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 2019 Shropshire Dragonfly Watch.

Good Friday good for Large Reds

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Hot on the heels of the first sightings, Large Reds were seen at both Attingham Park (by Paul Spear) and Whixall Moss (by Stephen Barlow) on Good Friday. Paul took the photo shown here of a female. Females come in 3 colour forms so it’s always a good chance to have a closer look whilst there are few other species about. This is the form fulvipes with yellow antehumeral stripes and black markings on the abdomen.

Large Reds Launch in Shropshire!

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And we’re off! Maria Justamond has seen the first Large Red Damselflies emerging in Shropshire at Upton Magna yesterday- Wednesday 17th April. Several were seen and I’m sure that with the amazing forecast we should see much winged activity this Easter throughout Shropshire…keep me posted…

Sunshine or snow?…

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Well after a hint of summer back in February and then a hot week last week I thought I’d better launch the 2019 blog just in case we have early records coming in…..and now snow is forecast and I’m not really sure what the Large Red Damselflies will make of it all! Typically the first adults start to emerge towards the end of April, but with the mixed weather I would say anything is possible and I’m certainly keeping a close eye on the pond. This photo was taken last year by Paul Spear and shows a Large Red Damselfly- always the first species on the wing….though White-faced Darters are often close behind if you’re near Whixall Moss. Please do get in touch if you see any dragons or damsels and we can get the Shropshire flight season underway!

Chilling off in Shropshire…

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Despite extensive searching Stephen Barlow found no further Common Darters at Whixall and the last known sighting was on 18th November but unfortunately on the Welsh side of the Moss! Keep me posted if you catch any last minute glimpses before colder weather sets in.

In the meantime Jan Shields has sent in some interesting pics taken in mid October. This female Southern Hawker was seen to move leaves- picking them up with her legs and ‘throwing’ them into the nearby pond. This enabled her to access the mossy stones underneath for egg laying. It seems a bizarre choice with a pond nearby, but she had apparently just had a near miss with a blackbird and was possibly looking for something more covert. Following this behaviour she then proceeded to lay eggs on a windfall apple for good measure! Jan will be keeping a close eye on this apple next spring!

Will it be a record breaking year?

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Stephen Barlow reports 2 more Common Darters seen at Whixall Moss on 13th November and ‘a hawker’ -the latter just inconveniently over the border in Wales! The latest recorded sighting of Common Darter in Shropshire was by Stephen on November 20th 2015 on Brown Moss which is only a week away so we could be on for a record breaker if things stay mild…

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