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 2019 Shropshire Dragonfly Watch.

Late records coming in…

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Stephen Barlow has sent in this stunning landscape of Whixall Moss with snow on the distant hills and ice on the ponds! Who’d have thought on the same day (10th Nov) he would see the 3 individuals pictured below. Basking in a sheltered suntrap were a male Black Darter (left) and a male (centre) and female (right) Common Darter. Great late records…so keep an eye out on the offchance!

Sun still shining…

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A sunny Sunday (27th Oct) revealed Black Darter (male left) and Common Darter (female below) still on the wing at Whixall Moss. Stephen Barlow’s pic of the female Common Darter shows clearly the diagnostic yellow stripe on the black legs and the lack of a frons side line (long moustache) on the frons.

Dragons still on the wing…

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A sunny but cool day on Whixall Moss (16th Oct) rewarded Stephen Barlow with a reasonable number of late summer sightings. Seeking out the sheltered basking spots Stephen photographed a nice collection of Black Darter and male Common Hawker -the latter enlarged in the photo on the right. Other people on the moss were also reporting Migrant Hawker and possibly Southern Hawker and Common Darter out and about. The longevity of the flight season is totally weather dependent, but keep an eye out and lets see if we can wing it into November…

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.

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