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2015 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.

As the British Dragonfly Society (BDS) Recorder for Oxfordshire (VC 23), I will make sure all records submitted to me will be collated and sent to the BDS at the end of the season. You can also submit records directly to the BDS via their website but if you do so, please also send me the records as I have no way of accessing these records for county summaries etc. To avoid duplication please let me know you have already submitted records to the BDS. For those sending in many records, it is often more convenient to use a spreadsheet based system. Let me know if you would like to go down this route and I will send you the necessary files/templates.

News for previous years is available:

Date Species Site and details Observer
c. 19 November 1 Migrant Hawker Port Meadow: Castle Mill Stream Adam Hartley
31 October c. 10 Common Darters Baulking: Fullers Earth pit Stephen Burch
14 October 1 Southern Hawker Cholsey Paul Chandler, per his blog
12 October 1 Common Darter Cholsey Paul Chandler, per his blog
3 October 3 Migrant Hawkers and 1 Common Darter Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch
1 October 1 Migrant Hawker and 1 Southern Hawker University Parks David Hastings
27 September 1 Migrant Hawker, 1 Southern Hawker, at least 20 Common Darters and 2 Ruddy Darters.   Otmoor David Hastings
27 September 1 Southern Hawker Road to Radcot Lock (SU301994) Stephen Burch
20 September 1 Common Darter West Hendred (SU453887) Stephen Burch
19 September 1 Migrant Hawker, 1 Southern Hawker and 1 Common Darter Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings

Migrant Hawker (c) Stephen Burch
19 September c. 6 Migrant Hawkers Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch
12 September Common Blue Damselfly (25+), Red-eyed Damselfly (2), Migrant Hawker (7), Southern Hawker (1), Ruddy Darter (2), Common Darter (25+). Radley Lakes David Hastings
7 September Migrant and Southern Hawkers Otmoor Peter Law, per the Oxon Wildlife blog

Southern Hawker (c) David Hastings
6 September 2 Brown Hawkers, 4 Migrant Hawkers (incl one pair in cop), 1 Southern Hawker and 2 Common Darters. Farmoor (Pinkhill) David Hastings

Common Darter (c) Stephen Burch

Migrant Hawker (c) Stephen Burch
6 September Small Red-eyed Damselfly 3, Migrant Hawker 3, Black-tailed Skimmer 2, Common Darter c. 10 Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch

Migrant Hawker (c) Adam Hartley
2 September 3 Migrant Hawkers, 10+ Common Darters, 2 Ruddy Darters, 2 Blue-tailed Damselflies Trap Grounds, Oxford Adam Hartley
26 August Southern Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Brown Hawker + many Common and Ruddy Darters. Otmoor Peter Law, per his blog

Ruddy Darter (c) Adam Hartley
23 August 1 Migrant Hawker, 1 Ruddy Darter, 1 Common Darter on the Trap Ground Ponds; 1 Brown Hawker & modest numbers of Blue-tailed Damselflies along the Castle Mill Stream. Port Meadow Adam Hartley
15 August 75 Common Blue Damselflies, 2 Blue-tailed Damselflies, 2 Emperor Dragonflies, 2 Southern Hawkers, 5 Brown Hawkers, 1 Black-tailed Skimmer and 5 Common Darters. Tar Lakes, nr Witney David Hastings
12 August 1 Migrant Hawker University Parks David Hastings
8 August 40+ Small Red eyed Damselfly, 1 Emperor, 6+ Black-tailed Skimmer, Common Darter Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch
8 August Common Blue Damselflies, 1 Emperor Devil's Quoit Pit, LWVGP Stephen Burch
8 August 6+ Red-eyed Damselfly, 100s Common Blue Damselfly, 2 Emperors, 2+ Brown Hawkers, Common Darters, Black-tailed Skimmer Tar Lakes, nr Witney Stephen Burch
2 August 2 Common Blue Damselflies, 1 Blue-tailed Damselfly, 2 Southern Hawkers, 16 Brown Hawkers, 6 Common Darters and 22 Ruddy Darters. Otmoor David Hastings

Small Red eyed Damselfly (c) Peter Law
2 August Small Red-eyed Damselfly c. 6, Common Blue Damselfly c. 6. Emperor 5, Black-tailed Skimmers 12+, and a few Common Darters Shellingford Pit Peter Law
Small Red eyed Damselfly
Probable Small Red eyed Damselfly just emerged from its exuvia (also visible)
1 August Small Red-eyed Damselfly 12+, Emperor 3, Black-tailed Skimmers Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch
23 July 2-3 Emerald damselflies Orchard lake, Radley  Wayne Bull

Small Red eyed Damselfly (c) Stephen Burch
18 July Small Red-eyed Damselfly 4, Blue-tailed Damselflies, Common Blue Damselflies, Emperor 1, Broad-bodied Chaser 1, Black-tailed Skimmers Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch
18 July Small Red Damselfly 6+, Keeled Skimmer 4+, Azure Damselfly Cothill Fen Stephen Burch

Keeled Skimmer (c) David Hastings

Small Red Damselfly (c) David Hastings
12 July 3 Keeled Skimmers, 7 Small Red Damselflies and 1 Southern Damselfly. Parsonage Moor & Cothill Fen David Hastings
11 July Common Blue Damselfly 100s, Red-eyed Damselfly 20+, Emperor 1m + 2f ovipositing, Four-spotted Chaser 1, Black-tailed Skimmer 30+ Tar Lakes, nr Witney Stephen Burch
11 July Common Blue Damselfly, Black-tailed Skimmer, Brown Hawker c 3. Standlake Pit 60 Stephen Burch

White-legged Damselfly (c) Stephen Burch
10 July White-legged Damselfly 5, Banded Demoiselle 10+ River Thames at Goring Railway Bridge Stephen Burch
9 July Blue-tailed Damselfly 2+; Common Blue Damselfly; Emperor 1m, 1f ovipositing; Four-spotted Chaser 1; Black-tailed Skimmer 20+ Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch

Emperor (c) David Hastings
5 July  At least 50 Common Blue/Azure Damselflies, 1 Brown Hawker, 1 Emperor Dragonfly, 1 Broad-bodied Chaser, 1 Four-spotted Chaser and at least 30 Ruddy Darters (mature and teneral) Otmoor David Hastings
3 July 2 Brown Hawkers, 5 Emperor Dragonflies and 2 teneral Ruddy Darters. Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings
3 July 1 Hairy Dragonfly Otmoor Steve Lockey per Oxon Wildlife Blog

Southern Damselfly (c) David Hastings
2 July 1 Southern Damselfly & 4 Keeled Skimmers Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings
30 June Banded demoiselle, White-legged damselflies 6+, Azure damselfly, Common blue damselfly, Variable Damselflies 2+ (nr Barton Fields), Blue tailed damselfly, Red eyed damselfly. Brown hawker 2, Emperor dragonfly 5+, Four spotted chaser 10+, Black tailed skimmer 15+, Ruddy darter 10+ mostly tenerals Radley Lakes and Barton Fields Wayne Bull, per his blog

Red-eyed Damselfly (c) Peter Sketch
28 June Numerous Banded Demoiselle, White-legged Damselfly and Red-eyed Damselfly River Thames at Goring railway bridge Peter Sketch
27 June 6-8 White-legged Damselflies. Also Ruddy Darter Chimney Meadows BBOWT reserve Jeremy Dexter

White-legged damselfly (c) Adam Hartley
27 June 4m & 6f White-legged Damselflies. A few Common Blue Damselflies,  1m & 1f Beautiful Demoiselle. A dozen or so Banded Demoiselles Cherwell Valley NE of Grimsbury Reservoir, in meadows between river and M40 motorway. Adam Hartley per his blog

White-legged damselfly (c) Jeremy Dexter
24 June 2m & 1f White-legged damselfly Chimney Meadows BBOWT reserve SP36680136 Jeremy Dexter

Emperor eating a Black-tailed Skimmer (c) David Hastings
21 June Blue-tailed Damselfly 3, Large Red Damselfly 1, immature Emperor Dragonfly 7, Four-spotted Chaser 3,  immature Black-tailed Skimmer 1 (was caught and eaten by an Emperor). Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings
21 June Blue-tailed Damselfly 1, Large Red Damselfly 1, Red-eyed Damselfly 1, Azure Damselfly 20+, Common Blue Damselfly 30+, immature Ruddy Darter 14+. Otmoor David Hastings

White-legged damselfly (c) Peter Law
19 June 7-8 female White-legged damselfly and 2 males, Cherwell Valley NE of Grimsbury Reservoir, in meadows between river and M40 motorway. Peter Law
17 June Several Southern Damselfly including 2 mating pairs, 3 Keeled Skimmer (2m, 1F) Dry Sandford Pit Peter Law
17 June 1 Hairy Dragonfly, 1 Southern Damselfly (fem), some Common Blue and Azure damselflies Parsonage Moor Peter Law
17 June 3 fem Keeled Skimmer, 3 Small Red Damselfly  (2m, 1F) Cothill Fen Peter Law
14 June ~9 VARIABLE DAMSELFLIES Also, many Common Blue, Azure, and Blue-tailed Damselflies Several Banded Demoiselles  A few Red-eyed Damselflies on the lake. Barton Fields Adam Hartley & Peter Law

Variable Damselfly (c) Stephen Burch - click to enlarge
13 June 2-3 Variable Damselflies. Also Azure, Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Red-eyed Damselflies, despite the poor conditions! Small lake by river Thames at Barton Fields N 51.669995,W 1.260927 Stephen Burch & David Hastings
12 June 6 + VARIABLE DAMSELFLIES  today following a belated record from Martin Wackenier on 17 May - see below Barton Fields, Abingdon - not in the fields but closer to the river amongst denser more shaded vegetation Richard Lewington

Black-tailed Skimmer (c) Barry Hudson
11 June Common Blue Damselflies, Red-eyed Damselflies and Black-tailed Skimmers Shellingford Pit Barry Hudson
11 June 2f Banded Demoiselles University Parks David Hastings
8 June 5 male Southern Damselflies, 4 Large red Damselflies, 1 immature Keeled Skimmer and 2 Broad bodied chasers Dry Sandford Pit Wayne Bull, per his blog

Black-tailed Skimmer (c) Martin Wackenier

White-legged damselfly (c) Martin Wackenier
7 June 1 White-legged damselfly, 1 Black tailed Skimmer and 2 Four Spotted Chasers Barton Fields, Abingdon Martin Wackenier

Banded Demoiselle (c) David Hastings
7 June 52 Banded Demoiselles (33 male, 19 female) and six Red-eyed Damselflies. No sign of any Common  Clubtails or White-legged Damselflies. Goring Railway Bridge David Hastings

Emperor Dragonfly (c) Peter Law
7 June 1 Blue-tailed Damselfly. 3 Emperors in various stages of maturity & 5 Four-spotted Chasers. Whitecross Green Wood Peter Law
6 June 1 Azure Damselfly, 2 Common Blue Damselflies, 5 Large Red Damselflies and 3 immature Keeled Skimmers Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings
Hairy Dragonfly
Hairy Dragonfly - showing why its called "hairy"! (c) Stephen Burch
6 June Many Azure Damselflies, 4+ Large Red Damselflies, 4 Red-eyed Damselflies. 5+ Hairy Dragonflies, c. 15 Four-spotted Chasers. Possible Brown Hawker seen poorly in distance. Otmoor - mainly Roman Road Stephen Burch
4 June 1 Broad Bodied Chaser and 1 Four spotted Chaser Barton Fields, Abingdon Martin Wackenier

Four spotted Chaser (c) Martin Wackenier
3 June 1 Broad Bodied Chaser and 1 Four spotted Chaser Barton Fields, Abingdon Martin Wackenier

Hairy Dragonfly (c) Martin Wackenier
2 June 1 Hairy Dragonfly Barton Fields, Abingdon Martin Wackenier
1 June 1 Club-tailed Dragonfly River Thames upstream of the Beale Park (probably on the Berks side of the river!) Peter Law

Four spotted Chaser (c) David Hastings

Blue-tailed Damselfly of form rufescens (c) David Hastings
1 June At least 250 Azure Damselflies, 3 Large Red Damselflies, 3 Blue-tailed Damselflies (including one of form rufescens), 4 Red-eyed Damselflies and at least 9 Four-spotted Chasers. Otmoor David Hastings
30 May 2 Red-eyed Damselfflies copulating, 3 Blue-tailed Damselflies. 2 Four spotted Chaser, 1 Broad-bodied Chaser Shellingford Pit Stephen Burch
30 May Many Azure Damselflies, 5 Large Red Damselfies. 5+ Hairy Dragonflies, c. 10 Four-spotted Chasers Otmoor: Roman Road and Bridleway as far as cattle pens Stephen Burch

Club-tailed Dragonfly (c) Adam Hartley
27 May 1 Club-tailed Dragonfly just emerged. Also 20+ Banded Demoiselles and 2 unidentified Damselflies. Goring Railway Bridge area Adam Hartley
25 May 100+ Banded Demoiselle Shifford Lock to Duxford SP3700 Stephen Burch
24 May 1 Blue-tailed Damselfly in the large fishpond to the north of the building. Oxford Services (M40 junction 8A) Peter Sketch

Azure Damselfly (c) Peter Sketch
23 May 150+ Azure Damselfly, almost all immature, 1 Large Red damselfly 3 Red-eyed Damselfly, 3 Blue-tailed Damselfly, all immature. Common blue damselfly 1 (teneral). 3 Four-spotted Chasers and 1 Hairy Dragonfly Otmoor: Roman Road & Bridleway to hide and back Peter Sketch
Club tailed Dragonfly

Club tailed Dragonfly
Club-tailed Dragonfly (c) Stephen Burch.
For more photos click here
23 May 1 Club-tailed Dragonfly seen emerging. Also a different empty exuvia nearer to Goring. 20+ Banded Demoiselle. Goring Railway Bridge, SU606795 Stephen Burch
Downy Emerald
Downy Emerald (c) Peter Law
21 May 1 Downy Emerald, 6 Hairy Dragonfly, at least 3 Four-spotted Chaser, numbers of Azure Damselfly, 2 Large Red Damselfly. Otmoor - Roman Road and eastern end of Bridleway Peter Law
21 May  1 teneral Club-tailed Dragonfly Goring Simon West
via the BDS Twitter site!
18 May 1 Broad-bodied Chaser Long Hanborough Christopher Stewart,  per iRecord

Variable Damselfly (c) Martin Wackenier
17 May 1 Large Red Damselfly and at least 5 VARIABLE DAMSELFLIES Barton Fields, Abingdon - SU 51146 97106 Martin Wackenier
16 May 1 Club-tailed Dragonfly Mapledurham SU6776 Victor Abramkin per Facebook!
16 May Large numbers of teneral Azure Damselflies (a few adults), Large Red Damselflies and 2-3 Hairy Dragonflies. Otmoor (mainly Roman Road) Stephen Burch
16 May Azure Damselflies, Large Red Damselflies and 1 Banded Demoiselle Pinkhill, Famoor Stephen Burch
13 May Large Red Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly(?) and one Broad-bodied Chaser. Otmoor Adrian Buckel,
via the BDS Twitter site!

Hairy Dragonfly (c) David Hastings
10 May At least five Blue-tailed Damselflies, two Large Red Damselflies and an immature Hairy Dragonfly. Otmoor David Hastings

 Azure Damselfly (c) David Hastings
9 May One Large Red Damselfly and at least two Azure Damselflies Farmoor David Hastings
4 May One teneral Banded Demoiselle Cholsey Marsh David Hastings
2 May Probable Hairy Dragonfly Otmoor Peter Barker per his Blog
27 April At least 3 Large Red Damselflies Otmoor Peter Law

Large Red Damselfly (c) David Hastings
27 April 3 teneral Large Red Damselflies and 1 teneral Azure Damselfy Otmoor David Hastings

All pictures copyright Stephen Burch, unless stated otherwise

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