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2017 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 yahoo.co.uk (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. It would be most convenient if you could re-size any photographs to a horizontal resolution of 640 pixels, to match the others on this page.

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.

The recording method preferred by the British Dragonfly Society is now the iRecord on-line recording system. To use this you will need to create an account, but this has the advantage that records submitted via iRecord go directly into the correct database.

As I am the BDS recorder for Vice County 23 (old Oxfordshire, prior to the 1974 county boundary changes), I will automatically be asked to verify any VC23 records entered into iRecord.

However if your iRecord entries relate to those parts of current Oxfordshire that used to be Berkshire (generally areas to the south of the Thames) I will not hear about them, as the Berkshire recorder (for VC22) will be notified of them, not me. As this page is intended to cover the whole of current Oxfordshire, please let me know if you submit any records for VC22 to iRecord.

News for previous years is available:

Date Species Site and details Observer
25 July 1 Brown Hawker Milton Park - along stream on N side (SU495920) Stephen Burch
22 July 1 Black-tailed Skimmer, 10+ Brown Hawkers, 1 Southern Hawker,  a Blue-tailed Damselfly plus a few Common/Ruddy Darters Otmoor Stephen Kill
22 July 2+ Black-tailed Skimmer (one ovipositing), 1 Brown Hawker, Common Blue Damselflies, Pit 60 & Langley Lane Stephen Burch

Migrant Hawker (c) Barry Hudson
18 July Migrant Hawker 1 immature female Bampton Barry Hudson

Common Blue Damselfly in flight (c) Stephen Burch
8 July 5+ Red-eyed Damsels, 100s Common Blue Damsels, c. 10 Black-tailed Skimmer, 5+ Four-spotted Chasers, 2 Emperor, 1 Brown Hawker Tar Lakes Stephen Burch

Airborne Small Red-eyed Damselfly (c) Martin Green
17 July 1 Small Red-eyed Damselfly Pond in front of closed Upper Reaches hotel, Abingdon (SU499969) Stephen Burch
8 July Black-tailed Skimmer (inc 1 ovipositing) Pit 60, Standlake Stephen Burch
8 July 50+ Common Blue Damsels, 2-3 Brown Hawker Langley Lane, Standlake Stephen Burch
1 July Several Small Red-eyed Damselflies Faringdon Folly Park Pond (SU294949) Bill Haynes

Black-tailed Skimmer (c) David Hastings
1 July 7 Emperor Dragonfly, 2 Black-tailed Skimmer, 4 Brown Hawker, 3 Ruddy Darter. Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings
1 July 2 Brown Hawker. Waterperry Wood David Hastings
18 June 3 Beautiful Demoiselles. Waterperry Wood David Hastings
17 June 250+ Common Blue Damselflies, 12+ Black-tailed Skimmers, 7 Banded Demoiselles, 1 Brown Hawker Standlake Common David Hastings
17 June c.15 White-legged Damselflies, Common Blue, Blue-tailed, Red-eyed Damsels & 1 Emperor River Thames from Goring to railway bridge Stephen Burch

Black-tailed Skimmer (teneral) (c) Peter Law

Hairy Dragonfly (c) Peter Law
15 June 3m Hairy Hawker, a teneral Black-tailed Skimmer and 12+ Common Darter. Otmoor - Roman Road Peter Law

Southern Hawker (c) David Hastings
15 June Emperor Dragonfly 4, Southern Hawker 1, Broad-bodied Chaser 1, Ruddy Darter 1, Beautiful Demoiselle 1 Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings

Keeled Skimmer (c) Peter Law

Southern Damselfly (c) Peter Law
14 June 2m Keeled Skimmer and good numbers of Southern Damselfly  Dry Sandford Pit Peter Law

Common Darter (c) Peter Law
14 June 3 teneral Common Darter & 1 teneral male Keeled Skimmer Parsonage Moor Peter Law
13 June 1 Beautiful Demoiselle 2 Streams near Aynho Wharf, SP502318. On border with Northants John Curd, per iRecord
4 June 1 Hairy Dragonfly Whitecross Green Wood David Ferguson per Upper Thames Butterflies website
4 June Common Blue Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle. No Clubtails. SU5694 Stephen Burch
4 June Red-eyed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle. No Clubtails. SU5693 Stephen Burch

Southern Damselfly (c) David Hastings


Keeled Skimmer (c) David Hastings
3 June  4 teneral Keeled Skimmers and 2 Southern Damselflies Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings
3 June Many Common Blue Damselflies, 8 Red-eyed Damselflies, 30+ Banded Demoiselles and 1 Four-spotted Chaser. No Clubtails! SU5196 David Hastings
Beautiful Demoiselle
Beautiful Demoiselle (c) Stephen Burch
3 June 1m & 1f Beautiful Demoiselle, 1m Banded Demoiselle, numerous Azure Damselflies, Large Red Damsels, 1 Blue-tailed Damsel, Red-eyed Damsels. 1 Hairy Dragonfly, 30+ Four-spotted Chasers, 2 teneral Ruddy Darters  Otmoor Stephen Burch
2 June 2 Downy Emeralds Otmoor Geoff Wyatt, per Pete Barker



Hairy Dragonflies (top female, bottom, male) (c) David Hastings


Beautiful Demoiselle (c) David Hastings
30 May Azure Damselfly - 250+; Red-eyed Damselfly - 2; Large Red Damselfly - 2; Blue-tailed Damselfly - 1;  Beautiful Demoiselle - 3; Hairy Dragonfly - 2m,1f; Four-spotted Chaser - 20+ Otmoor David Hastings
28 May Banded Demoiselle, Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Red-eyed Damselfly, Hairy Dragonfly. Cholsey Marsh Paul Chandler, per his blog

Hairy Dragonfly (c) Ewan Urquart
28 May 3 Hairy Dragonflies (2m & 1f ovipositing) 2 Beautiful Demoiselle m/f   Plenty of Azure and Blue tailed Damselflies. Tim's Pool, Trap Grounds Ewan Urquart
28 May 100s of Banded Demoiselles in total, present in all monads: SP3300, SP3200,SP3100, SP3000, SP2900, SU2999, SU2899. c. 50 Red-eyed Damselflies in SP3200 and SP2900. SP2900 also had 1 Emperor and 1 Four-spotted Chaser at one spot. No Clubtails again! Tadpole Bridge to Radcot Stephen Burch

Common Blue Damselfly (c) Stephen Burch
27 May 100+ Banded Demoiselle (at SP304000; smaller numbers between here & Radcot bridge), 10+ Common Blue Damsel at SP295002, 1 Red-eyed Damselfly also at SP295002. No Clubtails! East from Radcot bridge along the Thames Stephen Burch



Broad-bodied Chaser and exuvia (c) Tom Stevenson
26 May 3 exuviae on 25 May and one adult Broad-bodied Chaser today Ewelme cress beds pond  Tom Stevenson
26 May 1 Clubtail coming to Tim's Pool for second day. Also 1m & 1f ovipositing Hairy Dragonfly (first site record), 1m Emperor, several dozen Azure Damselflies, 2 Blue-tailed Damselflies, mating pair of Large Red Damselflies. Also 1m Banded Demoiselle seen flying down Kingston Road Trap Grounds Adam Hartley
24 May 4 Common Clubtail exuviae. 2 of these were attached to the wall of the bridge abutment and 2 more in long grass at the top Goring Railway Bridge Peter Law
22 May c. 7 Hairy Dragonflies (including 1 female) and c. 7 Four-spotted Chaser,  Otmoor Peter Law
22 May 1 Large Red and 5 Azure Damselflies Ewelme Cress Beds Tom Stevenson

Azure Damselfly (c) Tom Stevenson
21 May 1 Azure Damselfly Millbrook Mead Nature Reserve Tom Stevenson

Banded Demoiselle (c) David Hastings
21 May 10+ Azure Damselfly, 2+ Common Blue Damselfly,  5m & 4f Banded Demoiselle River Thames at SU515967 David Hastings

female Hairy Dragonfly (c) Peter Law
18 May 3f & 1m Hairy Dragonflies and 2 Four-spotted Chasers Otmoor Peter Law
18 May 5m & 1f Banded Demoiselles Cholsey, south of Ferry Lane Suzanne Parrott
15 May Hairy Dragonfly Otmoor Phil Cutt per iRecord
14 May 1 Clubtail Goring Railway Bridge Dominic Mackenzie per iRecord
14 May  50+ Banded Demoiselle Between Tadpole Bridge and Radcot Lock   Stephen Burch 
14 May 1 Clubtail adult On Thames path just W of Tadpole Bridge SP333003 Stephen Burch
13 May c. 50 Azure Damselflies and 1 Large Red Damselfly Otmoor Martin Harvey per iRecord

Banded Demoiselle (c) Stephen Darlington
13 May 1m & 1f Banded Demoiselle and 1 Large Red Damselfly Goring railway bridge area Stephen Darlington
13 May 1m Banded Demoiselle Just downstream of Goring railway bridge Stephen Burch
13 May Clubtail exuviae: 3 in SU5980, 2 in SU5979 and 6 in SU6079 Goring village to railway bridge Stephen Burch
10 May 4 Banded Demoiselles, 1 Blue tailed Damselfly, 1 Variable Damselfly. 1f Four spotted Chaser, 1 Hairy Dragonfly Barton Fields, Abingdon Martin Wackenier

 Large Red Damselfly (c) David Hastings
2 May 6 Large Red Damselflies. Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings
1 May 1f Banded Demoiselle River Thames at Cholsey Suzanne Parrott

Variable Damselfly (c) Martin Wackenier
29 April Variable Damselflies Barton Pool, Abingdon Martin Green & Martin Wackenier
29 April An ill-formed teneral male Common Clubtail. First 2017 Oxon record for the count! Abingdon Lock (SU506971) Bob Eeles
22 April 1 Hairy Dragonfly. Remarkably early record! Otmoor Pete Roby per Oxon Wildlife Blog
19 April 2 Large Red Damselfly Otmoor (Roman Rd & on the bridleway near bridge to car park field) Peter Law

All pictures copyright Stephen Burch, unless stated otherwise

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