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 2018 Shropshire Dragonfly Watch.

Keeled Skimmer at Titterstone Clee Hill!

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Amazingly this discreet rare Shropshire species has been seen at another new site! – this time Titterstone Clee Hill, recorded by Jason Kernohan along with Common Hawkers and Azure, Blue-tailed, Common Blue and Emerald Damselflies. The recorded male is pictured left clearly showing the diagnostic ochre coloured pterostigma. It would appear that Keeled Skimmer is having an interesting year so definitely keep an eye out for these unobtrusive fliers in acidic upland flush areas.

Keeled Skimmer at Wildmoor Pool!

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I was teaching a dragonfly ID course last weekend and we were out with nets in the torrid heat at Wildmoor Pool when one of the participants Carol Harvey caught a dragonfly. I removed it expecting to see a Black Darter and brilliantly it was a Keeled Skimmer- great catch Carol! Jennifer Lucas took these clear photos which have also enabled me to ask Bob Kemp to verify it- mainly because it was a fairly old and drab specimen and also because it’s the first record at Wildmoor Pool which is heavily recorded. There is a population some distance from the pool so it remains to be seen if this was an accidental occurrence or if they are establishing a second population…

Keeled Skimmer at Whixall Moss

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Whixall Moss has historically produced a few suspected sightings of Keeled Skimmer, the photographic proof being provided by Lee Wilkinson back in 2013. All has been quiet-ish since then…again with a number of possible unconfirmed reports-until now. Stephen Barlow has seen several possible sightings this year and photographed this male seen here on the left. This hopefully indicates that this species is resident and successfully breeding at Whixall Moss so keep us posted on any more sightings. Just be aware that Black-tailed Skimmer is also blue and medium sized and resident at Whixall as picture below (male left, female right).

White-faced Darter season draws to a close

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Stephen Barlow has sent in a couple of photos illustrating the last days of the White-faced Darter flight season. Whilst other species such as Emerald Damselflies and Black Darters are on the rise, the remaining White-faced Darters are narrowly avoiding being eaten by birds (below) and not avoiding being eaten by magnificent Diving Beetles (left)!

Elsewhere, Jan Shields has been enjoying Common Hawkers at Carding Mill Valley (below). How anyone manages to get these stunning in flight photos is beyond me…especially for a species described as ‘relentlessly on the wing’!

And the heat goes on…

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One hot day after another- quite incredible! Jan Shields has been observing numerous Ruddy Darters basking in the sun’s rays at Venus Pool and sent in this fabulous shot of a mating pair. The photo below left also shows a male with solid black legs distinguishing him from Common Darters with a yellow stripe running down the legs. Jan also recorded this Emperor (below right) who on closer inspection is showing several signs of wear and tear!

At the end of June, Jan was lucky enough to see not five, but at least six Golden Ringed Dragonflies at Carding Mill Valley!

Species recorded in 2018…

Large Red Damselfly

April 21st

White-faced Darter

May 4th

Four-spotted Chaser

May 5th

Azure Damselfly

May 10th

Common Blue Damselfly

May 13th

Blue-tailed Damselfly

May 20th

Club-tailed Dragonfly

May 20th

Banded Demoiselle

May 20th

Broad-bodied Chaser

May 21st

Beautiful Demoiselle

May 21st

White-legged Damselfly

May 23rd

Red-eyed Damselfly

May 26th

Black-tailed Skimmer

May 26th

Emperor Dragonfly

May 28th

Common Darter

May 28th

Emerald Damselfly

June 9th

Variable Damselfly

June 13th

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

June 14th

Keeled Skimmer

June 14th

Brown Hawker

June 18th

Common Hawker

June 18th

Black Darter

June 22nd

Southern Hawker

June 29th

Ruddy Darter

July 1st

Migrant Hawker

August 2nd