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.

Looking promising for November…

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Records have been coming in from Dudmaston and Whixall Moss right up to the end of October. This makes me hopeful that fireworks won’t be the only things whizzing through the skies in November…and we could be on for some really late records! Stephen Barlow saw this old Brown Hawker on 26th October and the Common Darter (below left)…just a few miles over the border in Cheshire. Back in Shropshire at Whixall Moss he has also regularly seen Black Darter (below centre (male) and right(female)) and Common Darter and Common Hawker -all still flying on 29th October. Keep me posted on the late comers….


Basking in autumn sunshine…

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A magnificent Migrant Hawker seen by Stephen Barlow enjoying the autumnal sunshine at Whixall Moss. Stephen also photographed female Common Darter (below left) and Black Darter (below right) -both fairly over mature drab individuals making them reasonably well camouflaged in their surroundings. That said you can still see the diagnostic black triangle on top of the Black Darter’s thorax.

Mild autumn could lead to late records…

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Amazingly we’re zipping through October and haven’t turned the heating on yet…and that can only be good for dragonflies! Stephen Barlow reports that good numbers of Black Darter are still on the wing at Whixall Moss along with sightings of Common Darter, Common Hawker and Southern Hawker. I’ve also been sent some fabulous photos from one of our recorders which will hopefully inspire a few of you to keep an eye out for late fliers this autumn. Pictured left is a superb close up of Brown Hawker.

Above left shows Southern Hawker in flight with legs neatly tucked away and broad antehumeral stripes clearly visible. The Emperor above also illustrates the leg position in flight as well as showing the clear yellow costa on the wings.

The final photo of 3 Emerald Damselflies is interesting -a male attached to a male attached to a female!? At least they are all holding their wings at 45 degrees which is textbook!

Keeled Skimmers at Cramer Gutter

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Good to hear a few of you have been visiting Cramer Gutter and enjoying the Keeled Skimmers. David Goodwin took these lovely photos of the male (left) and female- looking rather drab and probably ‘over mature’ when the colours can become quite dark. David also saw Golden Ringed still on the wing and a good number of Common Darter as seen below (right). Jan Shields took a great shot of Keeled Skimmer eyes and also saw Golden Ringed, Common Darter, Migrant Hawker and the fabulous Southern Hawker shown below.

Incidentally, David tried to find Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly on Titterstone Clee Hill to no avail. To date I have received no species records for this rarity this year and they still may just be about….

Fabulous Common Hawker pic!

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A lovely photo of Common Hawker in flight sent in by Stephen Barlow at Whixall Moss – clearly showing the yellow costa on the wings and the narrow yet prominent antehumeral stripes.

Species recorded in 2017…

Large Red Damselfly

18th April

Four-spotted Chaser

22nd April

White-faced Darter

3rd May

Azure Damselfly

5th May

Common Clubtail

10th May

Banded Demoiselle

11th May

Red-eyed Damselfly

14th May

Blue-tailed Damselfly

14th May

White-legged Damselfly

21st May

Beautiful Demoiselle

22nd May

Broad-bodied Chaser

26th May

Common Blue Damselfly

31st May

Downy Emerald

31st May

Variable Damselfly

31st May

Emerald Damselfly

4th June

Emperor Dragonfly

8th June

Southern Hawker

9th June

Black-tailed Skimmer

9th June

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

11th June

Black Darter

14th June

Brown Hawker

17th June

Ruddy Darter

8th July

Common Hawker

9th July

Common Darter

22nd July

Keeled Skimmer

6th August

Migrant Hawker

15th August