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.

Thursday 27 November 2014

Crymlyn Burrows

A male Southern Hawker was flying along the path at the western end of the site, between the university campus and west wood. Sometimes showing down to a few feet, but sadly not settling for a photo. (MHi, DCo)

Thursday 30 October 2014

Tennant Canal

Today a walk along the Tennant Canal at Jersey Marine found 3 (2m+f) Southern Hawkers and 3 Common Darters, of which one was certainly a male but the others were silhouetted.

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Parc slip, Tondu.

                              Southern hawker, looking quite fresh, on Oct 21st.

Monday 22 September 2014

WWT. Llanelli 21/09/2014

Out of county on Sunday with a trip to WWT Llanelli for a spot of birdwatching. A few Dragons on the wing in and around the grounds, a Migrant Hawker flying around the British Steel Hide and One on the pond outside the cafe. In total Five flying in front of the Herron-wing Hide and Three on part of the fishing ponds plus this one on the path around the Millenium grounds.
Also found on the path this Southern Hawker.
Did not count the Common Darters seen but it was alot, also a few Common and Azure Damselflies.

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Llanilid south pools

Black Darters
Southern  and Migrant hawkers Red veined darters Black darters Common darters and a possible female yellow winged darter could not get a photo to confirm this all seen at the south pools

Migrant hawkers at Parc slip today.

Sunday 14 September 2014


Southern and Migrant hawkers plus lots of jet black Male Black darters and one black tailed skimmer

Cosmeston today 14/09/2014

Nothing flying early morning until lunch time then the sun came out and the temp warmed up. Over by the pond to the left of the visitor centre there were 20+ Common Darters in tandem and nearly all were ovipositing with a few single males looking for partners.
Patroling around the pond edges were Three male Migrant Hawkers looking quite pristine.
I saw One female in the margins ovipositing and this pair copulating near by.
When leaving the pond the main boardwalk to the car park was awash with male Common Darters.

Sunday 7 September 2014

Roath Parc Today - 07/09/2014

Alot of Damselflies on the wing around the main lake, mainly Common Blues with some Blue-tailed and Azures. I even saw a new emergence near the outlet stream but unable to get a photo for record.
At the top end near the islands due to the pond weed being at the surface there were alot of Damsels over the water some in tandem with a few Male Common Darters holding territory plus I saw Four Hawkers patroling the island vegetation near the waters edge but not sure what they were as I did not have my bins with me.

Thursday 28 August 2014

Last Dragonfly Walk of the Year at Parc Slip

Held the last Dragonfly Walk for the public of the year at Parc Slip this afternoon. We were very lucky with the weather- a dismal start to the day but the sun has been shining all afternoon!

A good group of 7 enthusiastic people wanting to learn more about odonata came along and we managed to spot emerald damselflies, lots of common darters, a female common hawker and male and female southern hawkers, despite the wind. Already looking forward to starting these walks up again next year.


Monday 25 August 2014

Lavernock Point NR & Cosmeston Lakes 24/08/2014

Walked around Lavernock for about 40 min before I saw my first Dragonfly a female Common Darter, nothing else around not even at the pools. Saw another Three before leaving to try my luck at Cosmeston.
Went to the pool too the left of the visitor centre and was supprised to find just a few Blue-tailed Damsels there, further along the boardwalk I did see One male Common Darter.

Walked over to the Dragonfly pond seeing a couple more Common Darters on the way only to find nothing flying there either. The weather was not that cold and yes it was overcast but not bad enough to stop anything flying. Although on the way back I did manage to see two Migrant Hawkers.

Sunday 17 August 2014

Park Slip Today 17/08/2014

A walk around Park Slip today and apart from a few Blue-tailed Damselflies near the Visitor Centre the only thing on the wing were Common Darters.

Saturday 16 August 2014

Kittle -- Gower

Emerald damsel.. first for me

And can someone please identify this one for me thanks

Wednesday 13 August 2014

Penallta Park Today 13/08/2014

Although a bit windy there was some action at the horse-shoe ponds today, there was still alot of Emerald Damsels about with some in tandem and copulating also a few Blue-tailed Damsels about. Common Darters were plentyful with some in tandem and ovipositing, on one pool I found this Common Hawker female ovipositing and have a bit of trouble getting about with her wings in such a bad state.
I did manage to find One Black Darter.
On the last pond a patroling Emperor was having a battle with a Male Broad-bodied Chaser, the Emperor flew off leaving the Chaser to the pond.
On a final note this may be the last records I submit from this site and possible Park Cwm Darren as Caerphilly Council have decided to spoil things by installing Pay&Display parking m/cs at both sites.
Park Cwm Darren may still be ok as there are toilets and a cafe there but Penallta has nothing to offer other than it being a big toilet area for dogs.

Sunday 3 August 2014

Penallta & Parc Cwm Darren Today 03/08/2014

A bit wet and windy at Penallta horse-shoe ponds this morning, the only things around the ponds where Common Darters and some Emerald Damsels.
So I moved on to P.C.D. where the weather had cleared up a bit but still not alot on the wing at the new Dragonfly pond. Again there were Emeralds with some in tandem and a few Azure Damsels.
But then something caught my eye in the reeds a new emergence, possible a Migrant Hawker?(correct me if I am wrong) with the Exuvia close by.

Saturday 2 August 2014

Parc Slip New Scrapes

Managed to get some odonata spotting in whilst doing some maintenance in the new scrapes field at Parc Slip yesterday.

A solitary broad-bodied chaser, black-tailed skimmers, an emperor, plenty of darters (no bins to get close enough to I.D. them), emerald damsels, blue-tails, common blue and azures. The icing on the cake was a lovely male scarce blue-tail damsel and two bright orange immature females. Excuse the very poor photo- taken on my phone- but you can at least see how orange she is! 

Next sunny day, we will be heading into the new scrapes field to see what else has colonised.


Thursday 24 July 2014

Black Darter at Llanilid

A quick trip over to see these and a single washed out R.V.Darter

I think this one is a female, going with the body shape

Llanilid 24/07/14

At least five Black Darters today at Llanilid, at a boggy pool on the till mound SS98988158. Also at the same location were 15+ Keeled Skimmers, plus plenty of Emerald Damselflies.

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Ruddy show goes on at Kenfig

Gareth Stamp counted c60 Ruddy Darters at Kenfig Pool, today. It appears to be a very good year for this species and we might get a temporary expansion of range away from the traditional sites in the latter part of this year. This might lead to colonisation of new sites later this year and next? These very good numbers at Kenfig plus Mike Thornton's sighting at Parc Cwm Darran, on Sunday, certainly make it worthwhile looking for Ruddy Darters at suitable locations where they've not previously been seen.

Southern Damselfly on the wing near Broad Pool

3 Southern Damselflies were on the wing near Broad Pool, yesterday.
Flying at Broad Pool or nearby were Emerald Damselfly (10), Common Hawker (7), Emperor (4), Black-tailed Skimmer (10), Black Darter (2 tenerals) & Common Darter (10)

Also of interest just outside of area at WWT Llanelli, the Small Red-eyed Damselfies were on the wing and in copulation, yesterday afternoon. All records from Paul Grennard and Clive Jones, with thanks.

Monday 21 July 2014

Penallta Parc & Parc Cwm Darren 20/07/2014

Alot of action at the horse shoe ponds with a couple of Emperor Dragonflies patroling Two of the ponds and Five male Broad-bodied Chasers keeping them busy.
There were also the normal Common Darters but no Black Darters yet.

On the Damselfly side there where alot of Azure, Blue-tailed and Large Reds about. Also plenty of Emeralds.
Away from the ponds on the footpath near-by was this nice Golden Ringed Dragon.
I then moved on to Parc Cwm Darren and the new pond to the left of the Visitor Centre.
Again this was being patroled by Two Emperors but they did not fight alot so could have been a male and female (managed a photo of one when it came to rest).
I also found this cast in amongst the weed by the bank, could it be from the Emperor? if so it is a good indicater of breeding. It was approx 50-60mm long.
There were also plenty of Damsels about with a good number of Emeralds.
And lastly this Common Darter or is it? the more I look at it the more it looks like a Ruddy Darter but I think it could just be the angle of the photo. Any comments?

Friday 11 July 2014

Roath Park Today

There was a mixture of Damselflies on the lily pads in the outlet stream below the lake plus One Common Darter.
Banded Demoiselle
Common Darter
Two other Dragons flying around by the islands but not able to identify.

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Ruddy Darters at Kenfig (1/7/14)

 The last couple of years has seen me fail to connect with Ruddy Darters at Kenfig. Therefore the recent news from Kenfig of them being seen on the wing was a real source of encouragement. Tony Messinger's and David Carrington's recent sightings was followed by Paul Grennard's report of good numbers just north of the main pool in the dunes and along the track, yesterday afternoon. A quick chat with Paul and I was making a shameless journey to twitch the Ruddys!
I found them exactly where Paul described and was excited by the numbers present. During an hour walking slowly along the path that runs around the back of the pool and in the adjacent dunes there were 30+ Ruddy Darters. Mainly males, but at least 5 females including a freshly emerged individual that was still uncurling. There were lots of stages present including adults, immatures and tenerals. Also, in support of Paul's comments I too was unable to find any Common Darters during my visit, which I was surprised about.

Paul had earlier supplied counts from his visit -

Red-veined Darter - 6 (inc 4m + pr in copula)
Ruddy Darter - 20+
Hairy Dragonfly - 1
Emperor Dragonfly - 10+
Four-spotted Chaser - 6
Black-tailed Skimmer - 20+
Common Blue Damselfly - c200
Blue-tailed Damselfly - 20

Monday 30 June 2014

Some recent pictures

Red-veined Darter at Kenfig

Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies mating at Cwm Colliery

Ruddy Darters (copula with Common?!) plus Red-veined Darter sightings at Kenfig

© D.G. Carrington
I received news from David Carrington today of Ruddy Darters and at least 1 Red-veined Darter on the wing at Kenfig NNR during the last week. Lets deal with the photo first. Dave sent in this photo of a Ruddy Darter copula, taken today at SS79498076. The male appears to be a typical bright individual. However, the female appears to show many features one might expect to see on a female Common Darter. The most obvious feature suggesting Common is the pale stripe behind the legs. The female looks fairly big compared to the male Ruddy and the general colouration looks a little dull. The markings and shape to the abdomen is difficult to see in the photo as is the extent of the black markings around the frons. I'm not at all familiar with Ruddy Darter as a species, but there is not much shown in the photo that convinces me the female is a Ruddy Darter. I'd be very interested to hear any comments on ID of female Ruddy Darters or whether mixed pairs have been found at other locations, perhaps where Ruddy Darters and Common Darters occur more commonly.

Tony Messinger reported Ruddy Darters at the North Pool lagoons (SS799819) last week.

Red-veined Darter has been reported present from the east shore of Kenfig Pool.