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UK Dragonflies & Damselflies 2021 (1 Viewer)

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Highland odonata hotspots from last week's trip:-

At Loch Garten we found Northern Damselflies were easily located in dull weather perching on the tops of sedges, at the traditional roadside pool with a boardwalk (on the right hand side of the road as you approach Loch Garten from Boat of Garten).

Also at Loch Garten we found at least 2 Northern Emeralds, but only after the sun came out, at the following spot:- From the osprey centre head eastish along the road towards the traditional White-faced Darter pool at the turn off to Tulloch moor. After a few hundred metres (about half way to the WFD pool) there is an obvious pull-off on the right where the road kinks sharply to the left. The pull-off has branches laid at the back of it to avoid further vehicle access. From the pull-off follow the only walking trail into the forest on the right. After c10 mins walk go through gate in fence, and continue through more open boggier forest for c5mins until you get to a low lying area with planks laid on the trail, leading up to another fence line. We saw Northern Emeralds (and WFD) on both sides of the trail here.

At Loch Maree there was a very productive spot for Azure Hawkers and Northern Emeralds about 10mins walk from Beinn Eighe visitor's centre. Follow the trail at the back of the visitor's centre that heads southeastish in the direction of Kinlochewe, roughly parallel to the road. Pass a pool on the left, go over a small bridge, and continue straight on past the "yellow" trail on the right. After a short distance you get to a picnic bench by an open bog. The more open patches leading up to the bench were rockin' with dragonflies, including great views of a few individuals of the 2 specialities.

Good luck 😊
 
Highland odonata hotspots from last week's trip:-

At Loch Garten we found Northern Damselflies were easily located in dull weather perching on the tops of sedges, at the traditional roadside pool with a boardwalk (on the right hand side of the road as you approach Loch Garten from Boat of Garten).

Also at Loch Garten we found at least 2 Northern Emeralds, but only after the sun came out, at the following spot:- From the osprey centre head eastish along the road towards the traditional White-faced Darter pool at the turn off to Tulloch moor. After a few hundred metres (about half way to the WFD pool) there is an obvious pull-off on the right where the road kinks sharply to the left. The pull-off has branches laid at the back of it to avoid further vehicle access. From the pull-off follow the only walking trail into the forest on the right. After c10 mins walk go through gate in fence, and continue through more open boggier forest for c5mins until you get to a low lying area with planks laid on the trail, leading up to another fence line. We saw Northern Emeralds (and WFD) on both sides of the trail here.

At Loch Maree there was a very productive spot for Azure Hawkers and Northern Emeralds about 10mins walk from Beinn Eighe visitor's centre. Follow the trail at the back of the visitor's centre that heads southeastish in the direction of Kinlochewe, roughly parallel to the road. Pass a pool on the left, go over a small bridge, and continue straight on past the "yellow" trail on the right. After a short distance you get to a picnic bench by an open bog. The more open patches leading up to the bench were rockin' with dragonflies, including great views of a few individuals of the 2 specialities.

Good luck 😊
considering driving all the way back now
 

Swindon Addick

Registered User
Supporter
Wales
interesting to see the report of 'plenty' of Common Emeralds though, as they are very scarce locally whereas Scarce Emeralds are locally very common.
Sorry, I was a bit loose with my wording there, because I was thinking about Southern emeralds. There were plenty of emeralds which weren't Southern, which were a mix of Common and Scarce, but the ones I got a clear look at were mainly Scarce with only a couple of Common. There were a fair number that I didn't bother to look at closely once I'd ruled out Southern, and some that were immature which I wouldn't want to take a guess at given I don't see Scarce very often.
 

neil78

Well-known member
Sorry, I was a bit loose with my wording there, because I was thinking about Southern emeralds. There were plenty of emeralds which weren't Southern, which were a mix of Common and Scarce, but the ones I got a clear look at were mainly Scarce with only a couple of Common. There were a fair number that I didn't bother to look at closely once I'd ruled out Southern, and some that were immature which I wouldn't want to take a guess at given I don't see Scarce very often.
Fair enough, the Emeralds in SE Essex are probably a bit of an anomaly as Scarce are common and very much the default species, and there's nowhere I'm aware of locally where Common are present and Scarce aren't. Definitely a case of roles reversed, hence my comment.

Also worth pointing out that I've seen maybe 20 Southern Emeralds in six visits over the past few years, and, other than one on top of the seawall they've all been along the hedge I mentioned previously; I've not seen a single one actually in the ditch.
 

aeshna5

Well-known member
Fair enough, the Emeralds in SE Essex are probably a bit of an anomaly as Scarce are common and very much the default species, and there's nowhere I'm aware of locally where Common are present and Scarce aren't. Definitely a case of roles reversed, hence my comment.

Also worth pointing out that I've seen maybe 20 Southern Emeralds in six visits over the past few years, and, other than one on top of the seawall they've all been along the hedge I mentioned previously; I've not seen a single one actually in the ditch.
I saw about 4 in the ditch last year.
 

wolfbirder

Well-known member
Supporter
Highland odonata hotspots from last week's trip:-

At Loch Garten we found Northern Damselflies were easily located in dull weather perching on the tops of sedges, at the traditional roadside pool with a boardwalk (on the right hand side of the road as you approach Loch Garten from Boat of Garten).

Also at Loch Garten we found at least 2 Northern Emeralds, but only after the sun came out, at the following spot:- From the osprey centre head eastish along the road towards the traditional White-faced Darter pool at the turn off to Tulloch moor. After a few hundred metres (about half way to the WFD pool) there is an obvious pull-off on the right where the road kinks sharply to the left. The pull-off has branches laid at the back of it to avoid further vehicle access. From the pull-off follow the only walking trail into the forest on the right. After c10 mins walk go through gate in fence, and continue through more open boggier forest for c5mins until you get to a low lying area with planks laid on the trail, leading up to another fence line. We saw Northern Emeralds (and WFD) on both sides of the trail here.

At Loch Maree there was a very productive spot for Azure Hawkers and Northern Emeralds about 10mins walk from Beinn Eighe visitor's centre. Follow the trail at the back of the visitor's centre that heads southeastish in the direction of Kinlochewe, roughly parallel to the road. Pass a pool on the left, go over a small bridge, and continue straight on past the "yellow" trail on the right. After a short distance you get to a picnic bench by an open bog. The more open patches leading up to the bench were rockin' with dragonflies, including great views of a few individuals of the 2 specialities.

Good luck 😊
Great info Larry!
 

deeley_s

New member
United Kingdom
Highland odonata hotspots from last week's trip:-

At Loch Garten we found Northern Damselflies were easily located in dull weather perching on the tops of sedges, at the traditional roadside pool with a boardwalk (on the right hand side of the road as you approach Loch Garten from Boat of Garten).

Also at Loch Garten we found at least 2 Northern Emeralds, but only after the sun came out, at the following spot:- From the osprey centre head eastish along the road towards the traditional White-faced Darter pool at the turn off to Tulloch moor. After a few hundred metres (about half way to the WFD pool) there is an obvious pull-off on the right where the road kinks sharply to the left. The pull-off has branches laid at the back of it to avoid further vehicle access. From the pull-off follow the only walking trail into the forest on the right. After c10 mins walk go through gate in fence, and continue through more open boggier forest for c5mins until you get to a low lying area with planks laid on the trail, leading up to another fence line. We saw Northern Emeralds (and WFD) on both sides of the trail here.

At Loch Maree there was a very productive spot for Azure Hawkers and Northern Emeralds about 10mins walk from Beinn Eighe visitor's centre. Follow the trail at the back of the visitor's centre that heads southeastish in the direction of Kinlochewe, roughly parallel to the road. Pass a pool on the left, go over a small bridge, and continue straight on past the "yellow" trail on the right. After a short distance you get to a picnic bench by an open bog. The more open patches leading up to the bench were rockin' with dragonflies, including great views of a few individuals of the 2 specialities.

Good luck 😊
AAAAAARRGHG! Spent two days scouring bridge of grudie area and saw nothing - all the pools had dried out
 

Swindon Addick

Registered User
Supporter
Wales
AAAAAARRGHG! Spent two days scouring bridge of grudie area and saw nothing - all the pools had dried out
That was exactly what I found when I went there in 2014 - no pools just dry peat. Fortunately someone on here had tipped me off about Beinn Eighe so I did get to see the Azures.
 

pdwinter

Paul Winter
Small Red Damselflies and unphotographed Scarce Blue-tails at a rather grey Shepton Water in the New forest 15.07.21.
 

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Surreybirder

Ken Noble
Is it only me? Here in Surrey, every Sympetrum sp. I check turns out to be a ruddy darter - I still haven't seen a definite common darter, even in our garden pond which is usually reliable for them.
 

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pdwinter

Paul Winter
Is it only me? Here in Surrey, every Sympetrum sp. I check turns out to be a ruddy darter - I still haven't seen a definite common darter, even in our garden pond which is usually reliable for them.
I only saw my first Common Darters on 14th - all immatures. Yet to see a Ruddy but am off to Emer Bog (Hants) in a minute which is my home banker for the species.
 

aeshna5

Well-known member
Had over 60 Common Darters today at Perivale, west London, with many pairs ovipositing. Had an early mass emergence in mid June & for the first time saw this species before Emperor! Have seen few Ruddy Darters so far. Went to Bookham Common yesterday for butterflies & normally find quite a lot of mature males but found only a couple of immature males. It's been a strange season for sure!
 

dwallace

Well-known member
Vagrant Emperor reported at Whiteley Pastures, Hampshire this afternoon 100 yards from entrance. No other information at present.

Dave W
 

pdwinter

Paul Winter
Now re-identified as Lesser Emperor.

Dave W
Still a very scarce dragonfly in Hampshire. I suspect they breed at Blashford but distances are so far and access to walking round most of the lakes is non-existent. Where are the nearest lakes to Whitely ?
 
Well, I did it, after failing to find the Northern Emerald recently and then reading Larry's report I decided that a return trip was needed. I drove from South Wales to Loch Garten arriving at 20:30. I checked the boardwalk pond and found lots of Emerald damselfies in the rushes and also two female Black Darters.
After a sleep in the van I checked the channel again between Loch Garten and Loch Mallachie but only saw the usual Damselflies. I moved from here to the bend in the road that Larry mentioned and soon found the area but it was looking rather dry after all the sunshine. I walked out across the bog and saw a couple of dragonflies whizz past but too far and fast to identify, I was soon attracting a cloud of horseflies and so headed back to the road. A quick look at the small pond by the junction gave half a dozen White faced darters but they were not what I was searching for and so moved along to the pools below Gatehouse cottage. I saw lots of White Faced Darters here, a few hawkers and some Four Spotted Chasers. I moved closer to one of the ponds and saw a dragonfly rise up and land on a branch maybe ten ft in the air. I thought it had looked like a Four Spotted Chaser but crept slowly forward anyway, raised the binoculars and was greeted with a bright green thorax. What a beautiful sight , a Northern Emerald sitting there peacefully ignoring me while I took photos and fed horseflies.
No point staying any longer, it was midday , I had my 3 Highland species so I jumped in the van and drove ten hours home
 

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Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Well, I did it, after failing to find the Northern Emerald recently and then reading Larry's report I decided that a return trip was needed. I drove from South Wales to Loch Garten arriving at 20:30. I checked the boardwalk pond and found lots of Emerald damselfies in the rushes and also two female Black Darters.
After a sleep in the van I checked the channel again between Loch Garten and Loch Mallachie but only saw the usual Damselflies. I moved from here to the bend in the road that Larry mentioned and soon found the area but it was looking rather dry after all the sunshine. I walked out across the bog and saw a couple of dragonflies whizz past but too far and fast to identify, I was soon attracting a cloud of horseflies and so headed back to the road. A quick look at the small pond by the junction gave half a dozen White faced darters but they were not what I was searching for and so moved along to the pools below Gatehouse cottage. I saw lots of White Faced Darters here, a few hawkers and some Four Spotted Chasers. I moved closer to one of the ponds and saw a dragonfly rise up and land on a branch maybe ten ft in the air. I thought it had looked like a Four Spotted Chaser but crept slowly forward anyway, raised the binoculars and was greeted with a bright green thorax. What a beautiful sight , a Northern Emerald sitting there peacefully ignoring me while I took photos and fed horseflies.
No point staying any longer, it was midday , I had my 3 Highland species so I jumped in the van and drove ten hours home
Hooray! (you absolute nutter! 😉)
 

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