Shropshire Dragonfly Watch BlogKeeping an eye on the dragonflies flying in Shropshire

Common Darter male

The purpose of this blog is to keep dragonfly enthusiasts up to date with dragonfly activity throughout the season. This way we should all know first hand what’s on the wing in Shropshire.


All are very welcome to be part of this seasonal diary. Get in touch at with sightings and photographs so I can post them on the blog. Even if you’re new to dragonflies and not sure what you have photographed please send it in and get involved in the 2017 Shropshire Dragonfly Watch.

Red- eyed Damselfly at Venus Pool

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Jim Almond spotted and photographed this Red-eyed Damselfly at Venus Pool recently. As well as a lovely photo, this is an interesting record being only the second sighting of this species at this well recorded location. The only previous sighting was made in 2007 by Graham French.

Don’t forget the exuviae!

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Now the heat is on and a good number of species are emerging, but don’t forget the exuviae. These are the best records to get as they are proof of successful breeding in a particular water body. Even if you don’t fancy the identification challenge yourself, just get in touch and I’ll take a look. I’ve posted one of Paul Spear’s emergence shots from last year to whet the appetite!

Ron Parnell has also sent in a couple of lovely photos from Pole Cottage Pools on the Long Mynd; Large Red Damselflies in cop and a Four-spotted Chaser.

Glorious dragonflies in great weather…

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A couple of lovely photos from Jan Shields showing a magnificent Emperor seen at Carding Mill Valley and a Broad-bodied Chaser sunbathing at Mousecroft Pool near Shrewsbury. The chaser illustrates the patches of dark pigment at the bases of the wings- this is characteristic of all chasers and is a useful way to split them from medium sized blue bodied male skimmers (which have clear wings).

Brown Hawkers flying high…

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Great dragonfly weather has encouraged a boost in winged activity at Whixall Moss this weekend with Stephen Barlow seeing White-faced Darters, Four-spotted Chasers, Azure , Blue-tailed and Large Red Damselflies and the first 2017 Shropshire records of Brown Hawker. Stephen also thinks he caught a glimpse of the first Common Darters but as yet unconfirmed…  Stephen’s photos clearly show two identification features of the Brown Hawker visible in flight;the brown wings and the 2 yellow stripes on the side of the thorax.

Andy Beech was also enjoying Brown Hawker on the wing at Aston Locks Reserve, along with Emperor Dragonflies and over 20 Four-spotted Chasers – a few of which obligingly took a brief rest as seen here on the left.

Black Darters on the wing

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Finally a day of summer weather saw the arrival of Black Darter at Whixall Moss. This is quite an early sighting and Stephen Barlow’s photograph shows the diagnostic black triangle on top of the thorax- visible in females and immature males. Stephen also saw numerous Emerald Damselflies emerging (below left) and Emperor Dragonfly- snapping this lovely in flight shot. Certainly yesterday seemed to be the hour of the Emperor as I saw them at every sight I visited.

Species recorded in 2017…

Large Red Damselfly

18th April

Four-spotted Chaser

22nd April

White-faced Darter

3rd May

Azure Damselfly

5th May

Common Clubtail

10th May

Banded Demoiselle

11th May

Red-eyed Damselfly

14th May

Blue-tailed Damselfly

14th May

White-legged Damselfly

21st May

Beautiful Demoiselle

22nd May

Broad-bodied Chaser

26th May

Common Blue Damselfly

31st May

Downy Emerald

31st May

Variable Damselfly

31st May

Emerald Damselfly

4th June

Emperor Dragonfly

8th June

Southern Hawker

9th June

Black-tailed Skimmer

9th June

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

11th June

Black Darter

14th June

Brown Hawker

17th June