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.

Golden-Ringed Dragonflies on the Long Mynd

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Jan Shields has been out in the sunshine at Carding Mill Valley enjoying the spectacular Golden- ringed Dragonflies. The photos show the striking green eyes coming together at a point and also the beautifully waisted abdomen of the male…and of course the golden rings! Jan also sent in another lovely shot of a Four-spotted Chaser seen at Mousecroft Pool.

Watch out for migrant species!

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Keep an eye out for unusual migrant species in Shropshire. The recent weather has produced some unconfirmed (as yet) sightings of Red Veined Darter and individuals are being seen in neighbouring counties. Please let us know if you see something unusual and if possible please get a photo- I’m aware this is easier said then done! Full details on Red-veined Darter, Lesser Emperor and Vagrant Emperor on the species pages.

Hawkers on the wing…

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No photos yet, but confirmed sightings from Stephen Barlow on Whixall Moss of Brown Hawker and a teneral Common Hawker. I also was overtaken (!) on my bike by a Brown Hawker this last Saturday in the incredible heat. Stephen has sent in some lovely pics of an immature male Black Darter. The coloration is the same as the female with a black triangle on top of the thorax and a yellow splash pattern on the side. The abdomen of the male is clearly waisted here and would be far stockier in the female.

3 more species on the wing…

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A quick reminder from the weather that it is actually June (!) and all sorts of things take to the wing; Steven Barlow reports female Emperor ovipositing at Whixall Moss and Black Darters being seen just over the border on the moss in Wales. I then strolled into the garden on Saturday morning to see 3 Common Darters emerging from our pond- photographed here next to the exuviae. To get to this fence post the mature larvae will have crawled about 1m away from the water.

Black-tailed Skimmer on the wing…

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Somehow between downpours we managed a Biolinks recording day on Tuesday at Whixall Moss and Alderford Lake. At Whixall we were treated to 8 species including White-faced Darters, numerous White-legged Damselflies and a good number of teneral Emerald Damselflies. Alderford Lake produced the first known Black-tailed Skimmer sighting this year in Shropshire- the immature male photographed by Stephen Barlow (left) showing all the patterns and coloration also seen on females. Damselflies were in good numbers at Alderford and Stephen’s photos of two mating pairs below provide a nice comparison of Common Blue (middle) and Azure (right) damselfly. We also saw numerous Blue-tailed Damselflies in a range of colour forms. The picture below (left) shows a female with the bicoloured pterostigma just visible on the wings.

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

26th July