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 2020 Shropshire Dragonfly Watch.

White-faced Darters still about..

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David Williams has been enjoying White-faced Darters still on the wing at Whixall Moss. I would expect an individual of this early spring species to look far more world weary in late June, but this male looks fabulous!

And back at home David is keeping a close eye on those Broad-bodied Chaser larvae…and you need to as they’re very camouflaged in all the pond debris as seen below. David’s pleased to see they’ve already doubled in size…bringing them up to a mighty 3mm! A few have been stalking among stems of vegetation in the pond but mostly they are just waiting at the shallower pond edges for prey to come to them.

Southern Hawkers emerging…

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Jan Shields has sent in some lovely photos of Southern Hawker emerging from her garden pond…15 so far and probably many more by the time I write this! The male is seen here (left) with a distinctive waisted abdomen, not seen in the stockier female.

Sian Mercer has also sent in a photo of Common Darter  (far below left) at Prees Heath with the yellow stripe on the black legs clearly visible.

Golden-ringed on the wing and some stunning Emperor pics…

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Paul Spear has sent in the first photo of Golden-ringed Dragonfly in a somewhat ‘wonky’ state seen at Catherton Common. He has also sent in these stunning photos of male and female Emperors. The flight shot of the male (below left) shows clearly how the legs are tucked away in flight before bringing them out to land in the next photo- amazing!

Stephen Barlow has also sent in a great photo of a male Black-tailed Skimmer doing lunch (menu unidentified) and a teneral male Common Blue Damselfly showing hardly any blue at all…more like grey in this immature state.

High Summer…

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Jan Shields has returned to Aston Locks to enjoy a good number of species on the wing. Common Darter (left with visible yellow stripe on leg), Black-tailed Skimmer (below left), Four-spotted Chaser (below right) and Red-eyed Damselfly (far below left and right) pictured here ovipositing amid the ripples. Jan also saw Emperor and Beautiful Demoiselle before returning home to find a Southern Hawker had emerged from her own pond in her absence!

The eggs have hatched!

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Following on from David Williams amazing photos of Broad-bodied Chaser eggs….they have now hatched and David has sent in some photos of the larvae. They are around 1.5mm in size and the photograph (left) shows how large the remaining eggs still appear in comparison. Faced with the prospect of supplying these larvae with small enough food (Daphnia apparently far too improbable) David has decided to return them to the pond to let nature provide! Great photos providing a real insight to the life stages we so rarely see.

Species recorded in 2020…

Large Red Damselfly

15th April

Four-spotted Chaser

19th April

White-faced Darter

22nd April

Broad-bodied Chaser

25th April

Beautiful Demoiselle

2nd May

Azure Damselfly

6th May

Banded Demoiselle

8th May

Emperor Dragonfly

11th May

Common Clubtail

13th May

White-legged Damselfly

19th May

Common Blue Damselfly

22nd May

Blue-tailed Damselfly

22nd May

Black-tailed Skimmer

28th May

Downy Emerald Dragonfly

1st June

Red-eyed Damselfly

8th June

Brown Hawker

13th June

Emerald Damselfly

14th June

Common Hawker

15th June

Southern Hawker

15th June

Common Darter

16th June

Black Darter

20th June

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

23rd June