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.

Common Darter puts in an appearance

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Finally Common Darter records are coming in though still no sign of any at Whixall Moss. Jan Shields took these photographs which nicely illustrate the difference in abdomen shape between the parallel sided Common Darter (left) and waisted and club-shaped abdomen of the Ruddy Darter (right). Jan also sent in the lovely shot of a close up Southern Hawker with diagnostic broad antehumeral stripes (bottom left). Stephen Barlow reports a good number of species on the wing at Whixall though White-faced Darters have pretty much finished for this year. Stephen also sent in a Common Hawker doing ‘normal things’ -so I thought I’d redress the balance after my previous posting!

Extraordinary Common Hawker antics!

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Some extraordinary behaviour was recently observed at Pole Cottage Pools on the Long Mynd. A Common Hawker approached an ovipositing female Emperor before moving 15-20 feet away and starting to thrash around in the water for 5 seconds. Steve Cham has kindly had a close look at the photos and says the male approaching the Emperor was a case of mistaken identity and the thrashing in the water was due to a strand of pond weed stuck around the neck of the hawker-just visible in the pics. Some amazing photos thankyou!

Common Hawker on the wing

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Stephen Barlow has reported in from Whixall Moss saying Common Hawkers have been about for the last 2 weeks though their typical relentless flight has to date prevented a photo! Surprisingly the odd White-faced Darter can still be seen though no Common Darters. Despite seeing exuviae myself I have no 2017 Shropshire records of Common Darter either …yet. Tantalizingly Stephen also saw a Migrant Hawker the other day…though just over the border in Wales.

Red eyes everywhere…

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S Loose

Sue Loose saw a good number of species on the Montgomery Canal near Aston recently including Four-spotted Chasers, Brown Hawker, Southern Hawker, Banded Demoiselles, Azure Damselflies, Blue-tailed Damselflies and Red-eyed Damselflies….lots apparently occupying every lily pad available! Don’t forget we still haven’t recorded Small Red-eyed Damselfly in Shropshire so if you see red eyes take a good look and make sure you’re not missing the first county record!

Ruddy Darters and ducks!

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j shields
j shields

Jan Shields had a good visit to Mousecroft Pool near Shrewsbury sending in the first Ruddy Darter record received this year and capturing this amazing shot entitled Mallard v Emperor -apparently the female Emperor got away….just!

(don’t forget you can click on the image for a closer view)

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