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 2018 Shropshire Dragonfly Watch.

Knowing where to look…

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Stephen Barlow has been seeking out more early November Common Darters finding them in sun traps on Whixall Moss. Interestingly Stephen points out that due to the low sun at this time of year a northerly wind (though colder) can improve your chances of success as dragonflies can find sun traps that are both out of the wind and in the sun. When southerlies are blowing, the shelter from the wind is usually on the opposite side to the suntrap.

Lurking in the vegetation…

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Despite the recent hard frosts Stephen Barlow is still seeing a reasonable number of species lurking in the warmer spots on Whixall Moss. These pics of a female Migrant Hawker (left), Black Darter (below left) and Common Darter (below right) were all taken on 18th October, but Stephen has seen Common Darters flying on the 28th and 31st (Halloween!) October. With things warming a little we should definitely get a few hardy November records.

Still on the wing…

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Stephen Barlow reports Black Darter and Migrant Hawker still on the wing at Whixall Moss last week as well as Common Hawker – a female seen here with a very parallel sided abdomen, not waisted as in the male.

Please do keep us posted with any late sightings- Shropshire dragonflies have flown into November before….lets just see what happens after a cold weekend…

Black Darters on Titterstone Clee HIll

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Jason Kernohan has spotted 2 male Black Darters on Titterstone Clee Hill in south Shropshire -one photographed here showing the characteristic waisted abdomen of the male. Only a handful of Black Darter records have ever been made at this location so a really nice record to get.

Still on the wing….

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Jan Shields has been enjoying our late summer species at Mousecroft Pool including a number of Darters and Hawkers. The female in this pair of Migrant Hawkers illustrates the long anal appendages typical of this species. Below is a lovely picture of an ovipositing Southern Hawker and if you look closely you can see the blade like ovipositor cutting in to the plant.

Species recorded in 2018…

Large Red Damselfly

April 21st

White-faced Darter

May 4th

Four-spotted Chaser

May 5th

Azure Damselfly

May 10th

Common Blue Damselfly

May 13th

Blue-tailed Damselfly

May 20th

Club-tailed Dragonfly

May 20th

Banded Demoiselle

May 20th

Broad-bodied Chaser

May 21st

Beautiful Demoiselle

May 21st

White-legged Damselfly

May 23rd

Red-eyed Damselfly

May 26th

Black-tailed Skimmer

May 26th

Emperor Dragonfly

May 28th

Common Darter

May 28th

Emerald Damselfly

June 9th

Variable Damselfly

June 13th

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

June 14th

Keeled Skimmer

June 14th

Brown Hawker

June 18th

Common Hawker

June 18th

Black Darter

June 22nd

Southern Hawker

June 29th

Ruddy Darter

July 1st

Migrant Hawker

August 2nd