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Looking promising for November…

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SBarlow

Records have been coming in from Dudmaston and Whixall Moss right up to the end of October. This makes me hopeful that fireworks won’t be the only things whizzing through the skies in November…and we could be on for some really late records! Stephen Barlow saw this old Brown Hawker on 26th October and the Common Darter (below left)…just a few miles over the border in Cheshire. Back in Shropshire at Whixall Moss he has also regularly seen Black Darter (below centre (male) and right(female)) and Common Darter and Common Hawker -all still flying on 29th October. Keep me posted on the late comers….

SBarlow
SBarlow

Basking in autumn sunshine…

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A magnificent Migrant Hawker seen by Stephen Barlow enjoying the autumnal sunshine at Whixall Moss. Stephen also photographed female Common Darter (below left) and Black Darter (below right) -both fairly over mature drab individuals making them reasonably well camouflaged in their surroundings. That said you can still see the diagnostic black triangle on top of the Black Darter’s thorax.

Mild autumn could lead to late records…

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Amazingly we’re zipping through October and haven’t turned the heating on yet…and that can only be good for dragonflies! Stephen Barlow reports that good numbers of Black Darter are still on the wing at Whixall Moss along with sightings of Common Darter, Common Hawker and Southern Hawker. I’ve also been sent some fabulous photos from one of our recorders which will hopefully inspire a few of you to keep an eye out for late fliers this autumn. Pictured left is a superb close up of Brown Hawker.

Above left shows Southern Hawker in flight with legs neatly tucked away and broad antehumeral stripes clearly visible. The Emperor above also illustrates the leg position in flight as well as showing the clear yellow costa on the wings.

The final photo of 3 Emerald Damselflies is interesting -a male attached to a male attached to a female!? At least they are all holding their wings at 45 degrees which is textbook!

Keeled Skimmers at Cramer Gutter

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Good to hear a few of you have been visiting Cramer Gutter and enjoying the Keeled Skimmers. David Goodwin took these lovely photos of the male (left) and female- looking rather drab and probably ‘over mature’ when the colours can become quite dark. David also saw Golden Ringed still on the wing and a good number of Common Darter as seen below (right). Jan Shields took a great shot of Keeled Skimmer eyes and also saw Golden Ringed, Common Darter, Migrant Hawker and the fabulous Southern Hawker shown below.

Incidentally, David tried to find Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly on Titterstone Clee Hill to no avail. To date I have received no species records for this rarity this year and they still may just be about….

Fabulous Common Hawker pic!

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A lovely photo of Common Hawker in flight sent in by Stephen Barlow at Whixall Moss – clearly showing the yellow costa on the wings and the narrow yet prominent antehumeral stripes.

Hawkers on high…

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An interesting mix of Hawker sightings following this weekend. Jan Shields has sent in this lovely photo of Migrant hawker in flight at Mousecroft Pool near Shrewsbury -clearly showing the diagnostic reduced antehumeral stripes and golf tee shape at the top of the abdomen. David Williams also sent in the 2 photos below; an interesting female Southern Hawker (left) with unusually blue spots on the abdomen and a dare devil Common Blue Damselfly taking a relaxing break on the back of an ovipositing Brown Hawker!

I also received this lovely shot of Southern Hawkers in cop – with the female showing the more usual brown and green coloration.

Migrant Hawker on the wing

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Migrant Hawker has finally been spotted on the Shropshire side of Whixall Moss on 15th August by Stephen Barlow. Stephen also reports good numbers of Common Darter now on the wing and I can certainly confirm that from my garden pond in Shrewsbury. Darting around elsewhere (sorry!) Ron Parnell has taken this lovely shot of Black Darters in cop up at Pole Cottage Pools on the Long Mynd.

Dodging the showers…

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In the sunny patches this August some of you are still managing some lovely photos. This Common Darter was photographed by Gareth Thomas in Ludlow and clearly shows the diagnostic yellow stripe on the black legs and the lack of a frons side line on the ‘face area’. Jan Shields also took some great Darter shots below -Common (left) and Ruddy Darter on the right- with solid black legs. Jan was also lucky to see Emperor, Brown Hawkers and Southern Hawker….but still no Migrant Hawker…in fact no records of Migrant in Shropshire at all yet….

Stephen Barlow reports numbers of dragons and damselflies at Whixall Moss are low again for the time of year, most likely due to the great British summer! Despite this he has sent in this photo of a female Emerald Damselfly (notably not holding her wings at 45 degrees as they usually do) and a couple of fabulous in flight Common Hawker shots.

Keeled Skimmers join a soggy summer…

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Just  a quick post to say that even though the summer has momentarily disappeared dragonfly records are still coming in. Gareth Thomas enjoyed (!) an overcast, cool and windy day at Cramer Gutter and was rewarded with the first and only Keeled Skimmer records for 2017 so far. Thanks to all those who are still braving the elements!

Emergence Sequence

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I have been sent a lovely sequence of shots illustrating a Common Hawker emerging from Pole Cottage Pools on the Long Mynd. I tried to select a few pics but they were all great…so here they are (and remember you can click on each image to enlarge it).