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2011 Dragonfly and Damselfly Records for Oxfordshire

This page gives recent items of news about dragonflies and damselflies in Oxfordshire, with the aim of increasing interest and awareness in these charismatic insects in the County.

All entries will be acknowledged. Please send any interesting sightings to me at stephen_burchemail at (change "at" for "@"), and I will endeavour to enter below as soon as possible. Minimum required details are species, site and observer. If the species is localised, scarce or rare in Oxforshire, if possible please provide some details to confirm the identification (such as a photo, previous experience of the species etc).

For those with websites, I will add a link if requested. If you'd like to send a photo to illustrate your sighting on this page, I'd be happy to add it below.

See also my site guide to the dragonflies and damselflies of Oxfordshire, and also an illustrated list of all the dragonflies and damselflies recorded in Oxfordshire, with comments on abundance and distribution.

To see the news for 2010, click here.

Date Species Site and details Observer
6 November Ten Common Darters. River Thames between Pinkhill to Shrike Meadow at Farmoor David Hastings
28 October About twenty Common Darters and a Migrant Hawker. Otmoor David Hastings
25 October About ten Common Darters and one Southern Hawker. Radley Lakes David Hastings
1/2 October Many large dragonflies including Southern and Migrant Hawkers and more numerous Common and Ruddy Darters Otmoor Peter Barker, per Otmoor Birding
2 October At least 50 Common Darters, with about 20 pairs either in tandem or in copulation! A couple of Ruddy Darters and three Southern Hawkers. Otmoor David Hastings

Common Darter (top) and Migrant Hawker (bottom)
Stephen Burch (click to enlarge)

2 October Migrant Hawker (2), Common Darter Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch
2 October Migrant Hawker (3+), a few Common Darter Radley GPs (Thrupp and Bullfield Lakes E & F) Stephen Burch
11 September A few Brown and probable Migrant Hawkers. Lots of damsels around the NW corner of the lake: Banded Demoiselle (female), Blue-tailed, Common Blue and Red-eyed. Radley GPs (Thrupp and Bullfield Lakes E & F) Mike Flemming
4 September Many Common Blue and Red-eyed Damselflies, two Migrant Hawkers, one Southern Hawker and about ten Common Darters. Radley Gravel Pits David Hastings

Southern (top) and Migrant Hawkers (bottom)
David Hastings

29 August At least nine Southern Hawkers (all but one male), three Migrant Hawkers, at least twenty Common Darters and a similar number of Ruddy Darters. Threee Common Blue Damselflies and a male Blue-tailed Damselfly. Otmoor David Hastings
15 August Lots of Common Blue Damsels, Blue tailed Damsel, 10+ Male Small Red Eyed Damselflies (Lake M), Red Eyed Damsels, 1 Southern Hawker, 3 Brown Hawker, 3 Migrant Hawker, 3 Black tailed Skimmers, Common and Ruddy Darters Radley Gravel Pits Wayne Bull
15 August Brown Hawker (1), possible Migrant Hawker and Black-tailed Skimmer (3) Pinkhill, Farmoor Stephen Burch

Migrant Hawker Wayne Bull

14 August Common Blue Damsel, 2 Southern Hawker, 3+ Migrant Hawker, 6+ Brown Hawker, 1 male Broad bodied chaser, Common and Ruddy darter. Otmoor Wayne Bull
14 August Migrant Hawker (1). Aston Upthorpe David Hastings
12 August Brown Hawker (2) and Common Blue Damselfly (2). Otmoor David Hastings

Southern Hawker (probable immature male)
David Hastings

12 August Common Darter (30+), Southern Hawker (2), Migrant Hawker (6) and Brown Hawker (1). Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings
2 August At least 10 pairs of ovipositing and 8+ single male Small Red-eyed Damselflies on the south west end of lake M. Also Common Blue Damsels, Red Eyed Damsels, 5 Brown Hawker, 6 Emperor Dragonfly (5 males 1 female), 15+ Black tailed skimmer, Common and Ruddy Darters. Radley Gravel Pits Wayne Bull
31 July Common Blue Damselfly (6), Brown Hawker (4), Common Darter (8) and Ruddy Darter (2). Cothill Fen/Parsonage Moor David Hastings

Lesser Emperor at Standlake
Ian Lewington

31 July LESSER EMPEROR (6th Oxon record). For details of the others see the County list. Pit 60, Standlake Gravel Pits Geoff Wyatt/Ian Lewington, per Oxon Bird Log
Last week in July Small Red-eyed Damselfly (2) Appleford Pit Ian Lewington
30 July Several Small Red-eyed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, many Black-tailed Skimmer, Emperor (1). Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch

Small Red Damselfly
Stephen Burch (click to enlarge)

30 July Small Red Damselfly (3), Keeled Skimmer (1), Common Darter Cothill Fen Stephen Burch
28 July 2 Migrant Hawker, 2 Southern Hawker, 8+ Brown Hawker, 1 (Female ) Black-tailed Skimmer, Common Darters. Whitecross Green Wood Wayne Bull
25 July Brown Hawker (2) - first of the year Milton Park Stephen Burch

Small red eyed Damselfly Wayne Bull

25 July Common blue Damselfly, Blue tailed Damselfly, Red eyed Damselfly, 3 male Small Red-eyed Damselflies, 4 Brown Hawker, 8 Emperor Dragonflies (5 males 3 females), Black-tailed skimmer, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter. Radley Gravel Pits Wayne Bull
24 July Common Darters and Common Blue Damselflies, as well as one immature Migrant Hawker.Also four Brown Hawkers in the wood. Sydlings Copse bridleway (SP560096) & wood David Hastings
24 July Lots of Ruddy and Common Darters, at least nine Brown Hawkers, thirty Common Blue Damselflies and two Emperors Otmoor David Hastings
24 July 1 male Broad-bodied Chaser and 2 male Common Darters. Parsonage Moor (very brief visit only) Stephen Burch
23 July 2 male Small-red eyed Damselflies, 1 Common Blue Damselfly, many Black-tailed Skimmers and 1 male Emperor in mediocre conditions. Shellingford Pit (now with very little water) Stephen Burch
15 July c. 8 Brown Hawkers, 2 Southern Hawkers, 1 Emperor, 1 Common Darter, 1 Four-spotted Chaser, many Common Blue Damselflies and approx. 10 Banded Demoiselles. Thames between Cholsey and Wallingford. Paul Chandler

Brown Hawker
David Hastings

14 July Common Blue Damselflies (80+), Blue-tailed Damselfly (6), Red-eyed Damselfly (4), Brown Hawker (2), Emperor (4) and Black-tailed Skimmer (1). Radley Gravel Pits (Thrupp & Bullfield Lakes) David Hastings
11 July One female Southern Damselfly. Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings
10 July Common Blue Damselfly (6), Banded Demoiselle (2) and Ruddy Darter (1). Chimney Meadows David Hastings
9 July One female Beautiful Demoiselle. Bernwood Forest David Hastings
5 July 5 Brown Hawkers, 2 Southern Hawkers, and quite a lot (c20) Blue-tailed Damsels and around 12 Banded Demoiselles. Cholsey Marsh Paul Chandler
4 July Common Blue, Azure, Blue-tailed and Red eyed Damsels, 5 Emperor dragonfly, 3 Brown Hawker, Four spotted Chaser, Black tailed Skimmers, Common and Ruddy Darter. Radley Gravel Pits Wayne Bull

Ruddy Darter
Jonathan Mercer

3 July Three Keeled Skimmer, one Emperor and five Small Red Damselflies. Parsonage Moor/Cothill Fen David Hastings

Small red Damselfly (top) and Ruddy Darter (bottom)

David Hastings

2 July 7 Brown Hawkers, two teneral Common Darters, at least seven teneral Emerald Damselflies, four Blue-tailed Damselflies, four Common Blue Damselflies and three Azure Damselflies. Omoor David Hastings
2 July One Beautiful Demoiselle Bernwood Forest David Hastings
2 July Two Brown Hawkers, two Emperors, teneral Common Darters and a female Ruddy Darter Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings
3 July Brown Hawker. Also 1 Purple Emperor and plenty of Silver-washed Fritilllaries. Bernwood Forest Stephen Burch

Emerald Damselfly Wayne Bull

2 July 10+ Emerald Damselflies, Common blue, Azure, Blue tailed and Red eyed Damsels. Four spotted Chaser, Emperor Dragonfly, Common and Ruddy Darter. Otmoor Wayne Bull
30 June  8+ Beautiful Demoiselle Waterperry Wood Wayne Bull
30 June Southern Hawker Cholsey Paul Chandler
29 June Azure Damselfly (seen at Woodland ponds + 2 exuviae collected), Common Blue Damselfly (good numbers at Woodland ponds), White-legged Damselfly (one male netted near the Thames and shown to group), Blue-tailed Damselfly (small numbers along the Thames and at the Woodland ponds), Red-eyed Damselfly (About 10 + 4 exuviae collected at Woodland ponds), Emperor (one male at Woodland ponds), Black-tailed Skimmer (one male at Woodland ponds) Ruddy Darter (immature male with damaged wing, found in water + 2 exuviae collected at Woodland ponds )
NB The woodland pools are not normally accessible to the general public
Little Whittenham Adrian Hickman
29 June 12 Banded Demoiselles. Cholsey Marsh Paul Chandler
27 June Brown Hawker (one seen from the hide near the Thames), Banded Demoiselles (small numbers along the Thames at Church meadow) & Four-spotted Chaser Little Whittenham Adrian Hickman
26 June One male and one female Southern Damselfly Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings

White legged Damselfly (top) and Club-tailed Dragonfly (bottom) Wayne Bull

27 June Banded Demoiselle, 2 Male White-legged Damsels, Azure and Blue tailed Damsels and 1 Female Club-tailed Dragonfly. Iffley Meadows Wayne Bull
26 June Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue Damselfly & Emperor. River Thames near Buscot Stephen Burch
24 June Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue, Azure, Blue Tailed and Red-eyed Damselflies, 2 Emperor Dragonflies inc ovipositing female, 1 Brown Hawker (1st of the year), Four Spotted chasers, Black tailed Skimmers and Common Darter. Radley Gravel Pits Wayne Bull

Small Red Damselfly Wayne Bull

23 June 8+ Small Red Damselflies and 5 Keeled Skimmers. No sign of any Variable Damsels. Cothill Wayne Bull
23 June Only 2 male Southern Damselflies seen and 2 Blue Tailed Damseflies Dry Sandford Pit Wayne Bull
19 June 1 Adult male Beautiful Demoiselle, Common blue and Azure Damselflies, 1 Emperor Dragonfly, 2 Four-spotted Chaser and 1 Common Darter. Whitecross Green Wood Wayne Bull
18 June Black-tailed Skimmer (2) in poor conditions for dragonflies! Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch

Terneral Common Darter Wayne Bull

14 June Banded Demoiselle, Common, Azure and Blue tailed damselflies, Red eyed Damsels, 3 Emperor Dragonfly, Black tailed Skimmers, Four Spotted chasers, 1 Club tailed Dragonfly, 15+ Common Darter (tenerals) and Ruddy Darter (teneral). Radley Gravel Pits Wayne Bull
11 June Emperors (2), Common Blue Damselflies and one possible immature male Beautiful Demoiselle. Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings

Click to enlarge
Emperor Stephen Burch (click to enlarge)

11 June Blue-tailed and Common Blue (terneral) Damselflies; Broad-bodied Chaser (1+), Black-tailed Skimmers and Emperor (1 male, 1 female). Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch
4 June 1 Broad-bodied Chaser (female) Aston Upthorpe Downs SSSI David Hastings
4 June 1 Common Clubtail (male) Lardon Chase (nr Streatley) David Hastings
3 June Terneral Common Darter (very early). Milton Park Stephen Burch.

Large Red Damselflies Wayne Bull

2 June Common Blue, Azure, Large Red, and 1 Teneral Small Red Damselfly, 1 Male Broad bodied Chaser and 1 Four Spotted Chaser Cothill/Parsonage Moor Wayne Bull
2 June At least 10 Southern Damselflies on the wing including 2 mating pairs also Large Red Damselfly. Dry Sandford Pit Wayne Bull
1 June 1 Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue, Azure, Blue-tailed and Red eyed Damselflies; Four Spotted Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer and 5 Emperor dragonflies (1 Teneral, 3 Males and 1 female) Radley Gravel Pits Wayne Bull
31 May Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Red eyed damsel Damselflies; Black-tailed Skimmer,Broad bodied chaser and 1 Female Hairy Dragonfly. Whitecross Green Wood Wayne Bull
31 May Many Blue-tailed, Azure, and Red-eyed Damselflier, plus a few Four Spotted Chasers. Otmoor - Roman Road Mike Flemming

Downy Emeralds Jonathan Crouch

25 May Copulating pair of Downy Emeralds Otmoor Jonathan Crouch
25 May Two male Banded Demoiselles, two male Blue-tailed Damselflies and a Four-spotted Chaser. Opposite side of the Cherwell from the University Parks in Oxford (SP520076) David Hastings
21 May Two emerging Club-Tailed Dragonflies on wall of railway viaduct. Also several Red-eyed Damselflies and Banded Demoiselles here. River Thames below Goring MDR per Recent Sighting page of BDS website
19 May 2 Club-Tailed Dragonflies emerging. In the meadow to the west of the viaduct were also seen Red-eyed Damsels (some flying in tandem), and White-legged Damselflies. Railway viaduct over River Thames below Goring SJD per Recent Sighting page of BDS website

Blue-tailed Damselfly Wayne Bull

17 May 20+ Banded demoiselle, Large red, Common Blue, Azure, Blue tailed inc "Rufescens" and Red eyed Damselflies, but no White-legged! Iffley Meadows Wayne Bull
15 May One Four-spotted Chaser and two Broad-bodied Chasers Parsonage Moor David Hastings
15 May Half a dozen Large Red Damselflies Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings

Azure Damselfly (top) and Hairy Dragonfly (bottom) Wayne Bull

15 May Azure, Large red and Blue tailed damselflies. 5 Broad-bodied Chasers, 10+ Four spotted Chasers, 1 (very early) Emperor Dragonfly and male and female Hairy dragonfly. Otmoor - Roman road and bridleway
Wayne Bull
14 May At least 7 Club-tailed Dragonflies in varying stages of emergence from nymphs crawling out of the water to those taking first flights on and around the concrete bank under the railway bridge. One complete emergence sequence witnessed on the bridge. At least 30 exuvia on the wall and nearby too. Also 1 male Banded Demoiselle emerging under the bridge along with many others, male and female, spotted on the walk to the bridge. A few 100m down-stream 1 male Cmmon blue Damselfly and 1 male Beautiful Demoiselle. Railway viaduct over River Thames below Goring NDP per Recent Sighting page of BDS website
14 May Broad-bodied Chaser (imm.). Another early record! Shellingford Pit (sheltered corner aways from the water) Stephen Burch

Black tailed Skimmer Wayne Bull

12 May Common Blue, Azure, Blue tailed and Red eyed Damselflies.
2 Four Spotted Chaser, 4 Black Tailed Skimmer and 1 Club Tailed Dragonfly
Radley Gravel Pits Wayne Bull
12 May 1 Common Clubtail Withymede Peter Pool
12 May 1 Banded Demoiselle Hartslock BBOWT reserve Peter Pool
11 May 12+ Banded Demoiselles and 3 Common Clubtails Cholsey Marsh Paul Chandler
10 May 3+ Large Red Damselflies Lollingdon. Paul Chandler
9 May Damselflies: Azure,Common Blue,Blue Tailed,Large Red and Red Eyed.
2 Four Spotted Chaser, 1 Broad Bodied Chaser, 1 (teneral) Black Tailed skimmer, 5 Common Clubtails and 1 Downy Emerald (Bullfield Lake)
Radley Gravel Pits Wayne Bull
5 May 2 Broad-bodied Chasers, 3 Common Clubtail and 8+ Banded Demoiselles Thames in Cholsey. Paul Chandler
2 May Club-tailed Dragonflies were common today - resting on the bushes and trees around the main orchid slope Hartslock BBOWT reserve Warden's blog
2 May Banded Demoiselle (1), Blue-tailed Damselfly (6+), Common Blue Damselfly (20+), Large Red Damselfly (12), and Azure Damselfly (10+) Pinkhill, Farmoor David Hastings

Common Clubtail (top) and Banded Demoiselle (bottom)
Mike Flemming

2 May Male and female Banded Demoiselles and 1 Common Clubtail Thames Path from Cholsey towards Moulsford Mike Flemming

Four Spotted Chaser (top) and Red-eyed Damselfly (bottom)
David Hastings

30 April 5 or 6 Hairy Dragonflies, 8 Four-spotted Chasers and a single Downy Emerald. Many teneral and mature Common Blue damselflies (probably Azures as well), a couple of Large Red damselflies and a single mature Red-eyed damselfly Otmoor: along the Roman road and near the new hide (sheltered areas) David Hastings
30 April Terneral Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies Shellingford Pit (sheltered side) Stephen Burch

Broad bodied Chaser at Cholsey
Paul Chandler

28 April A Large Red Damselfly, a Banded Demoiselle. 2 Common Clubtails and a single Broad-bodied Chaser Thames in Cholsey Paul Chandler
28 April 2 Large Red damselflies
20+ Common Blue damselflies
7 Blue tailed Damselflies
4 Red Eyed damselflies (inc Adult!)

1 Four Spotted Chaser
1 Hairy Dragonfly (they must be breeding somewhere in the vicinity?)
Radley Gravel Pits (sheltered areas) Wayne Bull
27 April 3 teneral Large Red Damselflies Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings
27 April 3 Large Red Damselflies Near Lollingdon. SU5785 Paul Chandler

Hairy Dragonfly on Otmoor
Stephen Burch

25 April 2-3 Hairy Dragonflies, Large Red, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies Otmoor Stephen Burch
23 April 2011 Hairy Dragonflies and Four spotted Chasers Otmoor Pete Roby, via the Oxon bird log

Large Red Damselfly David Hastings

9 April 2011 Two teneral Large Red Damselflies Otmoor David Hastings

All pictures copyright Stephen Burch, unless stated otherwise

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