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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).

Don’t forget the females…

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David Goodwin has been enjoying sunshine and dragonflies at Wildmoor Pool surrounded by Common and Brown Hawkers, Emperors, Golden-ringed Dragonflies, Common Blue Damsels and Black Darters. As we so often see and photograph the males, David has sent in 2 lovely close ups of female Black Darters- the diagnostic black triangle clearly visible on top of the thorax.

Common Darter puts in an appearance

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Finally Common Darter records are coming in though still no sign of any at Whixall Moss. Jan Shields took these photographs which nicely illustrate the difference in abdomen shape between the parallel sided Common Darter (left) and waisted and club-shaped abdomen of the Ruddy Darter (right). Jan also sent in the lovely shot of a close up Southern Hawker with diagnostic broad antehumeral stripes (bottom left). Stephen Barlow reports a good number of species on the wing at Whixall though White-faced Darters have pretty much finished for this year. Stephen also sent in a Common Hawker doing ‘normal things’ -so I thought I’d redress the balance after my previous posting!

Extraordinary Common Hawker antics!

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Some extraordinary behaviour was recently observed at Pole Cottage Pools on the Long Mynd. A Common Hawker approached an ovipositing female Emperor before moving 15-20 feet away and starting to thrash around in the water for 5 seconds. Steve Cham has kindly had a close look at the photos and says the male approaching the Emperor was a case of mistaken identity and the thrashing in the water was due to a strand of pond weed stuck around the neck of the hawker-just visible in the pics. Some amazing photos thankyou!

Common Hawker on the wing

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Stephen Barlow has reported in from Whixall Moss saying Common Hawkers have been about for the last 2 weeks though their typical relentless flight has to date prevented a photo! Surprisingly the odd White-faced Darter can still be seen though no Common Darters. Despite seeing exuviae myself I have no 2017 Shropshire records of Common Darter either …yet. Tantalizingly Stephen also saw a Migrant Hawker the other day…though just over the border in Wales.

Red eyes everywhere…

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S Loose

Sue Loose saw a good number of species on the Montgomery Canal near Aston recently including Four-spotted Chasers, Brown Hawker, Southern Hawker, Banded Demoiselles, Azure Damselflies, Blue-tailed Damselflies and Red-eyed Damselflies….lots apparently occupying every lily pad available! Don’t forget we still haven’t recorded Small Red-eyed Damselfly in Shropshire so if you see red eyes take a good look and make sure you’re not missing the first county record!