able to update visitors to the latest news.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aves-and-more/9119214710/in/set-72157625164915244

Only just seen this dragonfly forum , can confirm it was really hot at loch Garten when watching the Northern Damsels back on 9th June and not a single midge to be seen!
Was just a quick day visit so very lucky I guess.

Jonny721
Thursday 27th June 2013, 10:02
Saw my first new dragonfly of the year at Foulshaw Moss yesterday morning, a cracking male White-faced Darter o:D

449983

Larry Sweetland
Thursday 27th June 2013, 12:32
just seen a report on Severnside Birds website of at least 3 Scarce Blue-tailed Damsels, including cracking photo. Present on a small pool at Western Approach rd. A great find!

TheBirdGarden
Thursday 27th June 2013, 14:33
Loads of damselflies (assuming) at Forest Farm, they seemed to be getting it on too. Also saw a broad bodied chaser.

eenymac
Saturday 29th June 2013, 08:25
I took a walk at one of my usual spots on Thursday around midday to see if there were any Dragonflies appearing yet, and was rewarded with a rather nice Four Spotted Chaser, the first time I have seen one at this location - Wilstone Reservoir. The meadow grasses were at chest height in places and I spent about 30 minutes wading through it all with my camera held above my head as I followed the Dragonfly waiting for it to perch so I could get some shots. All good fun but a hayfever sufferers nightmare as I was covered in seeds and pollen by the time I made it back to the path.

Here are a couple of shots - well worth the effort (and mossie bites) I think. I'll be back there this afternoon to see what else I can find.

prhodes
Saturday 29th June 2013, 19:45
Brilliant Emeralds showing well today around SW corner of Black Pond, Esher Common today. Not the best of pictures.

Phil

aeshna5
Saturday 29th June 2013, 21:15
Brilliant Emeralds showing well today around SW corner of Black Pond, Esher Common today. Not the best of pictures.

Phil

Great photo! How many did you see + any other species of note there?

prhodes
Saturday 29th June 2013, 21:40
Great photo! How many did you see + any other species of note there?

Hi aeshna5, pretty much constantly present with a rapid turn over of individuals, as they kept chasing each other away. I was hoping to find an ovipositing female (but with the family so not able to wait till later in the afternoon). Not a great deal of other species noted (usual damsels only). Hobby hunting around a lot of the time so suspect hawkers about.

Phil

prhodes
Saturday 29th June 2013, 22:28
Forgot to say there may have been the odd Downy, but not sure of this. The pictures I've checked so far seem to have long anal appendages and yellow in the face.

aeshna5
Sunday 30th June 2013, 05:08
Forgot to say there may have been the odd Downy, but not sure of this. The pictures I've checked so far seem to have long anal appendages and yellow in the face.

Thanks. I know Downys have been reported there recently on the BDS Hot sightings page.

Swindon Addick
Sunday 30th June 2013, 06:45
Loads of scarce chasers out at Wheatfen Broad yesterday, some mating although none seen ovipositing. Lots of banded demoiselles too, plus half a dozen other species including Norfolk hawker. A very impressive place, well worth the difficulty I had finding it.

RSPB Strumpshaw Fen had Norfolk hawkers and four-spotted chasers putting on a good display along the ditch by the meadow path, together with ridiculous numbers of mating azure damsels.

prhodes
Monday 1st July 2013, 21:05
Thanks. I know Downys have been reported there recently on the BDS Hot sightings page.

Hi Aeshna5,

I've been worried I've misidentified these and that they are in fact Downys. I know these aren't exactly crisp pictures but any advice appreciated.

Regards, Phil

Swindon Addick
Tuesday 2nd July 2013, 07:48
Quick update from my Norfolk trip - keeled skimmers in numbers at Holt Lowes with one or two ovipositing while the others seemed not quite ready. Monday at Thompson Common I saw huge numbers of freshly-emerged emerald damselflies and ruddy darters, presumably the warm weather on Sunday persuaded them that Monday morning was the time to choose. No sign of any scarce emeralds, but at least some of the common emeralds let me get close enough to be sure.

aeshna5
Tuesday 2nd July 2013, 17:29
Hi Aeshna5,

I've been worried I've misidentified these and that they are in fact Downys. I know these aren't exactly crisp pictures but any advice appreciated.

Regards, Phil

Agree with your original ID. I'm hoping to get up there on Friday, so hopefully will still be around.

Steve Babbs
Tuesday 2nd July 2013, 18:01
Agree with your original ID. I'm hoping to get up there on Friday, so hopefully will still be around.

Can you post how you do. I'm tempted at the weekend.

aeshna5
Tuesday 2nd July 2013, 18:26
Can you post how you do. I'm tempted at the weekend.

No problem! Just pm me if I forget!

prhodes
Tuesday 2nd July 2013, 20:02
Agree with your original ID. I'm hoping to get up there on Friday, so hopefully will still be around.

Thanks. Appreciated. I must admit a few years ago I had an oviposting female, in the mud around the that SW corner, before I used to carry a suitable camera. Hope you strike it lucky if you visit. Thanks again, Phil

Jonny721
Thursday 4th July 2013, 10:40
Hoping you guys may be able to help me with some Cumbria sites. I'm planning on heading up to Honister tomorrow to search for Mountain Ringlet, however whilst I'm there I'm also planning on searching for some dragonflies, the possibilities are Keeled Skimmer, Golden Ringed Dragonfly, Common Hawker and Beautiful Demoiselle (mainly the first 2 as I don't think the others will be out yet/can be found near Honister/Borrowdale/Keswick). I believe there are sites near to Borrowdale for KS and GRD however I'm not quite sure where abouts, anyone able to help out with directions?

Larry Sweetland
Thursday 4th July 2013, 12:37
Hoping you guys may be able to help me with some Cumbria sites. I'm planning on heading up to Honister tomorrow to search for Mountain Ringlet, however whilst I'm there I'm also planning on searching for some dragonflies, the possibilities are Keeled Skimmer, Golden Ringed Dragonfly, Common Hawker and Beautiful Demoiselle (mainly the first 2 as I don't think the others will be out yet/can be found near Honister/Borrowdale/Keswick). I believe there are sites near to Borrowdale for KS and GRD however I'm not quite sure where abouts, anyone able to help out with directions?

We saw Keeled Skimmers whilst looking for Mountain Ringlets at 'the other' site- Wrynose Pass. Good luck with the butterfly. Honister worked best for the ringlet though!

aeshna5
Friday 5th July 2013, 15:37
Can you post how you do. I'm tempted at the weekend.

At least 2 male Brilliant + 1 Downy Emerald late morning; often being chased by the plentiful 4-spotted Chasers.Most of action at southern end.

Also couple Black-tailed Skimmers, several Emperors, hundreds of Common Blue Damsels, several Axure, Large Red + 1 male Red-eyed Damselfly.

Couple of vocal Marsh Frogs for good measure!

lewis20126
Friday 5th July 2013, 16:03
I might try for the Scottish specialities over the weekend, although the weather is looking mixed in the west! I've tried the Loch Maree site previously (and failed) - wherebouts is Uath Lochan?

cheers, alan

dungeness1
Friday 5th July 2013, 19:43
Alan,
Utah Lochan -OS Grid Reference: NH835023

Its near Insh. We visited once whilst staying in the Aviemore area. We saw several Northern Emeralds flying up and down the road just before you go into the car park. Also Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary. We saw none of the other specialties there. Not sure if they are present. Bridge of Grudie (Loch Maree) will normally give Azure Hawker and Northern Emerald in suitable weather.

Jonny721
Saturday 6th July 2013, 08:39
Really good day in Cumbria yesterday where I managed to see my first Golden Ringed Dragonflies and Keeled Skimmers o:D

451224451225451226451227451228

JCL
Saturday 6th July 2013, 19:34
from Sandwich Bird Obs website, Kent: 25++ red-veined darter last weekend (3 cop pairs), with 7 still on Friday. There have also been a few (seven today, I think) S of Reculver, further W along the N Kent coast. I had a look for lesser emperor at Dungeness today (long pits), but to no avail.

pdwinter
Saturday 6th July 2013, 20:19
More mundanely I saw my first Small Red-eyed Damselfly this afternoon in the New Forest. I went looking for Red-veined in places I've seen them before but no luck and one of the ponds bone dry and another heading that way.

aeshna5
Sunday 7th July 2013, 05:28
from Sandwich Bird Obs website, Kent: 25++ red-veined darter last weekend (3 cop pairs), with 7 still on Friday. There have also been a few (seven today, I think) S of Reculver, further W along the N Kent coast. I had a look for lesser emperor at Dungeness today (long pits), but to no avail.

Frustrating to hear that now! Last Saturday I was doing an orchid tour of east Kent + finished up at the Observatory + saw a few moths in pots, but no mention of RVD!

Swindon Addick
Sunday 7th July 2013, 06:53
The current theory about RVDs seems to be that the ones seen in early summer are all immigrants, with no permanent breeding populations in the UK, but that the late summer ones which emerge after a few months will fly south before they mature and breed elsewhere. So they seem to be doing the same trick as the painted lady butterflies.

If that's true, it means the best strategy for finding RVD is just to search suitable habitat near the south coast and not to worry too much about where they were seen the year before.

I suspect it also means that a late season like this year may leave then struggling to develop fast enough to emerge successfully this summer, which could mean this will be a bad year for them in the UK. But maybe I'm worrying about nothing there.

pdwinter
Sunday 7th July 2013, 08:53
If that's true, it means the best strategy for finding RVD is just to search suitable habitat near the south coast and not to worry too much about where they were seen the year before.

If they were there the year before then it's likely that it's suitable habitat so a very sensible place to go and look! I do have the advantage in living close to the south coast.


I suspect it also means that a late season like this year may leave then struggling to develop fast enough to emerge successfully this summer, which could mean this will be a bad year for them in the UK. But maybe I'm worrying about nothing there.

RVDs don't usually arrive from the continent before late May/June so will be completely unaffected by what has happened in the UK before they arrive.
Last summer the weather was hardly spectacular but RVDs were first seen at Badminston (Hants) on 25th May and I found the first teneral on 11th August - about 10 weeks - so there's plenty of time for this year's RVDs to successfully breed. In 2007 there were tenerals up to early November 2007 at Cherque Pond (Hants).

JCL
Sunday 7th July 2013, 16:13
from Sandwich Bird Obs website, Kent: 25++ red-veined darter last weekend (3 cop pairs), with 7 still on Friday. There have also been a few (seven today, I think) S of Reculver, further W along the N Kent coast. I had a look for lesser emperor at Dungeness today (long pits), but to no avail.

At least four males at the Reculver site today.

JCL
Sunday 7th July 2013, 16:14
The current theory about RVDs seems to be that the ones seen in early summer are all immigrants, with no permanent breeding populations in the UK, but that the late summer ones which emerge after a few months will fly south before they mature and breed elsewhere. So they seem to be doing the same trick as the painted lady butterflies.

How do the Heysham (Lancs) RVDs stack up against this theory?

pdwinter
Sunday 7th July 2013, 17:41
How do the Heysham (Lancs) RVDs stack up against this theory?

I think they're the exception that proves the rule! Is the colony still thriving?

My own experience is that I've never seen a second generation red male or coupled pairs/ ovipositing females at either of the two Hants sites where they have bred - but I've never seen any flying south.

JCL
Tuesday 9th July 2013, 10:03
Forgot to mention there was also a major emergence of common darter at the reculver RVD site on sun. Plus plenty of black tailed skimmer, emperor and blue damsels. But the rvds rocked.

pdwinter
Tuesday 9th July 2013, 15:41
Three Red-veined Darters on the model boating lake on Southampton Common this morning.

My first Black Darter of the year in the New Forest this afternoon.

lewis20126
Tuesday 9th July 2013, 15:58
Three Red-veined Darters on the model boating lake on Southampton Common this morning.

My first Black Darter of the year in the New Forest this afternoon.

Nice one Paul, are these red males or early tenerals?

cheers, alan

pdwinter
Tuesday 9th July 2013, 17:36
Nice one Paul, are these red males or early tenerals?

cheers, alan

Red males - one with 3.5 wings but the other two looked to be in good nick so they should be there for a few days more. They were resting on the tarmac path on the southern side but I expect that was because of the NE wind.

JCL
Tuesday 9th July 2013, 17:42
At least four males at the Reculver site today.

Here's a pic of one of them.

Adrian_P
Tuesday 9th July 2013, 22:48
Hi Paul/James et al.,

Sorry to come to this thread rather late, but my wife is seriously ill at the moment and it’s rather a difficult time for me.

The autumn generation of RvDs, which emerges after a few months development time, clearly disperses/migrates, but very little is known about this process. Certainly some seem to travel at night (several have been caught in UV moth traps in recent years), which may partially explain the mystery. There is circumstantial evidence that spring emergents, which have a much longer development time, may however be more site-faithful, and it’s this strategy that probably explains longer-lived breeding sites in the UK (In the USA, the Green Darner is also known to have two sub-populations - a faster developing migrant form and a more-slowly developing resident form).

This year I’ve only had one report of spring emergences - a single teneral was seen in Victoria Park, London, on 1 June. I’ve not heard anything from the Heysham site as yet, but this site is definitely no-longer thriving, and records in recent years could well refer to migrants rather than locals.

Apologies again for the delay,

Adrian
(BDS Migrant Dragonfly Project)

pdwinter
Thursday 11th July 2013, 20:37
Red males - one with 3.5 wings but the other two looked to be in good nick so they should be there for a few days more. They were resting on the tarmac path on the southern side but I expect that was because of the NE wind.

Today there were three males and a female. The males all appeared to be fully winged. A pair were ovipositing in tandem so perhaps worth watching the pool again from the third week in September although there is little vegetation for them to use to emerge.

Farnboro John
Saturday 13th July 2013, 07:14
If anyone is after Norfolk Hawker at the moment, I was at Strumpshaw Fen RSPB yesterday evening and there were plenty along the Meadow Trail ditch. Very accommodating - I got pix of male hung up and female in flight and ovipositing with a minimum of difficulty.

Other species present were Blue-tailed and "ordinary" Emerald Damselflies, Scarce Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Four-spotted Chaser.

Earlier I had Southern and Migrant Hawkers at Minsmere RSPB (but failed on Norfolk Hawker although they are present.)

John

lewis20126
Saturday 13th July 2013, 20:24
Arrived at Soton Common at about 10am and it was a bit late (and hot) for settled RVDs; nevertheless managed 3 males (together at one stage) and a female over the southern end. Watched with Farnborough John and his wife until midday-ish; the RVDs occasionally landed on the path but were very wary in red hot weather. Returned at 8pm and all that I could find was a single Emperor patrolling.

1-2 Small red-eyed damsels on a private pond near Beaulieu in the afternoon.

cheers, alan

Farnboro John
Saturday 13th July 2013, 21:15
Arrived at Soton Common at about 10am and it was a bit late (and hot) for settled RVDs; nevertheless managed 3 males (together at one stage) and a female over the southern end. Watched with Farnborough John and his wife until midday-ish; the RVDs occasionally landed on the path but were very wary in red hot weather. Returned at 8pm and all that I could find was a single Emperor patrolling.

1-2 Small red-eyed damsels on a private pond near Beaulieu in the afternoon.

cheers, alan

Oh no no no you're going to get me into trouble! That's not my wife Marion, that's my friend Clare! My fault for not doing formal introductions. Anyway, belatedly - Mr Alan Lewis, Miss Clare Dell. And vice versa.

Clare and I continued to Latchmore Brook where we had 20+ Scarce Bluetails, all males, a couple of Golden-rings and several Beautiful Demoiselles, along with the commoner stuff.

By the time we returned to Farnborough the Odonata list for the day stood as follows:

Red-veined Darter
Emperor
Common Blue Damsel
Azure Damsel
Keeled Skimmer
Black-tailed Skimmer
Broad-bodied Chaser
Four-spotted Chaser
Large Red Damsel
Small Red Damsel
Blue-tailed Damsel
Scarce Blue-tailed Damsel
Beautiful Demoiselle
Golden Ringed Dragonfly
Common Darter

Clare had had enough (and she didn't even know she'd been strung into Marion) but I thought I could squeeze a few more out of the day so I trotted off to the Claycart stretch of the Basingstoke Canal and added:

Brilliant Emerald
Red-eyed Damsel
Brown Hawker
Downy Emerald
Banded Demoiselle.

By the time I had reached 20 spp of Odonata I too had had enough and knocked off for the day.

John

Larry Sweetland
Sunday 14th July 2013, 21:51
And now Norfolk Hawkers in Kent, this per UK Dragonflies website http://www.ukdragonflies.com/index.php?topic=2985.0

Welsh Peregrine
Monday 15th July 2013, 08:57
15 Species of Odonate on a Speyside wildlife trip last week, including all the specialities. Azure Hawker and Northern Emerald at Bridge of Grudie. Was landed on by a Common Hawker.

lewis20126
Monday 15th July 2013, 09:02
Clare had had enough (and she didn't even know she'd been strung into Marion) John

:-O; apologies to all.

I walked the Basingstoke Canal from Aldershot (A325) west to Norris Hill roundabout on Sunday; very hot - managed 2 Downy Emeralds, 1 all too brief Brilliant Emerald and lots of common stuff (at least 3 ovipositing female Anax imp; 10 + Brown Hawkers etc).

Mid pm I did the Moat Pond at Thursley and saw about 4 Downy Emeralds - lots of great flight views but no photos of this speries (as usual!)

cheers, alan

Sandy73
Monday 15th July 2013, 17:54
And now Norfolk Hawkers in Kent, this per UK Dragonflies website http://www.ukdragonflies.com/index.php?topic=2985.0

2 males were apparently seen and photographed in the Stour Valley. Check out Marc Heaths blog. These are close to at least two previous sightings.

dungeness1
Monday 15th July 2013, 19:30
2 males were apparently seen and photographed in the Stour Valley.

Both were still present today and being seen until late afternoon at least. Today they seemed to have moved slightly and were on the main path from Westbere railway crossing to the river Stour, about 50 metres from the T junction with the river. We watched them over a period of two hours flying up and down the ditches either side of the path.

JCL
Tuesday 16th July 2013, 14:33
At the Reculver site, three plus male and one female red-veined darter today. the female was ovipositing.

Sandy73
Tuesday 16th July 2013, 17:42
2 males were apparently seen and photographed in the Stour Valley. Check out Marc Heaths blog. These are close to at least two previous sightings.

It's been reported that a pair of Norfolk Hawkers were seen copulating and later a female laying eggs in the same location as the recent sightings. Again great photo's on Marc Heaths blog

pdwinter
Tuesday 16th July 2013, 19:28
Yesterday (15/7) there were 5 males and a female with oviposition. Today in a brief visit I saw three males today now joined by the first flying Common Darter. There was at least one Small Red-eyed Damselfly but we need some strong wings to blow the 'vegetation' towards an edge.

Jason Coppock
Tuesday 16th July 2013, 19:55
Some video of a couple of the Red-veined Darters residing on the boating lake in Southampton Common 14th July.
Stunning Dragons.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sjjYT_0QLA&feature=c4-overview&list=UUwu5P6EpKGJkPDyX_EV9jAw

pdwinter
Wednesday 17th July 2013, 19:27
We saw 22 species at Warren Heath (Hants) including 4 male Brilliant Emeralds.

Gareth Stamp
Wednesday 17th July 2013, 21:58
Just returned from a trip to Scotland. Conditions very warm around Aviemore but cooler in the west. Sightings as follows:

Northern damselfly - abundant around Loch Garten pool.
White faced darter - 10 or more on two separate pools around Loch Garten / Tullich area.

At Glen Affric:

Brilliant emerald - one at Coire Loch
Downy emerald - one at Coire Loch and 4 at River Affric
Azure hawker - one at River Affric area.

Golden ringed dragonfly, common darter and common hawker seen at most sites.

At Bridge of Grudie, Loch Maree:

Difficult in cool conditions but eventually an afternoon of sunny spells brought out the dragons.

4 northern emerald - two on each side of road
1 azure hawker (poss 2)
1 white faced darter (fem)
Common hawker - 12 or more
Common darter
Golden ringed dragonfly - 3 or more

Common blue, emerald and large red damselflies present at most sites.

Challenging, especially with the horse flies!

tittletattler
Wednesday 17th July 2013, 22:14
And now Norfolk Hawkers in Kent, this per UK Dragonflies website http://www.ukdragonflies.com/index.php?topic=2985.0

2+ between 5-6pm this afternoon. Showing very well by the 3rd bridge 20 metres before the T-junction with the river. Loads of Heath Frits nearby too.

Digiscoped.

Cheers,

Andy.

Gareth Stamp
Thursday 18th July 2013, 15:42
A good 20+ red veined darters along the east pool shore and Kenfig this morning. Also 30+ black tailed skimmer, 6 emperor dragonfly, common darters of note.

Farnboro John
Thursday 18th July 2013, 15:42
Some recent pix:

Norfolk Hawker Strumpshaw Fen
Red-veined Darter Southampton Common
Scarce Blue-tail Latchmore Brook

John

JCL
Thursday 18th July 2013, 20:24
Some recent pix:

Norfolk Hawker Strumpshaw Fen
Red-veined Darter Southampton Common
Scarce Blue-tail Latchmore Brook

John

Cracking pix, John. Love the in-flight Norfolk Hawker. Andy Swash tells me there's a 3rd edition of the WILDGuides dragonflies book in prep. They might be after such sharp flight shots with decent bokeh.

Swindon Addick
Saturday 20th July 2013, 07:44
Birdtrack has a report of scarce emerald damsel from the Swale estuary on 3 July and a couple of reports from Thompson Common on the 8th and 13th. From memory, I think that means all the regular breeding species except migrant hawker have now been seen on the wing this year.

Gashead
Monday 22nd July 2013, 21:20
Emperor dragonfly getting mobbed by common blue damselfly.

http://gonepishing.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/emperor-dragonfly.html

Swindon Addick
Monday 22nd July 2013, 23:11
The BDS reports page has a report of migrant hawker in Romford on Sunday. That's all the regular UK breeders up & running.

pdwinter
Tuesday 23rd July 2013, 05:51
At least 9 Small Red-eyed Damselflies out on the rapidly increasing vegetation on the Boating Lake. Two RVDs were showing well on dried grass stems around the edge as I walked by camera-less.

lewis20126
Tuesday 23rd July 2013, 08:49
The first sunny weekend in Scotland for 25 years had me driving up overnight to be at Bridge of Grudie at dawn on Saturday. The first dragons appeared just prior to 8am. Spent three hours here then spent time at another small site further east. Highlights:

2 male Azure Hawkers - fabulous views of them perched, although skittish when they warmed up
1 female Northern Emerald at BoG (perched) then 2+ males at the second site (but no perched views)
10+ male Common Hawkers - typically flushed from low vegetation but many perched views
lots of Four-spotted Chasers

After a whale watching trip on Sunday am, drove down to Loch Garten:

20+ Scottish Damsels, including some in sunlit grass by the roadside

then onto Uath Lochan late pm:

No Northern Emeralds (I was hoping to find a male perched..), but 1 male Common Hawker and lots of Fous-spotted Chasers.

Monday morning was a trip high in Glen Coe for Mountain Bladder Fern, then back to Hampshire for 11pm.

cheers, alan

Farnboro John
Tuesday 23rd July 2013, 15:20
The first sunny weekend in Scotland for 25 years had me driving up overnight to be at Bridge of Grudie at dawn on Saturday. The first dragons appeared just prior to 8am. Spent three hours here then spent time at another small site further east. Highlights:

2 male Azure Hawkers - fabulous views of them perched, although skittish when they warmed up
1 female Northern Emerald at BoG (perched) then 2+ males at the second site (but no perched views)
10+ male Common Hawkers - typically flushed from low vegetation but many perched views
lots of Four-spotted Chasers

After a whale watching trip on Sunday am, drove down to Loch Garten:

20+ Scottish Damsels, including some in sunlit grass by the roadside

then onto Uath Lochan late pm:

No Northern Emeralds (I was hoping to find a male perched..), but 1 male Common Hawker and lots of Fous-spotted Chasers.

Monday morning was a trip high in Glen Coe for Mountain Bladder Fern, then back to Hampshire for 11pm.

cheers, alan

Thanks Alan,

Any luck on the whale front?

John

JCL
Tuesday 23rd July 2013, 15:25
KENT. Scarce Emerald Damsels out in force at RSPB Cliffe today (prob 80 copulating pairs), but couldn't find any Southern Emerald Damsels. Small Red-eyes out at Shorne Woods country park nearby.

lewis20126
Tuesday 23rd July 2013, 16:00
Thanks Alan,

Any luck on the whale front?

John

c10 Minkes & Harbour Porpoises easy on a mirror like sea; the Minkes had been breaching on Saturday - but not on Sunday :(

cheers, alan

Heathy
Wednesday 24th July 2013, 10:40
Any directions please for the Scarce Emeralds at Cliffe please, another species I am yet to see.

Many thanks

Pheeel
Wednesday 24th July 2013, 13:35
I had a single female Southern emerald damselfly in long grass alongside the track running immediately north from the viewing ramp at Cliffe Marshes this morning (at approx. TQ 721 778). Also 30+ Scarce emeralds in the ditch system to the north of the ramp.

I also had good numbers of both small red-eyed and red-eyed damselflies on the lake at Bluewater, allowing a nice side by side comparison.

Phil

joespy
Wednesday 24th July 2013, 15:07
Can anyone tell me please...? The 2 pair of mating Damselflies.. are they the same species..?
It's just that the pair at the rear has a browner female than the front pair. Or is there some reason that a male may "grab" another male, because the front pair look almost like 2 males....? I can see the back is darker on the front insect but it's bluer underneath than the rear one....:h?:
Cheers Joe....:t:

SteveClifton
Wednesday 24th July 2013, 15:18
All look like Common Blues. The lower female is the blue form, and the upper one is the green form. Note the similar black upper abdominal markings.

joespy
Wednesday 24th July 2013, 17:41
All look like Common Blues. The lower female is the blue form, and the upper one is the green form. Note the similar black upper abdominal markings.

Thanks for that Steve....
Joe :t:

lewis20126
Wednesday 24th July 2013, 22:09
A couple of photos from the weekend, already uploaded to S*rfbirds.

I was surprised by how extensive the brown upperside to the eyes was on the Northern Emerald female but this does seem variable in the photos I have looked at.

The fern is Mountain Bladder Fern in Glen Coe - a much wanted plant and my last native British Fern.

cheers, alan

pdwinter
Thursday 25th July 2013, 06:02
I was surprised by how extensive the brown upperside to the eyes was on the Northern Emerald female but this does seem variable in the photos I have looked at.

Hi Alan

I expect she's a young adult. Both Downy (a teneral female) (http://http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6aKt1gTO_mA/UYk98qvBAVI/AAAAAAAADHg/HxAPWjZx7S0/s1600/IMG_1439_LHP_130507_DOWEM_tf_1000x750.JPG)and Orange-spotted start with brown eyes which mature to green.

The last four pics on http://www.dragonflypix.com/speciespages/somatochlora_arctica.html are of an immature female Northern with brown eyes.

HTH, Paul

Swindon Addick
Thursday 25th July 2013, 07:22
Lesser emperor reported from Lower Moor Farm in the Cotswold Water Park yesterday. Location given as Mallard Lake which is the large one at the southern end of the group of lakes there. No photos, but seen by the county recorder. Details on BDS sightings page (http://www.british-dragonflies.org.uk/latest-sightings).

lewis20126
Thursday 25th July 2013, 08:08
Hi Alan

I expect she's a young adult. Both Downy (a teneral female) (http://http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-6aKt1gTO_mA/UYk98qvBAVI/AAAAAAAADHg/HxAPWjZx7S0/s1600/IMG_1439_LHP_130507_DOWEM_tf_1000x750.JPG)and Orange-spotted start with brown eyes which mature to green.

The last four pics on http://www.dragonflypix.com/speciespages/somatochlora_arctica.html are of an immature female Northern with brown eyes.

HTH, Paul

Paul,

yes I'm sure you are right - I was wondering whether it might be something like that.

cheers, alan

JCL
Friday 26th July 2013, 20:21
Willow Emerald Damselflies out at Marshside, near Reculver (per Marc Heath on UKDragonflies). Also Southern Emerald Damselfly seen again at Cliffe yesterday (per UKDragonflies).

Sandy73
Friday 26th July 2013, 20:38
Any news on the Dainty Damselflies?

Steve Babbs
Friday 26th July 2013, 20:39
2 brilliant emeralds at Escher Common, on Wednesday; 2 at Thursley Moat, yesterday; and 1 on at Basingstoke Canal today. I completely failed to get a photo though!

Heathy
Friday 26th July 2013, 21:23
I made a visit to Cliffe Marshes RSPB reserve today and thankfully found 1 male SOUTHERN EMERALD DAMSELFLY and c30 SCARCE EMERALD DAMSELFLY. A couple of shots below and more on my Blog: www.marcheath.blogspot.com

Marc

lewis20126
Friday 26th July 2013, 21:48
I made a visit to Cliffe Marshes RSPB reserve today and thankfully found 1 male SOUTHERN EMERALD DAMSELFLY and c30 SCARCE EMERALD DAMSELFLY. A couple of shots below and more on my Blog: www.marcheath.blogspot.com

Marc

Great shots Marc, what lens are you using? - I think I need to get a good Macro for the damselflys.

cheers, alan

Heathy
Saturday 27th July 2013, 15:40
Alan

I am currently using a Canon 50d with a Canon f4 300mm lens with a Canon ef25mm extension tube. Seems to work for me.

Marc

pdwinter
Saturday 27th July 2013, 16:22
Alan

I am currently using a Canon 50d with a Canon f4 300mm lens with a Canon ef25mm extension tube. Seems to work for me.

Marc

What does it bring the min focus down to, Marc ?

pdwinter
Saturday 27th July 2013, 19:26
At least 9 Small Red-eyed Damselflies out on the rapidly increasing vegetation on the Boating Lake. Two RVDs were showing well on dried grass stems around the edge as I walked by camera-less.

Still three male Red-veined darters at lunchtime today (27/7) and Small Red-eyed now up to 30.

Heathy
Saturday 27th July 2013, 21:05
Paul

I can get down to just below 1metre with this set up. Close enough to get a nice image and far enough away not to scare the target away.

Marc

Steve Babbs
Tuesday 30th July 2013, 18:27
Great shots Marc, what lens are you using? - I think I need to get a good Macro for the damselflys.

cheers, alan

I have a Sigma 150 mm macro, it's worth considering although use it heavily when still in the exchange time of the warranty. I didn't and had to wait ages for them to fix a problem with it.

pdwinter
Tuesday 30th July 2013, 19:12
Great shots Marc, what lens are you using? - I think I need to get a good Macro for the damselflys.

cheers, alan

I get reasonable results with the 'Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro DG' on the 7D. 150 or less (I appreciate cost is not an issue!) and lightweight. Nearly everything on my blog for July is using that lens.

The pics on Paul Ritchie's blog (http://hampshiredragonflies.co.uk/wordpress/) are also mostly taken with that Sigma and much better than mine.

Alternatively, Paul Norris uses extension tubes with the 100-400mm and gets good snaps.

lewis20126
Tuesday 30th July 2013, 19:17
I get reasonable results with the 'Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro DG' on the 7D. 150 or less (I appreciate cost is not an issue!) and lightweight. Nearly everything on my blog for July is using that lens.

The pics on Paul Ritchie's blog (http://hampshiredragonflies.co.uk/wordpress/) are also mostly taken with that Sigma and much better than mine.

Alternatively, Paul Norris uses extension tubes with the 100-400mm and gets good snaps.

Paul

Thanks - I suspect my bank manager thinks cost is an issue! I've got a fairly sharp 100-400 for birds (& big insects!) so may give the extension tubes a go with that before I look at the 300mm or a Sigma. Does the auto-focus still work for him or is it only manual with the rings?

cheers, alan

lewis20126
Tuesday 30th July 2013, 19:18
I have a Sigma 150 mm macro, it's worth considering although use it heavily when still in the exchange time of the warranty. I didn't and had to wait ages for them to fix a problem with it.

Cheers Steve; its good to know what everyone is using. I've got a very old Sigma Macro which doesn't really cut the mustard for the damsels - at least when I'm using it!

cheers, alan

pdwinter
Tuesday 30th July 2013, 20:47
Paul

Does the auto-focus still work for him or is it only manual with the rings?

cheers, alan

Yes - the autofocus still works fine with the Canon extension tubes. Trouble with damsels is getting them separated from the background. Marc's willow emeralds would be easy for autofocus; I've struggled with autofocus with both the 300mm F4 and the 100mm macro with damsels against cluttered background.

Steve Babbs
Wednesday 31st July 2013, 10:07
I'm still getting the knack of the Sigma lens. This black darter was taken with it. I also use my 100 - 400 with a 20 mm extension tube; so that's well worth a try before you splash out Alan. Not sure my results have been as good as Marc's though.

Steve Babbs
Wednesday 31st July 2013, 10:11
I think the Sigmas 70 - 300 APO is a superb bargain, but I've now sold mine as it was redundant once I got the 100 - 400 and a macro. The Tamron 90mm macro is good value, and superb optically, I used one for several years, but I decided I needed something with more reach as my stalking skills aren't that good!

JCL
Thursday 1st August 2013, 07:49
I use the 100mm f2.8 canon macro (now mk ii prev mk i). Pretty much all the Odonata pics on my website (linked below) are taken with one or t'other. Second hand mark I are around 300 quid. Two have been advertised on BF for sale forum this past week. Recommended.
That said I am also considering buying a 25mm extension tube to couple with my 70-200 to bring min focusing distance down to 60cm and poss my 400 do to bring focus to 1.75 or so. Might be interesting!

dungeness1
Thursday 1st August 2013, 14:27
A 2.5 hour visit this morning to Cliffe RSPB failed to find any Southern Emerald Damselflies at the usual site near the second mound. 25 Scarce Emeralds, many Common and Ruddy Darters, Blue Tailed Damselflies. 2 Migrant Hawkers, Four Spotted Chaser and Black Tailed Skimmer. It was very hot (about 32 degrees) and most species were hiding in the reeds by mid-day.

cwpbirder
Thursday 1st August 2013, 21:58
Advice please - large dragonfly seen on small bog pool at 2,800 ft on Beinn a'Ghlo, Perthshire, on 25 July - patrolling almost continuously - Emperor-like - greenish thorax with predominantly blue abdomen - ?.Common Hawker?.any other possibility. Seemed too large for Azure Hawker and definite green thorax......

aeshna5
Friday 2nd August 2013, 04:22
Advice please - large dragonfly seen on small bog pool at 2,800 ft on Beinn a'Ghlo, Perthshire, on 25 July - patrolling almost continuously - Emperor-like - greenish thorax with predominantly blue abdomen - ?.Common Hawker?.any other possibility. Seemed too large for Azure Hawker and definite green thorax......

It does sound like Emperor which does seem to be further north all the time.

pdwinter
Friday 2nd August 2013, 09:54
Advice please - large dragonfly seen on small bog pool at 2,800 ft on Beinn a'Ghlo, Perthshire, on 25 July - patrolling almost continuously - Emperor-like - greenish thorax with predominantly blue abdomen - ?.Common Hawker?.any other possibility. Seemed too large for Azure Hawker and definite green thorax......

Green thorax and predominantly blue abdomen might also be Southern Hawker or even, but less likely, Southern Migrant Hawker - both of which have very limited markings on the side of the thorax.

With Common Hawker you would have noticed the broad strips on the sides of the thorax so I expect it's not one of those.

maybe.

neil78
Friday 2nd August 2013, 21:38
2 Southern Migrant Hawkers reported at Wat Tyler CP in Essex this afternoon.

Not sure where, but presumably at one of last year's sites which will either be around the first (small) pool on the right of the road c200m inside the park gates or further along around the new toilet block just past the RSPB visitor centre and main car park.

JCL
Saturday 3rd August 2013, 07:34
2 Southern Migrant Hawkers reported at Wat Tyler CP in Essex this afternoon.

Not sure where, but presumably at one of last year's sites which will either be around the first (small) pool on the right of the road c200m inside the park gates or further along around the new toilet block just past the RSPB visitor centre and main car park.

Great news Neil ( and great that they coincide with the very week that a BBC WILDLIFE article about watching them at Wat Tyler is published ) but if you didn't find them, who did?!

James

neil78
Saturday 3rd August 2013, 10:07
Hi James, details here:

http://www.uk-wildlife.co.uk/southern-migrant-hawker-aeshna-affinis-at-wat-tyler-park-essex-2013/

It's not my website by the way..

tittletattler
Saturday 3rd August 2013, 15:30
2 Southern Migrant Hawkers reported at Wat Tyler CP in Essex this afternoon.

Not sure where, but presumably at one of last year's sites which will either be around the first (small) pool on the right of the road c200m inside the park gates or further along around the new toilet block just past the RSPB visitor centre and main car park.

Another one just been seen at Cliffe RSPB.

Larry Sweetland
Saturday 3rd August 2013, 16:00
Another one just been seen at Cliffe RSPB.

details, and pics of this male perched here http://www.travellingbirder.blogspot.co.uk/,

Sandy73
Sunday 4th August 2013, 09:29
A family walk at the KWT's Cromers Wood reserve produced a Migrant Hawker, 3 Hawkers that were to far away to ID and more than 30 darters (I think that there are ruddy's but they were very flighty - please see photo's).

This is the most dragonflies I've seen during the 3 years that I have been watching this reserve and from only 1 pond.

Camera used Panasonic DMC-FZ48.

Sandy73

SteveClifton
Sunday 4th August 2013, 16:28
A family walk at the KWT's Cromers Wood reserve produced a Migrant Hawker, 3 Hawkers that were to far away to ID and more than 30 darters (I think that there are ruddy's but they were very flighty - please see photo's).

This is the most dragonflies I've seen during the 3 years that I have been watching this reserve and from only 1 pond.

Camera used Panasonic DMC-FZ48.

Sandy73

The first is a male Southern Hawker. The others all look like Common Darters to me.

tittletattler
Sunday 4th August 2013, 18:42
At least 3 male Southern Migrant Hawkers at Wat Tyler this afternoon, probably 4.

Walk passed the kiddies play area and toilet block and turn immediately left onto the boardwalk. Follow the boardwalk until you reach the model railway line. There will be a large buckthorn/hawthorn in front of you. Walk left and around this bush along the newly trodden path to the other side of the bush. View the well vegetated, broad ditch.

There's plenty of dog rose and bramble preventing access to the ditch (not a bad thing?). One of the males frequently landed in the reeds to the left of the viewing area below the sole willow at a range of 8 feet.

Shed loads of Oak Eggars flapping around and a gropper singing.

Cheers,

Andy.

JCL
Sunday 4th August 2013, 19:41
At least 3 male Southern Migrant Hawkers at Wat Tyler this afternoon, probably 4.

Andy.

More importantly, Andy, how did the kids rate the light railway? That will be Maya's criterion for me going...

James

tittletattler
Sunday 4th August 2013, 21:30
More importantly, Andy, how did the kids rate the light railway? That will be Maya's criterion for me going...

James

The light railway was a big hit and gave me ample time to score. Bit pricey at 3.50 return per person though.

cwpbirder
Sunday 4th August 2013, 22:15
Thanks Aeshna and Paul, it certainly looked exactly like the Emperors I see locally to me, but at 2,800ft in central Scotland ???......

JCL
Thursday 8th August 2013, 18:50
Marc Heath has had a Lesser Emperor just south of Reculver, Kent, today. A few details on UK Dragonflies, and presumably on Marc's blog at some point.

Heathy
Thursday 8th August 2013, 20:27
A cracking male as well which gave nice views through the bins but not for the camera. The area it stayed in was pretty hard for a camera so I took a few shots at c50yds range. On the back of the camera I can see what it is but I doubt I will be able to save this one. If I can I will put on blog later tonight if I can.

Marc

Heathy
Thursday 8th August 2013, 21:18
Ok, please don't laugh, its not quite up to my usual standard I think!! Here is a 'record' shot if you can call it that of the Lesser Emperor. Even at this range the blue saddle is clearly visible. I have also added a smaller second shot in case it helps out. Nonetheless a brilliant record.

Marc

JCL
Friday 9th August 2013, 06:21
No doubt, no laughing, mark. I have never managed to photograph lesser emp, here or abroad, so would be delighted with your shots! Clearly the site is not the RVD flash. Are you able to give location details?

James

Sandy73
Friday 9th August 2013, 06:58
The Reculver/Marshside area is becoming one of the premier dragonfly areas in Kent!

Are the marshes protected (SSSI?) especially the ditches? There are a number of emerging populations of migrant dragonflies in the area. I know that back in the 80's the ditches were dredged, this (if it still happens) could have a negative impact on these populations.

Heathy
Friday 9th August 2013, 16:17
Unfortunately the area that the Lesser Emperor is in has no access to the general public. If people were to attend the site the locals would no doubt be stopped themselves by the farmer who has given permission for a few to view the area. A pain I understand for those that would want to see but a decision which really has no choice.

Marc

JCL
Friday 9th August 2013, 19:11
Unfortunately the area that the Lesser Emperor is in has no access to the general public. If people were to attend the site the locals would no doubt be stopped themselves by the farmer who has given permission for a few to view the area. A pain I understand for those that would want to see but a decision which really has no choice.

Marc

Entirely understandable Marc don't worry. Might be worth specifying "private site" where relevant in future to save yourself time of responding to over eager folk like me.

Southern migrant hawker seen again at wat Tyler today.

I had plenty of Small red eyes at bluewater in Kent yesterday

dcapper
Friday 9th August 2013, 22:55
Yep, had one male Southern Migrant Hawker at Wat Tyler today between about 1500-1530. In same area as the one Andy describes, but not quite so close and flight views only. David

pdwinter
Tuesday 13th August 2013, 18:07
I see on BDS news page that there was a female Vagrant Emperor in Cornwall yesterday.

Swindon Addick
Wednesday 14th August 2013, 18:37
I dropped into Wat Tyler CP this afternoon and managed to see a southern migrant hawker. Just one male, patrolling during breaks in the cloud and hiding the rest of the time. Not massively close views, but good enough to make the trip worthwhile. A few ruddy darters were the only other odonata I saw in the immediate area.

JCL
Wednesday 14th August 2013, 20:19
Neil Phillips' blog (uk-wildlife) tells a sorry tale of trampling through vegetation at wat Tyler. Please take care if you visit the site

Swindon Addick
Thursday 15th August 2013, 09:25
Neil Phillips' blog (uk-wildlife) tells a sorry tale of trampling through vegetation at wat Tyler. Please take care if you visit the site

That's a very good point. I noticed when I was there that there's now a second path to the ditch, starting from a more obvious place and so wide that I assumed it had been put there by park staff. If that's the result of trampling by photographers then it's really shocking, as a huge amount of vegetation has been removed for it.

I also noticed that the "viewing area" was larger than I was expecting, and extended further along the ditch, to an area where there's only reeds between you and the ditch, not briars.

I doubt that the dragonflies have been harmed thus far, partly because I couldn't see any evidence that any one (or their dog) has actually accessed the ditch and partly because, with no sign of females this year, there's probably been no breeding attempts to disrupt, but the amount of damage to the plants is sad to see.

I was careful not to tread on anything that wasn't already trampled, but to be honest there wasn't really much temptation.

Matthebirder
Friday 16th August 2013, 05:58
Probably more worrying is lack of females! Is this site being scientifically monitored with serious thought to conserving the population? I seem to remember that there were more dog walkers etc when I was there a couple of years ago or has it really become that popular with dragonfly watchers?

JCL
Saturday 17th August 2013, 06:03
No the site is not being scientifically monitored. Neil Phillips near daily visits are as close as it gets. By let's not fret quite yet on the apparent absence of females. If none were seen last year, they must still ha been there or nearby for there to be hawkers this year!

dungeness1
Saturday 17th August 2013, 20:01
The Willow Emerald Damselfly continues to consolidate its presence in Kent. On Tuesday, at its apparent stronghold around Little Grays Farm Marshside (South of Reculver), we counted 104 over a distance of about 150 metres. These were all counted from the road and the adjacent ditch. This is well up on the numbers we counted last year.

Larry Sweetland
Tuesday 27th August 2013, 09:58
any recent news, positive or negative, from Cliffe, Little Grays Fm, or Essex (or elsewhere) of any of the recent colonists?

Tractorboy69
Thursday 29th August 2013, 19:49
any recent news, positive or negative, from Cliffe, Little Grays Fm, or Essex (or elsewhere) of any of the recent colonists?

If you fancy a trip to Norfolk, the Southern Emeralds are still at Winterton and there's Willow Emeralds at Strumpshaw.

Simon

Phil Carter
Thursday 29th August 2013, 20:00
Bumped into Willow Emeralds at 3 different sites over the last few days, Colchester Castle Park (not seen any here since finding them here in 2009), Fingringhoe Wick (good numbers) and the River Box, Thorrington Street, Suffolk (never seen them here before).

Phil

JCL
Friday 30th August 2013, 05:36
there was a count of 140 Willows at Little grays Farm recently (I think on here). Keep an eye on BDS website as well