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.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Margam Moors/Morfa Tip

One of 3 Common Darters seen today during an afternoon visit to the Kenfig salt marsh. 2 males and 1 female.

Monday 5 November 2012

Baglan Dunes

In some of the more sheltered parts of the dunes and saltmarsh areas it was pleasantly warm, around midday today. 3 species of dragonfly were noted today, but rather frustratingly, pinning them down for a photo proved unsuccessful in each instance.

1f Southern Hawker
1m Migrant Hawker
3+ Common Darter

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Gnoll CP

1 Southern Hawker and 2 Common Darter around the main pond.

(Nick Edwards)

Sunday 21 October 2012

Recent sightings

A couple of Dragonflies were observed still on the wing, this weekend.

1) 20/10/12 male Migrant Hawker at Foxhole Slade

2) 21/10/12 male Common Darter at Rhossili

Saturday 6 October 2012

Crymlyn Burrows

male Migrant Hawker
A walk around the dunes and salt marsh area at late morning, had the temperature feeling quite summery. With the pleasant conditions brought a couple of Dragons on the wing including a Common Darter and 4 Migrant Hawker, all males.

Thursday 27 September 2012

Lavernock Point

Migrant Hawker 2 & Common Darter 2 in tandem. Also Migrant Hawker Cardiff Bay.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Red-veined Darter at Lavernock LNR

News from David Carrington.

A Red-veined Darter was at Lavernock LNR, yesterday. It was seen in the first field by Tony Messinger

Saturday 8 September 2012

Back to Kenfig...

Ovipositing tandem Common Darters
Revisit to Kenfig Pool for Ruddy Darter or rarer darters, was once again unsuccessful. I teamed up with Paul Grennard for the afternoon and a couple of circuits of the pool were lacking in any Ruddy Darter sightings. A conversation with Dave Carrington later suggested that the areas near both hides are good locations, as are the muddied shores of the western pool, but that, Ruddy Darter can be seen throughout the reserve. However, and even though no Ruddy Darters were seen, there was plenty of activity around the pool including some nice late Black-tailed Skimmer records. No fewer than 4 Black-tails were noted including a very dark over-mature individual seen by Paul before I had arrived.

Totals : 30+ Migrant Hawker, 4 male Emperor Dragonfly, 4 male Black-tailed Skimmer, c 90 Common Darter and 150+ Common Blue Damselfly

Friday 7 September 2012

Recent VC41 sightings

1) Small pond below Llyn Fawr. Near to Cwm-hwnt on OS map (SN 914 051)

Totals : 1 Golden-ringed Dragonfly and c30 Black Darter. Also good numbers of Emerald Damselfly

2) Hirwaun Ind estate sub-station ((SN 937 058)

Totals : 1 Southern Hawker and Common Darter also present.

From Martin Bevan (2/9/12)

Thursday 6 September 2012

Kenfig Pool

male Migrant Hawker
A late afternoon trip to Kenfig Pool, today, was fairly productive. The target being Ruddy Darter but, once again, I've failed to connect with this species. Two species were in abundance, Common Blue Damselfly and Migrant Hawker. Both species were providing an almost constant presence during a walk around the pool. I would easily put the number at 20+ Migrant Hawkers with three tandem wheels noticed, thought to be this species? The number of Common Blue Damselfly also seemed impressive given the time of year? A conservative estimate would put the figure at 200+

Totals : 1male Southern Hawker, 20+ Migrant Hawker, 30 Common Darter, 9 Emerald Damselfly, 6 Blue-tailed damselfly and 200+ Common Blue Damselfly

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Banwen Pools

male Black Darter
A few dragons still active into the evening during a quick visit to a pool near Banwen.

Totals :  1 male Southern Hawker, 8 male Black Darter, 20 Common Darter, 10 Emerald Damselfly, 6 Blue-tailed Damselfly and 50 Common Blue Damselfly. Also nearby, 1 male Common Hawker.

Friday 31 August 2012

Red-eyed Damselfly new to Carmarthenshire

Stephen and Anne Coker found a Red-eyed Damselfly on the Deep Water Lake, Penclacwydd, on 26/8/12. This constitutes the first record for Carmarthenshire and was a nice reward while carrying out a survey for the British Dragonfly Society new national atlas project. Paul Grennard and Clive Jones were also present not long after the male Red-eyed Dragonfly was located and provided assistance in viewing the damselfly through their scopes to confirm the diagnostic features.
Following hot on the heels of the Small Red-eyed damselfly, a recent new arrival in Wales, it is hoped that these Damselflies will become a regular feature in the area and add to the diversity of Odonata which already occur.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Keeled Skimmer at Crymlyn Bog

male Keeled Skimmer
 A walk around the various Dragonfly areas at Crymlyn Bog, today, was rewarding. Quite apart from the dragons on view, this was the first time I have walked the new boardwalk since it was opened earlier this year. There are now a number of different areas which look good for odonata, and all fairly close to the centre car park.
male Keeled Skimmer
A good showing of Keeled Skimmer with 10+ including 2 tandem pairs.

Totals: 10+ Keeled Skimmer, 4 Common Hawker, 1 Emperor Dragonfly, 20 Common Darter, 20 Emerald Damselfly, 1 Blue-tailed Damselfly and 1 Common Blue Damselfly

Monday 27 August 2012

Small Red Damselfly in Pembs

tandem pair Small Red Damselfly
 Thanks to Paul Grennard I was able to catch up with some Small Red Damselflies at Dowrog Common, yesterday. The weather was fantastic, for a change, and I noted 22 in flight here including 6 tandem pairs.
male Small Red Damselfly
 During yesterday's visit I only noticed the female form erythrogastrum, which has a completely red abdomen like the male. The male does differ from the female, in having more developed antehumeral stripes, but these are hardly pronounced and in certain lighting can be very difficult to see.
female Small Red Damselfly
 A reliable feature that I find for separating male from female is by comparing the structural differences, whereby the abdomen of the female is fairly consistent in thickness along it's length; the male is much more variable especially when concentrating on S1, S2 (both quite thick) compared to S3 (which tapers along its length).
male Small Red Damselfly
Other Species noted:
1 male Emperor Dragonfly, 1 male Common Hawker, 20+ Common Darter, 10 Emerald Damselfly and 6 Blue-tailed Damselfly

Sunday 19 August 2012

Small Red-eyed Damselfly at WWT Llanelli

male Small Red-eyed Damselfly
Rob Taylor found some Small Red-eyed Damselfly flying in front of the Sir Peter Scott hide at Penclacwydd, this afternoon. I managed to get down to see them late afternoon by which time, the numbers on view from the hide had risen to being 50+. Alongside the good numbers of very territorial males, an ovipositing tandem pair was also on view.
Apart from size the diagnostic features for male Small Red-eyed Damselfly are found on the abdomen, which is divided into 10 segments. Segment 1 (S1) is attached to the thorax, and the segments are numbered sequentially to Segment 10 (S10) which is the very end segment. On male Small Red-eyed Damselfly there is more blue on the abdomen, S1 is completely blue and blue is found on the side of S2 and even the underside of S3. On male Red-eyed Damselfly the blue near the thorax is confined to S1 only. The other difference lies at the the other end of the abdomen; male Small Red-eyed Damselfly show complete blue on S10 and S9 but also a significant amount of blue on the side and underside of S8. On male Red-eyed Damselfly the blue is confined to S10 and S9.
I've included a record shot of a male Red-eyed Damselfly, taken earlier in the year at Neath Canal, for comparison.
male Red-Eyed Damselfly
The Small Red-eyed Damselfly was first discovered in the UK in 1999, at Essex (Brooks). Since then it has been spreading west through England but that expansion seems to have slowed considerably recently. An early feeling is that this find may represent one of, if not the, first records for Wales. However, similar resources show a lack of Red-eyed Damselfly in Wales when we know it has been established for a number of years. It will be interesting to hear news of any records previous to this one, from Wales. Whatever the case it is now in Llanelli and it would seem likely that it is to be found between there and the English border? With 50+ flying today it would appear that now is a good time to look for it.
I've attached a link below which will take you to the British Dragonflies website page for Small Red-eyed Damselfly where further photos and a distribution map can be found.


Migrants around the Gower

male Migrant Hawker
 Migrant Hawkers present at 3 locations, yesterday afternoon. 1 in flight below the lifeguard lookout at Tutt Head, another in flight over Oxwich Beach and 3 around the fields at Weobley Castle.
male Migrant Hawker

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Roath park

Southern Hawker??
Spotted this one in Roath Park this afternoon, and it very obligingly sat still for a snap.  I have tentatively id'd it as a Southern Hawker - again if it isn't perhaps someone would let me know!

Monday 13 August 2012

Old Church area Rhoose Point

 A couple of photos from Rhoose - hopefully the id's are right, I'm very happy to be corrected if they are not!  Both these photos are taken from the area where the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies have been found in the past, and where I think some scrub clearance would be in order!  There were a couple of other Odonata species on the wing that afternoon, but these were the only two I could get close enough to have a good look at & photograph!

Blue-tailed Damsefly
Common Darter

Friday 10 August 2012

Broad Pool and surrounds 09/08/12

Paul Grennard visited this location yesterday and took some very nice records

Highlight : 7 Southern Damselfly

Also 12 Common Hawker, 15 Emperor Dragonfly, 10 Four-spotted Chaser, 3 Black-tailed Skimmer, 1 Keeled Skimmer, 30 Black Darter and 10 Common Darter.

30 Emerald Damselfly, 35 Common Blue Damselfly and 10 Blue-tailed damselfly

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Banded Demoiselle at Rheola

male Banded Demoiselle
 Encouraged by Jake's report of a good showing of Banded Demoiselles in Cardiff, yesterday, I continued my search for them in the Neath Valley, today. I've noticed that Banded Demoiselle's have been recorded between Tonna and Glyn-Neath in recent years and I've made a few searches for them. A couple of searches upstream from Tonna have been unsuccessful and one upstream from Resolven, following the river, which was also unsuccessful. Today however, was a 'red letter day' (for me), and a male Banded Demoiselle showed well just before Rheola Brook feeds under the A465 (SN84270395). As an added bonus it was joined for a little while by a male Beautiful Demoiselle and they battled for dominance along a prime stretch of vegetated bank in the sun.
male Banded Demoiselle

Tuesday 7 August 2012


10 Banded Demioselle on the Nant Fawr stream at Colchester Ave (Sainsbury's) 6/08.

Friday 27 July 2012

Gnoll CP

male Emerald Damselfly
Nick Edwards sent me a timely reminder, yesterday, to check out some of the more suitable wetland habitats that are part of the Gnoll Country Park. I was able to visit this afternoon and was pleasantly surprised by a few ponds, only recently created, at the lower part of the pitch & putt course (SS76579791). Incidentally, an interpretation panel placed next to the ponds does show a photo of a Small Red Damselfly, although it is unlikely that they will ever occur at this location. However, many of the more likely damselflies that are found locally, were on view.

male Broad-bodied Chaser
Totals - Broad-bodied Chaser(5m), Scarce Blue-tailed(3), Blue-tailed(12), Large Red(6), Common Blue(30), Azure(4) and Emerald Damselfly(2m)

Tuesday 24 July 2012

Southern Damselfly at Cefn Bryn

male Southern Damselfly
There were 3 male Southern Damselfly in flight in one of the runnels SW of Broad Pool, today.

Totals - Emperor(1m), Golden-ringed(2), Common Darter(7), Large Red(2), Blue-tailed(1) and Southern Damselfly(3m)

Broad Pool, Gower

male Emperor Dragonfly
6 Emperor Dragonfly were in flight around Broad Pool today, 5 males and an ovipositing female.
female Emerald Damselfly
My first Emerald Damselfly of the year were among a good selection of species in flight over the pool or in the surrounding vegetation.

Totals - Emperor(5m,1f) Black-tailed Skimmer(2m), Four-spotted Chaser(5), Black Darter(1f), Common Darter(20) and Emerald Damselfly(2f). Blue-tailed, Azure and Common Blue Damselfly also present.

Pluck Lake (SS669957)

male Black-tailed Skimmer
 At least 6 male Black-tailed Skimmers were patrolling the lake and flooded tracks at this location today often coming into conflict with Emperor Dragonfly.
tandem pair Red-eyed Damselfly
Also at least 3 Red-eyed Damselfly were observed in flight over open water. The tandem pair above and a single male were seen together; there may be more on the Lily pads but they're difficult to scan with bins - a telescope would be better.

Totals - Emperor(4m), Golden-ringed(1m), Black-tailed Skimmer(6m), Four-spotted Chaser(1), Common Darter(40), Red-eyed Damselfly(1p+1m) and Large Red(2). Blue-tailed, Azure and Common Blue Damselfly all present.

Monday 23 July 2012

Resolven to the Borrow Pits

female  Common Darter
 A walk, from the Neath Canal carpark at Resolven along the canal for a few hundred yards and then following the path running alongside the Neath River as far as the Borrow Pits, today, produced a few species.
female Southern Hawker
The above female Southern Hawker was observed hunting in a completely shaded-out section of the Neath Canal, around 18:00. It was quite cool at ground level in the shade and I watched as she hawked acrobatically (with loop-the-loop included) for a few minutes before flying high into the Ash Tree above to take some sun.
male Golden-ringed Dragonfly
Totals from the day - Common Hawker(1), Golden-ringed Dragonfly(4), Common Darter(40), Large Red Damselfly(3), Common Blue Damselfly(1000+), Azure Damselfly(30), Blue-tailed Damselfly(8)

Friday 20 July 2012

And then the sun came out...

female Black Darter
 I'm on a bit of a mission to try and build up the site list for Odonata at the Panasonic site, Baglan Moors. Today, I was please to add Black Darter to my own list for this location, however it has been recorded here previously by Barry Stewart in 2003, at least.
female Black Darter
 8 Black Darters noted today, all female.
immature male Common Darter
 Once again a strong presence of Common Darters (50+), most newly emerged with a couple of adult females
male Emperor dragonfly
3 male Emperor Dragonfly were patrolling the area including this male which I observed attacking a Four-spotted Chaser midair. They fell together sharply into the vegetation and a little later only the Emperor Dragonfly emerged. The photo was taken following that event which may help explain the damaged left forewing?

Also noted today Four-spotted Chaser(3), Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly(25), Blue-tailed damselfly(20) and Azure Damselfly(1)

Thursday 19 July 2012

Rhoose Point

Hi Folks - I'm new to this blog!  Wondered if you might be interested to see this photo that I popped onto ispot a few days ago.  I'm no expert on these beasts, but I'm told it is probably the less common form of blue-tailed damsefly, form rufecens-obseleta??

I would also be interested to hear if anyone has practical knowledge of habitat requirements for Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly - I'm in dialogue at the moment with the Council about how the public areas at Rhoose Point (which is a SINC) are managed, and apparently Scarce Blue-tailed damsels were present here a few years ago but have been lost.  It would be nice to see if with appropriate management we can get them back again!


Monday 9 July 2012

Azure Damselfly with broken Antehumeral Stripes

Azure Damselfly tandem pair
This male Azure Damselfly shows a distinct broken antehumeral stripe, creating the 'exclamation marks' normally associated with the identification of Variable Damselfly.  A side on view of this male also gives the impression of a 'wine glass' shape on S2. The connection, I've found, can often be difficult to see from the side and this individual shows me that more care is needed when calling Variable on the antehmeral stripes alone.
This would have been my first Variable Damselfly for the Panasonic site at Baglan Moors, and I'm sure that they will yet turn up here for me.

Otherwise at this location on 8th & 9th

8/7/12 - 1 Emperor Dragonfly, 1 Four-spotted Chaser, 15+ Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, 3 Blue-tailed Damselfly & 4 Azure Damselfly

9/7/12 - 2 Emperor Dragonfly (including an ovipositing female), 8 Common Darter, 2 Blue-tailed Damselfly & 7 Azure Damselfly

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Aurantiaca phase Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly

Aurantiaca phase female Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly (c) P. Grennard
Paul Grennard visited the Baglan Industrial Area (as described below) today, and found this very nice aurantica phase Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly. The bright orange colouration indicating it's an immature female.

Paul also called into the Neath Canal at Penrhiwtyn and found 3 male Red-eyed Damselfly in flight there.

Neath Canal at Penrhiwtyn

female Hairy Dragonfly
I returned to the Neath Canal in the Penrhiwtyn area yesterday to check on Dragonfly numbers and found there to be a drastic decrease from the numbers taken on 2 previous visits (before the stormy weather). I also checked the Square Pond. The Water Lilly clusters on the Square Pond are quite extensive in some parts but the Damselfly numbers were quite low :-

2 Red-eyed Damselfly, 20 Blue-tailed Damselfly, 4 Azure Damselfly and 2 Common Blue Damselfly. No dragonflies noted here.

At the Neath Canal it is clear that the Water Lilly surface cover has in the large part been removed, although plenty still coming up and on the fringes. However, Damselfly numbers were surprisingly low, on what was a hot afternoon.

1 Red-eyed Damselfly, 4 Blue-tailed Damselfly, 3 Common Blue-Damselfly and 12 Hairy Dragonfly. Away from the main bodies of water a female Hairy Dragonfly (above), Variable Damselfly (1) and Azure Damselfly(12)

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Golden-ringed Dragonfly above Cwmavon

female Golden-ringed Dragonfly
An early morning visit with MSC student James Owen to look for Chats in the vicinity of Foel Fynyddau produced a female Golden-ringed Dragonfly. James found this fresh, and rather wet, individual clinging to Gorse where it remained completely immobile.

Monday 18 June 2012

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly at Baglan Industrial Estate

male Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly
Today, at the old Panasonic site (SS749915), there were very good numbers of Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly on the wing. Mostly males but also some tandem pairs. There was also a significant emergence of Common Darters. Other species were less common but this site has a lot of potential!

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly(50+), Blue-tailed Damselfly(9), Azure Damselfly(1), Four-spotted Chaser(2), Broad-bodied Chaser(1), Emperor Dragonfly(1) and Common Darter(50+)
teneral male Common Darter

Beautiful Demoiselle at Tonna lock

female Beautiful Demoiselle
A visit to the Neath Canal on 17/6/12 produced 2 Beautiful Demoiselle, a male and a female. Starting off at Tonna lock (SS773993) and walking to Clyne produced decent numbers of Odonata on the wing with the vast majority of them situated around the lock including both Beautiful Demoiselle.

Beautiful Demoiselle (m+f), Large Red Damselfly(16), Azure Damselfly(100+), Blue-tailed Damselfly(7) and Common Blue Damselfly(1)

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly at Crymlyn Burrows

male Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly
I was quite surprised to find this male Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly at Crymlyn Burrows, today. It was found in flight around a small pool which is located at the boundary with Earlswood Golf Course (SS72359327). I tend to associate this species with more upland habitats, but the pool itself looks perfect for them. One interesting thing is that this pond floods on the very high tides and therefore the water must experience temporary increase to it's salinity. I'm not sure whether that rules this pond out for possible long term presence by Scarce Blue-tails and this male was the only one observed to be present today? However, the weather was very changeable with only brief periods of sunshine and my visit occurred briefly before midday. Better conditions may well produce better numbers?

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Four-spotted Chaser at Banwen Pryddin

male Four-spotted Chaser
Good numbers of Four-spotted Chaser(16) at a pond near Banwen Pryddin. Many other ponds in the vicinity were not checked but this area has held good numbers before. Also noted at this pond
Azure Damselfly 100+
Blue-tailed damselfly 2
Large Red Damselfly 8

Black-tailed Skimmer at Trimsaran (OOC)

female Black-tailed Skimmer
Male and female Black-tailed Skimmer noted at this site along with Broad-bodied Chasers(6). Large Red Damselfly(10+) and impressive numbers of Azure Damselfly(40+)

Sunday 27 May 2012

Red-eyed Damselfly at Neath Canal

Red-eyed Damselfly pair

A very productive visit to the Neath Canal today produced a highlight of 17 Red-eyed Damselfly including at least 3 tandem pairs.
male Red-eyed Damselfly

teneral male Red-eyed Damselfly

Other tallies taken from the visit include Variable Damselfly(12), Azure Damselfly(38), Blue-tailed Damselfly(20), Large Red Damselfly(3), Hairy Dragonfly(50+) and Four-spotted Chaser(1)
male Variable Damselfly

male Azure Damselfly

immature male Blue-tailed Damselfly

The vast majority of these sighting were taken along a 300m stretch of the Neath Canal between the railway bridge and the footbridge(next to the field with horses). The centre point grid ref SS74009598. All of the Red-eyed Damselfly were along here. I didn't have time to check SW of the railway bridge but that stretch looks equally good.