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  info@shropshiredragonflies.co.uk 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 2019 Shropshire Dragonfly Watch.

Autumn Dragon fest…

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Monsoon conditions today, but last weeks wonderful weather brought the late summer dragons out and about. Jan Shields described a ‘Dragon Fest’ at Snailbeach where large numbers of ovipositing Common Darter (left) were covering the whole of one edge of the reservoir. Southern Hawker (below left) were also present in good numbers along with Brown Hawker, Ruddy Darter and Emerald Damselflies. An earlier visit to Mousecroft Pool also revealed a good number of Migrant Hawkers also on the wing (male below middle, female below right).

Hawkers enjoying the heat…

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The recent hot spell has brought in some fabulous photos; firstly this male Migrant Hawker in flight taken by Jan Shields at Mousecroft Pool near Shrewsbury and secondly (below) a beautiful shot of a female Brown Hawker ovipositing taken by Mick Richardson at Priorslee Flash, Telford. It’s always interesting to see how dragonflies can tuck their legs so neatly away in flight.

Keeled Skimmer on the wing

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Jan Shields has been enjoying the Keeled Skimmers up at Crammer Gutter on Catherton Common. This species is a real habitat specialist being found on boggy flushes and runnels on some of our Shropshire heathland. Both males (left) and females (below left) have noticeable ochre coloured pterostigma and antehumeral stripes. Jan also got 2 nice shots of tandem pairs and far below left you can clearly see the female legs which can often rub off the blue coloration on the male abdomen during mating. Golden-ringed Dragonflies were also at Crammer Gutter and Black Darters- the smallest dragonfly in the UK.

More sightings of Small Red-eyed Damselfly

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Mick Richardson has sent in some stunning photos including yet another sighting of our new Shropshire species for 2019; Small Red-eyed Damselfly. Mick saw 10+ individuals at Green Pond near Albrighton and new immediately what they were as he is normally resident in Southern Spain where they are regular visitors to his own pond. Mick also sent in the photos below of Emerald Damselfly (left) and Azure Damselfly (right), the Azure being really quite a late record for this species in Shropshire.

The best review of all…

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The guide book’s so good even the dragonflies can’t resist! A great photo sent in by Jonathan Bell taken in Norfolk….nowhere near Shropshire….but I couldn’t resist a Ruddy Darter on a picture of a Ruddy Darter- marvellous!

Species recorded in 2019…

Large Red Damselfly

17th April

White-faced Darter

22nd April

Four-spotted Chaser

22nd April

Azure Damselfly

4th May

Red-eyed Damselfly

5th May

Blue-tailed Damselfly

5th May

Beautiful Demoiselle

15th May

Banded Demoiselle

15th May

Broad-bodied Chaser

15th May

White-legged Damselfly

15th May

Common Clubtail

19th May

Common Blue Damselfly

27th May

Emerald Damselfly

14th June

Black-tailed Skimmer

18th June

Emperor Dragonfly

20th June

Black Darter

20th June

Common Darter

22nd June

Brown Hawker

27th June

Common Hawker

27th June

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

3rd July

Lesser Emperor

7th July

Ruddy Darter

8th July

Southern Hawker

19th July

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

24th July

Migrant Hawker

29th July

Keeled Skimmer

15th August