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2014 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 (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.

News for previous years is available:

Date Species Site and details Observer
20 November 1 Common Darter Lollingdon, nr Cholsey (SU576853) Paul Chandler (belated record)
14 November 1 Migrant Hawker - getting very late now! Milton Park Stephen Burch
1 November A couple of dozen Common Darters Otmoor David Hastings
19 October 20+ Common Darters and 3+  Migrant Hawkers Otmoor David Hastings
19 October 2+ Common Darters Buckland Warren (SU340959) Stephen Burch
Various dates
 2 July to 24 August
Small red-eyed Damselfly (varying numbers from 1 to 5). Other records from this site during 2014 include Banded Demoiselle, up to 27 Red-eyed Damselflies, Azure, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damsels. Also Migrant, Brown & Southern Hawkers, Emperor, Broad-bodied Chasers, Black-tailed Skimmers, Common and Ruddy Darters. Folly Park, Faringdon Bill Haynes
3 October 1 Migrant Hawker and a few Common/Ruddy Darters Lagoon at Harwell Laboratory Stephen Burch
28 September Migrant Hawkers and 1 Southern Hawker at the southern end of Thrupp Lake. Common Blue Damselflies, more Migrant Hawkers, and Common and Ruddy Darters at Orchard Lake. Radley Lakes David Hastings

Migrant Hawker (c) Stephen Burch
27 September 3+ Migrant Hawkers, Common Darters Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch
27 September 1+ Migrant Hawkers, Common Darters Pit 60, Standlake Common Stephen Burch

Migrant Hawker (c) Barry Hudson
22 September Several Migrant Hawker pairs & 1 Common Damselfly Baulking Quarry Barry Hudson
21 September About 30 Common Darters and about 10 Migrant Hawkers. Farmoor - by R Thames David Hastings

Common Darter (c) Barry Hudson
16 September Common Blue Damselfly, Ruddy and Common Darters Baulking Quarry (SU323908) Barry Hudson
6 September 2-3 Migrant Hawkers Farmoor Stephen Burch

Common Darter (c) Stephen Burch
31 August 10+ Small red-eyed Damsels still, 1 Banded Demoiselle, a few Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damsels, 20+ Migrant Hawkers, 50+ Common Darters Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch

Migrant Hawker (c) David Hastings
31 August 8 Migrant Hawkers, 2 Brown Hawkers, 1 Southern Hawker, and 10+ Common Darters Farmoor David Hastings
28 August 100+ darters, mostly Common.  Also 1 one Banded Demoiselle, 1 Common Blue Damselfly , 25+Migrant Hawkers, 7 Brown Hawkers and 1 Southern Hawker. Otmoor David Hastings

Migrant Hawker (c) David Hastings
24 August 1 Migrant Hawker and 9 Common Darters Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings
24 August 1 Migrant Hawker, 2 Brown Hawkers, 5 Keeled Skimmers  and 11 Common Darters. Parsonage Moor/Cothill Fen David Hastings
Small Red Damselfly
Small Red Damselfly (c) Stephen Burch
16 August 10+ Small red Damselfies, 10+ Keeled Skimmers Cothill Fen NNR Stephen Burch
16 August 20+ Migrant Hawkers, Common/Ruddy Darters Otmoor Stephen Burch
15 August 24+ Small-red eyed Damselflies Shellingford Pit Barry Hudson
9 August 2 Migrant Hawkers (my first of the year) Shrike Meadow hide - Farmoor Stephen Burch
3 August One Common Emerald Damselfly, three Blue-tailed Damselflies, two Common Blue Damselflies, one Migrant Hawker, nine Brown Hawkers, three Southern Hawkers, one Emperor Dragonfly, one Broad-bodied Chaser, at least fifty Ruddy Darters and at least twenty Common Darters Otmoor David Hastings
3 August Southern Damselflies, 1 Small Red Damselfly. Brown Hawker and 6 Keeled Skimmers. Parsonage Moor Mike Pollard, per his blog
3 August 1 Southern Damselfly and 2 Keeled Skimmers Dry Sandford Pit Mike Pollard, per his blog

Small-red eyed Damselflies (c) Stephen Burch
3 August 20+ Small-red eyed Damselflies, Common Blue Damsels, Blue-tailed Damsels, 1 tatty Emperor, 2 Brown Hawker, many Black-tailed Skimmer, Common Darter Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch

Ruddy Darter with more extensive yellow on wings than normal (c) Phil Kirk
27 July 1 Ruddy Darter with more extensive yellow on wings than normal - see above. This was initially thought to be a very rare Yellow Winged Darter, but after consulting with Richard Lewington the view is that this is just an immature Ruddy Darter, due to the heavy black markings on the abdomen, its black legs (which are yellow striped on Yellow Winged) and its dark pterostigma (brown on Yellow Winged). Others beware! Otmoor Phil Kirk

Small-red eyed Damselfly (c) Stephen Burch
26 July 2+ Emerald Damselflies, 5+ Small-red eyed Damselflies, 1 Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue & Blue tailed Damselflies. 2+ Emperors, 1 Brown Hawker. Numerous Black-tailed Skimmers, 2+ Four-spotted Chasers, Ruddy Darters. Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch
25 July 1 Banded Demoiselle Milton Park - field to the N of the park. Stephen Burch
24 July Common Blue Damselfly, Blue Tailed Damselfly, Red Eyed Damselfly, Emperor Dragonfly, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Four Spotted Chaser, Black Tailed Skimmer, Common Darter, Ruddy Darter. Radley Lakes Wayne Bull, per his blog
22 July 2 Brown Hawkers Milton Park Stephen Burch

Ruddy Darter (c) David Hastings
20 July Blue-tailed Damselflies, Common Blue Damselflies, four Brown Hawkers, one (immature) Southern Hawker, and masses of Ruddy Darters Otmoor David Hastings
19 July Common Blue Damselflies and two Black-tailed Skimmers Hinksey Lake David Hastings
19 July Banded Demoiselles, Blue-tailed Damselfly,  Common Blue Damselflies, and one Brown Hawker River Cherwell in Oxford David Hastings

Ruddy Darter (c) Ewan Urquhart
18 July Ruddy Darter 100+, Emperor Dragonfly 3m, Black tailed Skimmer 3 [2 m 1f], Brown Hawker 11, Azure Damselfly 3, Blue tailed Damselfly 5, Common Emerald Damselfly 1m Otmoor - bridleway from Noke to the Wetland Watch Hide Ewan Urquhart
15 July 1 male Black-tailed Skimmer, 2 Brown Hawkers. Good mix of Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselflies. Port Meadow Adam Hartley
14 July 20+ Black-tailed Skimmer, 5+ Common/Ruddy Darter, 3 Emperor, 5+ Emerald Damselfly, 2 Red-eyed Damselfly, 3 Small Red-eyed Damselfly. Lots of Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies Shellingford Pit Adam Hartley

Banded Demoiselle (c) Ewan Urquhart
13 July 20+ Banded Demoiselle River Evenlode at Kingham Ewan Urquhart
10 July 2 Banded Demoiselles, 1 Common Blue Damselfly, 2 Brown Hawkers and 1 Common Darter. Marston Meadows David Hastings
7 July Banded Demoiselle, Common Blue Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly River Cherwell - Upper Cherwell Valley Gareth Blockley
7 July Banded Demoiselle Oxford Canal - Upper Cherwell Valley Gareth Blockley
7 July Emperor Dragonfly, Blue-tailed Skimmer, Common Darter, probable Four-spotted Chaser, Common Blue Damselfly (100s if not 1000+), Blue-tailed Damselfly, Red-eyed Damselfly. Unnamed pool -Upper Cherwell Valley Gareth Blockley
6 July 1 Common Blue Damselfly, 4 Emperors, 5 Brown Hawkers, 1 Southern Hawker, 1 Black-tailed Skimmer, and at least 25 teneral and 1 mature Ruddy Darters. Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings

Scarce Chaser (c) Terry Sherlock
6 July SCARCE CHASER (1m) - first confirmed record for Oxon Otmoor - between the corner and the second screen Sherlock,Badger,Bark per the OBL.
4 July Brown Hawker 2 -  one of which caught a skipper sp., Emperor Dragonfly 1 -also hunting skippers, Southern Hawker 1 and Ruddy Darter 1. Bernwood Forest Ewan Urquhart
3 July 1 Southern Hawker Milton Park - field to N Stephen Burch

An unusual Beautiful Demoiselle (c) Peter Law
3 July An unusual Beautiful Demoiselle Bernwood Forest Peter Law
30 June Large numbers of Banded Demoiselle Seacourt Stream by Wytham Mill Lynn Ebbs
30 June Banded Demoiselle 3, Emerald Damselfly 6+, Common Blue Damselfly 1000+, Azure Damselfly 2, Blue Tailed Damselfly 10+, Red Eyed Damselfly 20+, Emperor Dragonfly 6+, Southern Hawker 2, Brown Hawker 6+, Four Spotted Chaser 8+, Black Tailed Skimmer 10+, Ruddy Darter 15+ Radley Lakes Wayne Bull, per his blog

Keeled Skimmer (c) Ewan Urquhart
29 June Keeled Skimmer Parsonage Moor Ewan Urquhart
28 June 3 Brown Hawker, 1 Emperor, good numbers of Black-tailed Skimmer, Ruddy and Common Darter. 1 female Banded Demoiselle, 1 Emerald Damselfy, numbers of Common Blue, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies. Radley Lakes - between pit H / I and Thames. Peter Law
26 June Brown Hawker, Broad Bodied Chaser, Ruddy Darter Bernwood Forest Wayne Bull, per his blog
25 June 2 Emperors Lagoon at Harwell Laboratory Stephen Burch
24 June Common Blue Damselfly, 5 Southern Damselfly, Large Red Damselfly, 10+ Small Red Damselfly, Four Spotted Chaser, 6 Keeled Skimmer, 3 Common Darter Parsonage Moor/Cothill Fen Wayne Bull, per his blog
24 June Southern Damselfly Dry Sandford Pit Wayne Bull, per his blog

Ruddy Darter (c) David Hastings
15 June 1 Blue-tailed Damselfly, 1 Emperor and 3 teneral Ruddy Darters Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings

Broad-bodied Chaser (c) David Hastings
14 June 2 Large Red Damselflies, 8 Southern Damselflies, three Common Blue Damselflies, one teneral Broad-bodied Chaser and one Keeled Skimmer Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings
14 June Red-eyed, Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Azure Damselflies. Downy Emerald in NW corner. Also Emperor, Four spotted Chaser, Ruddy Darter, & Black-tailed Skimmer. Radley Lakes Ian Smith, per Oxon Bird Log
14 June 3 Brown Hawker along bank to south of H/I pit, where there were dozens of Common Darter and a few Ruddy Darters. Several Emperor, Black-tailed Skimmer and Four-spotted Chaser on and around pit between H/I and Thames. Also Red-eyed Damselfly. Good numbers of Common Blue, Azure Damselfly and some Blue-tailed. Radley Lakes Peter Law
Common Blue Damselfly
Common Blue Damselfly (c) Stephen Burch
14 June Many Common, Azure and Blue-tailed Damsels. 1 Brown Hawker & 1 Broad-bodied Chaser Otmoor Stephen Burch

Emerald Damselfly (c) Peter Law
13 June Azure, Blue-tailed, and Emerald Damselfly Otmoor, Roman Road Peter Law
13 June Club-tailed Dragonfly at SP477095 on Seacourt Stream. Also Broad-bodied Chaser on Wytham Mill pool looks and Seacourt Eye SP470100 had 3-4 Emperors, Four Spotted Chasers, and a probable Hairy Dragonfly. Wolvercote Jeremy Dexter, per the Oxon Wildlife blog

Four spotted Chaser (c) Appleton Wildlife Dairy
12 June Hundreds of blue damselflies, 1 probable f. Beautiful Demoiselle and 1 Four spotted chaser. West Oxfordshire sailing club lake, near Standlake. Appleton Wildlife Dairy

Emperor (c) Peter Law
11 June 1f Emperor on the large pond at Noke end, 10+ Four-spotted Chaser and good numbers of Blue-tailed and other blue Damselflies. Otmoor Peter Law

Beautiful Demoiselle (c) Mike Flemming
10 June Loads of 'blue' damsels, Beautiful Demoiselle, Four-spot Chaser, and Broad-bodied Chaser. Whitecross Green Wood Mike Flemming

Black-tailed Skimmer (c) David Hastings
10 June Teneral Black-tailed Skimmer North Abingdon garden David Hastings
9 June 3 Large Red Damselflies Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings

Southern Damselfly (c) David Hastings
9 June 6 Large Red Damselflies, 4m Southern Damselflies, 4 Common Blue Damselflies, fiv5e Four-spotted Chasers and 1 immature Keeled Skimmer Parsonage Moor David Hastings

Broad-bodied Chaser (c) Appleton Wildlife Diary
8 June 2 Broad-bodied Chasers  Besselsleigh wood Appleton Wildlife Dairy

Broad-bodied Chaser (c) Martin Wackenier
8 June 2 Broad-bodied Chasers and Black-tailed Skimmer River Thames at Abingdon upstream from Barton Fields Martin Wackenier
8 June 2 Beautiful Demoiselle, Azure Damselfly, 5+ Hairy Dragonflies along the rides, 3 Emperor Dragonflies - 2 males,1 Female, 1 Teneral Ruddy Darter. Whitecross Green Wood Wayne Bull, per his blog
7 June Many Banded Demoiselles, 1 imm Black-tailed Skimmer, but no sign of any Club-tails or Hairies. (+1 Cetti's Warbler singing) River Thames at Abingdon upstream from Barton Fields Stephen Burch
6 June 2 teneral Ruddy Darters Otmoor Brian Walker
5 June Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue Tailed Damselfly inc "Rufescens" and "Violacea"forms, Red Eyed Damselfly, 4 Four Spotted Chaser, 2 Black Tailed Skimmer. Radley Lakes Wayne Bull, per his blog
5 June 1 male Beautiful Demoiselle and 2 Banded Demoiselles Marston Meadows, Oxford David Hastings

Club-tailed Dragonfly (c) Martin Wackenier

Hairy Dragonfly (c) Martin Wackenier

Four-spotted Chaser (c) Martin Wackenier
5 June 1 Club-tailed Dragonfly, 1 Hairy Dragonfly, 1 Four spotted Chaser Abingdon, just past Barton Fields SU516967 Martin Wackenier
1 June 3 Large Red Damselflies Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings

White-legged Damselfly (c) David Hastings

Banded Demoiselle (c) David Hastings
1 June About 25 Banded Demoiselles and one White-legged Damselfly. One Club-tail  exuvia on the bridge.  River Thames near Goring railway bridge David Hastings
1 June Beautiful Demoiselle  - 1 at the eastern end of the bridleway. Also in that area were several each of Hairy Dragonfly and Four-spotted Chaser, and an array of common damselflies. Otmoor Peter Law
29 May 1 Downy Emerald Otmoor Paul Greenaway, per the Oxon Wildlife blog
26 May A remarkably early record of Southern Hawker Headington Peter Barker, per the Oxon Wildlife blog
25 May 2 Downy Emeralds Otmoor Peter Barker, per the Otmoor blog

Red-eyed Damselfly (c) David Hastings

Four Spotted Chaser (c) David Hastings
25 May A few Azure Damselflies, 2 Four-spotted Chasers, and 3 immature Emperors Whitecross Green Wood. David Hastings
25 May 5 Large Red Damselflies, 100+ Azure Damselflies, 2 Blue-tailed Damselflies, 4 Red-eyed Damselflies, 1 Hairy Dragonfly and at least 13 Four-spotted Chasers at Otmoor, Otmoor David Hastings
24 May A few Azure Damselflies. Farmoor (Pinkhill) David Hastings
Large Red Damsel
Large Red Damselfly (c) Stephen Burch
18 May c.100 Azure Damselflies, 20+ Large Red Damselflies The Lagoon, Harwell Laboratory SU478869 Stephen Burch
18 May 20+  Banded Demoiselles River Thames between Culham Lock & Sutton Courteney SU508946 Stephen Burch
18 May 1 Large Red Damselfly and 1 Broad-bodied Chaser Bessels Leigh Woods, Appleton Alex
17 May 2 Large Red Damselflies and 1 Broad-bodied Chaser  Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings
17 May 1 Broad Bodied Chaser (imm) Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch
Banded Demoiselle
Banded Demoiselle (c) Stephen Burch
17 May 100's of Banded Demoiselles but no Club-tails. River Thames south of Cholsey Marsh. SU595849 Stephen Burch
16 May Banded Demoiselle River Ock near Abingdon Tescos. SU481967 SDH
15 May Hairy Dragonflies seen today along the dyke between the new hide and Noke. 6+ Four Spotted Chasers. Lots of Azure Damsels around also a few Large Red Damsels and Blue tailed Damsels. Otmoor Wayne Bull, per his blog
14 May Downy Emerald briefly in a private garden  Kingston Bagpuize Wayne Bull
12 May Broad-bodied Chaser University Parks, Oxford David Hastings
9 & 10 May Hairy Dragonfly, Downy Emerald, Four-spotted Chaser Otmoor (Bridleway & Roman Road) Peter Barker per Otmoor birding
5 May Hairy Dragonflies along the rides. Whitecross Green BBOWT Reserve  Wayne Bull, per his blog
3 May Azure & Large Red Damselflies. Four-spotted Chaser & Hairy Dragonfly. Otmoor - Roman Road Jonathan Crouch

Large Red Damselfly (c) Peter Law
29 April 6 Large Red Damsels,  2 female Azure Damselflies on Roman Road. 2 Blue Tailed Damsels on the main Bridleway. Otmoor Wayne Bull, per his blog
24 April Large Red Damselfly - at least 6. Otmoor, Roman Road Peter Law

Large Red Damselfly (c) David Hastings
17 April Large Red Damselfly Otmoor David Hastings
27 February A tantalising account of a large dragonfly on the wing, incredibly early in the season. For further details see the BDS latest sightings web page. The possibility of it being a Vagrant Hawker has been mentioned! Pucketty Farm, Littleworth, Faringdon Jane Corley per Martin Corley

All pictures copyright Stephen Burch, unless stated otherwise

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