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UK Dragonflies & Damselflies 2021 (1 Viewer)

Had a great day at Whixall Moss, Shropshire yesterday, seeing 10 White-faced Darters, at least a dozen Four-spotted Chasers, 2 Black-tailed Skimmers, 6 Large-red Damselflies, Ruddy Darter, putative Downy Emerald, a few Blue-tailed Damselflies, loads of Azure Damselflies, and a 'teneral' Common Hawker.
 

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Saw a few Small Red-eyed Damselfly on Southampton Common today - my earliest UK date
 

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Larry - whereabouts is your patch? I'll be in Bristol over the weekend and wouldn't mind somewhere I can pop out to if the weather's reasonable. I've not seen either Scarce Blue-tailed or Small Red-eyed Damsel.
 
Larry - whereabouts is your patch? I'll be in Bristol over the weekend and wouldn't mind somewhere I can pop out to if the weather's reasonable. I've not seen either Scarce Blue-tailed or Small Red-eyed Damsel.
Blimey I wish I was around to meet you but Iā€™m away this w/e. The site is Duchess Pond alongside the M32 in Stoke Park. Parking perhaps easiest in Snuff Mills car park (about 500m walk) SRED on the smaller pond that almost touches the big pond (check the algal mats, Red-eyed Damsels there too). The SBTD on the drying out shallow pool alongside the reedy patch between Duchess pond and the big yellow house (BTD there too). Gutted I'll miss you as a patch tick! We've also had White-letter Hairstreaks emerging today along the nearby river Frome in Eastville Park.
 
Blimey I wish I was around to meet you but Iā€™m away this w/e. The site is Duchess Pond alongside the M32 in Stoke Park. Parking perhaps easiest in Snuff Mills car park (about 500m walk) SRED on the smaller pond that almost touches the big pond (check the algal mats, Red-eyed Damsels there too). The SBTD on the drying out shallow pool alongside the reedy patch between Duchess pond and the big yellow house (BTD there too). Gutted I'll miss you as a patch tick! We've also had White-letter Hairstreaks emerging today along the nearby river Frome in Eastville Park.
Thanks for the gen! I should be able to visit those areas. Would be good to see WLH too. Sorry you'll not be there! Maybe next time I'm in Bristol. I have some family there so do visit occasionally.
 
Does anyone know what the best time is to try for the Southern Emerald damsels in that ditch at Canvey Island? I have a few days off at intervals during July and would like to work out which is the best date to try for them.
 
Not sure at what stage of activity in the ditch my visit occured at but I was there last year on 8th August and found a few Southern Emeralds, Southern Migrant Hawkers etc
 
Nice male Golden-ringed Dragonfly at Cramer Gutter, Shrops today, also male Broad-tailed Chaser, Four-spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, whilst at Wild Moor, Long Mynd pairs of Emperor Dragonfly, Black-tailed Skimmers, and Large Red Damselflies, then at Shropshire Hills plenty of Azure, Common Blue, Blue-tailed Damselflies as well as 6 Large Red-eyed Damselflies, and a probable female Ruddy Darter, and finally at Severn Valley CP a male Brown Hawker and 3 White-legged Damselflies.
 

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Nothing too sensational locally (Lingfield, Surrey) but there seem to be a lot of ruddy darters around this year. Also plenty of demoiselles.
 

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I was in Essex on Friday so dropped in to see the Canvey Island ditch. The weather wasn't perfect, cloudy and with a slight breeze, and it was later in the afternoon than ideal, but plenty of Common and Scarce Emeralds in the ditch, including a sighting of my first ever mating pair of Scarce. Also a couple of Ruddy Darters and a couple of Blue-tailed damsels, but nothing rare. A nice spot, and an easy walk from plentiful free parking at the leisure centre. I shall have to try to get there again.
 
I was in Essex on Friday so dropped in to see the Canvey Island ditch. The weather wasn't perfect, cloudy and with a slight breeze, and it was later in the afternoon than ideal, but plenty of Common and Scarce Emeralds in the ditch, including a sighting of my first ever mating pair of Scarce. Also a couple of Ruddy Darters and a couple of Blue-tailed damsels, but nothing rare. A nice spot, and an easy walk from plentiful free parking at the leisure centre. I shall have to try to get there again.
Hoping to be in Essex myself sooner rather than later (travel restrictions allowing!) to visit family and Canvey is no distance. Any chance of a location (if it's not sensitive information) please?

Chris
 
Hoping to be in Essex myself sooner rather than later (travel restrictions allowing!) to visit family and Canvey is no distance. Any chance of a location (if it's not sensitive information) please?

Chris
Assuming this is the same ditch TQ77918527 (51.538292,0.563948) west to TQ76928565
 
Hoping to be in Essex myself sooner rather than later (travel restrictions allowing!) to visit family and Canvey is no distance. Any chance of a location (if it's not sensitive information) please?

Chris
If you're after Southern Emeralds they favour the north east side of the hedge line which runs alongside the A130 Canvey Way. If you start in the corner of the field nearest the big roundabout and work your way along from there you should be fine (will be obvious when you get there). Best conditions seem to be on a warm cloudy day.

Southern Migrant Hawkers and Scarce Emeralds are easy to see there; interesting to see the report of 'plenty' of Common Emeralds though, as they are very scarce locally whereas Scarce Emeralds are locally very common.
 
A few notes about last week's trip to Scotland
Trying to work my way through the UK list so I obviously needed the Northern Emerald, Northern Damselfly and Azure Hawker, I had time available and so drove overnight from South Wales arriving at 01:30. I parked my van at Loch Garten and in the morning began to search the overgrown channel between it and Loch Mallachie. I found plenty of Large Reds, Blue tails, Four Spot Chasers and Common Blues but then started to see the Northern Damselflies with the distinctive spearhead mark and green colour below the eyes. This was an easy find and so I returned to the van and headed towards Loch Maree, I took a detour and decided to visit Dog Falls at Glen Affric hoping for an Azure Hawker of Northern Emerald. I found nothing aroud the car park or by the river so headed to the nearby Loch Coire, I met a man coming back who had been photographing Dragonflies but he said there were no Northerns just Downy Emeralds. I had a walk around the small Loch, fell in the mud up to my knees and returned to the van. I drove on and parked in a layby overnight above Kinlochewe.
In the morning I drove to Ben Eighe and parked by the loch walking along the "woodland trail", it may have been early but I saw no species here so moved back to the visitor centre. I met a couple here and we chatted about dragonflies while being bitten by midges and then I saw a female Azure in the tree tops above us, luckily it landed and gave us a photo opportunity. Two down, one to go and feeling flushed with success I moved along to the Bridge of Grudie, I walked up the track for a while checking any wet boggy pools but only finding Large Reds and Four Spot Chasers again. I followed the river back to the road and crossed over heading to the two pools near the Loch. These looked very good but only held a couple of Common Blue Damselflies and Large Reds. I was beginning to doubt whether I would see any Northern Emeralds so headed along to Slattadale. I parked in the car park and followed the path over the wooden bridge and turned right to follow the loch, I saw several Azure Hawkers here and a few Golden Ringed Dragonlies. I came back to the bridge and followed the path uphill seeing the same two species again
I drove back along the road and checked a large shallow pool but failed to find anything new, Chris, who I had met in the morning turned up and we chatted for a while but the lack of success and lots of thunder had me heading back to the vehicle. Not sure what to do next I decided to return to Loch Garten and search it's surrounding areas. In the morning I searched the channel between the lochs again finding the same species, I then drove along the road and looked at some small ponds behind Gatehouse cottage finding several White Faced Darters, a Common Hawker ovipositing, Four Spot Chasers and lots of horseflies. Back up the road to the junction and the small pond there where I saw 6 WFD on the wooden boardwalk. The larger pond with the wooden boardwalk past Loch Garten held just 2 Four Spot Chasers and a pond in the wood opposite the Boat of Garten had no sign of life.
I had used all my locations now and a yellow weather warning had been issued so I began the long journey home.
 

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If you're after Southern Emeralds they favour the north east side of the hedge line which runs alongside the A130 Canvey Way. If you start in the corner of the field nearest the big roundabout and work your way along from there you should be fine (will be obvious when you get there). Best conditions seem to be on a warm cloudy day.

Southern Migrant Hawkers and Scarce Emeralds are easy to see there; interesting to see the report of 'plenty' of Common Emeralds though, as they are very scarce locally whereas Scarce Emeralds are locally very common.
Thanks for the info Neil, much appreciated!

Chris
 
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