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.

Calling all records…

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I recently emailed dragonfly recorders asking for 2016 records and received this lovely photo from Gareth Thomas of a Spotted Flycatcher with unlucky Banded Demoiselle! Caught last June apparently on the nearby Teme and carried to Gareth’s Ludlow garden. In the absence of any recent sightings I couldn’t resist posting it…and it also gives me another chance to say if you do have any dragonfly records please send them my way by Christmas and then I can sort them all and write the newsletter. Thank you!

Late sightings…

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Common Darter are still putting in the odd appearance – last seen by Jan Shields at Mousecroft Pool near Shrewsbury on 21st October. Jan also came face to face with a Migrant Hawker earlier this month and snapped this lovely shot.

Still on the wing…

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Good to hear several sightings of Common Darter were made on 15th October; 30 plus individuals seen basking on the rocks near Bayston Hill quarry by Peta Sams and a number also recorded by Stephen Barlow at Whixall Moss- shown here. A closer look reveals some interesting leg positions -whether the first individual was photographed before folding his legs up or whether there was something wrong I’m not sure.

Stephen also saw Common Hawker and Black Darter- the latter seen basking on a variety of locations including his lunch box. The photograph on the far left also appears to show a male Common Darter in tandem with a female Black Darter which is unusual. Common Darter females will become darker in coloration as they over mature, but this female definitely seems to lack the diagnostic striped legs of Common Darter and also has a prominent vulvar scale pointing downward toward the end of the abdomen- typical of Black Darter.

October Record

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Having just asked the question regarding later records this sighting of a female Migrant Hawker at Colemere was sent in by Sue Loose. Even from a distance the diagnostic yellow ‘T’ shape can be visible on segment 2 of the abdomen and the long anal appendages are noticeable. Let’s hope the late sunshine lasts…

Species recorded in 2016…

Large Red Damselfly

23rd April 2016

White-faced Darter

9th May 2016

Azure Damselfly

12th May 2016

Red-eyed Damselfly

14th May 2016

Banded Demoiselle

14th May 2016

Broad-bodied Chaser

15th May 2016

Four-spotted Chaser

15th May 2016

Common Clubtail

15th May 2016

Blue-tailed Damselfly

16th May 2016

Beautiful Demoiselle

18th May 2016

White-legged Damselfly

28th May 2016

Common Darter

28th May 2016

Common Blue Damselfly

8th June 2016

Emperor Dragonfly

5th June 2016

Downy Emerald

8th June 2016

Variable Damselfly

8th June 2016

Black-tailed Skimmer

8th June 2016

Emerald Damselfly

17th June 2016

Lesser Emperor

20th June 2016

Southern Hawker

22nd June 2016

Brown Hawker

24th June 2016

Black Darter

24th June 2016

Common Hawker

4th July 2016

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

4th July 2016

Ruddy Darter

6th July 2016

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly

25th July 2016

Keeled Skimmer

16th August 2016

Migrant Hawker

21st August 2016