welcome note

On this blog you will be able to share sightings of Dragonflies and Damselflies within the recording area of VC41. However, sightings further afield will be welcome on this site also. To become an author of this blog please register by sending an email to vc41dragonfly@gmail.com and an invite will be sent to you. Alternatively if you want to record your sightings on this blog but do not wish to register then please email sightings with or without photos to the above address and they can be published for you. Please continue to record your sightings through the correct channels and details of these can be found above.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Southern Hawker at Llangynwyd today.

Friday 11 November 2011

Blue tailed damselfly at Kenfig pool yesterday. Also a few Common darters and a brown looking Hawker from the south pool hide that i put down as a worn Migrant hawker. It did not come closer than about 10 metres so details were few but after seeing Mark Hipkins' post, i wonder...

Vagrant Emperor now included in VC41 Dragonfly list

Vagrant Emperor, Cosmeston, 5th May 2011 by David Batchelor

Mike Powell, Dragonfly Recorder for VC41 has provided news of the recently included Vagrant Emperor to the VC41 List.

Mike writes "The latest issue of the Journal of the British Dragonfly Society, October 2011, Vol 27 No2, pp80-86 has confirmed two records of Vagrant Emperor Anax ephippiger for Glamorgan as follows:

1) 28th April, Llanilid, near Pencoed, one male, Paul Roberts

2) 05th May, Cosmeston Lakes, one male, David Batchelor

In addition there is a 'probable' record on 08th May from Cardiff (A. Crowder) These records constitute the first for Glamorgan.

A total of 20 confirmed UK records are published from 09th January with 18 of the records between 10th April & 08th May."

Thursday 10 November 2011

Vagrant Emperor at Baglan Bay

Vagrant Emperor (c) M. Hipkin
I came across a dragonfly flying in the dunes next to the old BP refinery works at Baglan Bay (SS72659149) today at 12:04. With the recent winds I thought there will always be a possibility of something unusual so I tried to get a closer look. My early feeling is that it might be a female Vagrant Emperor and would appreciate your thoughts. I spent most of my time trying to capture it on camera but it did come quite close and I made the following observations.
 1) Size seemed close to Migrant Hawker and the flight was quite weak compared to our Emperor dragonfly.
 2) The light was quite harsh but it did appear to have a general brownish colour to it. Not much contrast noticeable and no patterning seen with the naked eye.
 3) The wings also looked quite dark on occasions.
The above is part of the email I sent to Adrian Parr, Migrant Dragonfly Officer for British Dragonfly Society who contacted this blog earlier this year regarding Paul Roberts' find of a Vagrant Emperor at Llanilid 28th April 2011. I've included some of Adrian's response which has made my year!
Vagrant Emperor (c) M. Hipkin
Adrian Parr replied "Yes, this is definitely a Vagrant Emperor. The plain-coloured thorax makes it an Anax species, and the brown eyes & pale spots at the end of the abdomen mean it's Anax ephippiger - the Vagrant Emperor.

 It's interesting that you noted no blue patch on the abdomen, the photo shows this to more likely be a male (no obvious ovipositor, complicated pattern of anal appendages more suggestive of the three seen in males rather than the two in females, plus a hint of secondary genitalia also present). Presumably it's an immature. 

This makes some 7-8 individuals seen in the last six weeks, following on from the unprecedented early 2011 influx. I wonder if there are yet more to come!!"