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Evidence Of Common Hawker…

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Jason Kernohan has been on the trail of the aptly named Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly on Titterstone Clee Hill. Sadly to no avail this time, but he did find the first evidence of Common Hawker emerging this season with this fabulous exuviae. Don’t forget they are the best records to get as they are proof of successful breeding. I’m really enjoying all the exuviae emerging from our relatively new pond this year- up to about 25 Common Darter so far!

Brown Hawker on the wing

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Brown Hawker has been recorded at Prees Heath Common and is seen (albeit fairly well camouflaged) ovipositing in this photograph taken by Stephen Barlow. Also recorded on this visit were Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Azure Damselfly, Emperor Dragonflies and Black-tailed Skimmers.

A lack of personal space…

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Jan Shields has sent in a lovely photo of a Red-eyed Damselfly annoying a female Emperor Dragonfly whilst ovipositing at Mousecroft Pool. I’m not sure why some damselflies do this- please get in touch if you have any ideas! Elsewhere in Church Stretton, Graham Wenman captured this pair of Large Red Damselflies in tandem….being chaperoned (unsuccessfully it would seem) by a fly. Seeing the male and female together really shows how much broader the female body is, allowing the capacity to carry eggs.  Jan Shields was also lucky enough to see an ‘out of place’ White-legged Damselfly in her garden…presumably nowhere near a stream.

2 more species on the wing!

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James Gloyn has had a successful trip to Crammer Gutter and sent in our first 2018 photos of Golden-ringed Dragonfly (left) and Keeled Skimmer (below). Stephen Barlow also had a possible sighting of Keeled Skimmer on Whixall Moss a few days ago though unconfirmed at this stage…

Emerald Damselfly on the wing

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Stephen Barlow has recorded the first Emerald Damselflies on the wing this year at Whixall Moss. He spotted several tenerals including this one pictured left. Elsewhere Jan Shields has been enjoying Beautiful Demoiselles at Shawbury Heath photographing the male (below left) and female (below right), along with Broad-bodied Chasers (female far below left) and Four-spotted Chasers. Jan is also keeping a close eye on  Mousecroft Pool where she saw the 2 Red-eyed Damselflies pictured bottom right, along with Four-spotted Chasers and an Emperor who made a sharp exit!

Red-eyed Damselflies at Whixall Moss

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Stephen Barlow has recently spotted Red-eyed Damselflies at Whixall Moss -the first records at this location since 1986! As Stephen points out they have probably drifted across from the nearby canal -a more typical recording area for this species. The lower photo shows not only a lovely reflection, but a direct comparison with the Common Blue Damselfly sitting directly below the Red-eyed- a good chance to practice spot the difference!

Great weather for dragonflies!

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The sun keeps shining and the photos keep coming! Stuart Bolt has been back to Sainsburys in Telford..not for shopping I hasten to add, but for Emperor Dragonflies (left). Elsewhere Ron Parnell has been enjoying Broad-bodied Chasers in Church Stretton and sent in this lovely shot of an immature male (below left) showing the blue pruinescence creeping up the abdomen. Jan Shields has had an interesting sighting of a female White-legged Damselfly (below right) at Radbrook pond in Shrewsbury. This species is under close observation by the BDS due to a suspected decline in some areas -not in Shropshire it would appear…though usually seen on rivers and canals not ponds. And lastly, Tim Preston has been observing White-legged Damselflies in more usual habitat on the River Severn along with Common Clubtails- 2 great photos shown below.

Demoiselles on Display…

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Paul Spear has been enjoying beautiful Beautiful (below left) and Banded (left) Demoiselles at Venus Pool. A female demoiselle is also seen (below right) though I’m not stating Banded or Beautiful as they are far harder to tell apart than the males. The photo clearly shows her legs which are covered in long setae (hairs) to enable her to secure large prey.

All in a day at Dudmaston

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Tim Preston recently saw a good number of species at Big Pool, Dudmaston; Four-spotted and Broad-bodied Chasers, Banded Demoiselles, Azure Damselflies and Red-eyed and Blue-tailed Damselflies having a close encounter in this stunning shot. Tim also saw Black-tailed Skimmers and took this photo below of a male just starting to show the blue pruinescence that covers the abdomen in maturity- masking the yellow and black pattern seen in imatures.

Mites at Mousecroft…

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Jan Shields has sent in an interesting photo of a Common Blue Damselfly taken at Mousecroft pool near Shrewsbury. The damselfly is clearly covered in a good number of mites seen around the thorax. These are fairly common place and can appear in far larger numbers than seen here. Some mites will actually transfer from the larva onto the adult as it emerges taking up position before the exoskeleton hardens.