Thursday 29 December 2022

Wildlife Review 2022 - Dragonflies & Damselflies

Above average spring temperatures encouraged the first damselflies on the wing, with Azure and Blue-tailed Damselfly both appearing a couple of weeks early on 5 May. The first Broad-bodied Chaser on 14 May was also ahead of their usual Warren schedule. Despite the suitable conditions no Hairy Dragonfly were reported, after only one last year and none in 2020.

Broad-bodied Chaser - Alan Keatley
The first Emperor on 27 May was as expected, less expected was a Red-veined Darter seen flying in off the sea on the same date. The first sighting of this rare migrant since 2019. It was an average year for a more local migrant, with seven records of Golden-ringed Dragonfly between 22 Jun and 2 Sep.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - Alan Keatley
Early July saw a surge in species with the first Small Red-eyed Damselfly and Black-tailed Skimmer appearing around the Main Pond on the 5th, with seven species on the wing on the 9th, including three Black-tailed Skimmer, the first multiple record since 2013, and the first Common Darter of the year. 

Black-tailed Skimmer - Lee Collins

Breeding activity increased amongst the usual species but with a pair of Black-tailed Skimmer witnessed in-cop for the first time since 2009.

Migrant Hawker - Dave Jewell

Usually the last species to emerge, the first Migrant Hawker were seen on 7 Aug, increasing in numbers and frequency from late August, before peaking in September, with the last occurrence on 16 Oct. Surprisingly Southern Hawker weren't noted until the end of October; when there were several sightings, some may have gone unnoticed earlier in the year, but presumably these were migrants?
With the warm unseasonal weather continuing into November, a Southern Hawker lingered until 9th with Common Darter regular until the 13th.

Southern Hawker - Alan Keatley

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