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2017 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.

The recording method preferred by the British Dragonfly Society is now the iRecord on-line recording system. To use this you will need to create an account, but this has the advantage that records submitted via iRecord go directly into the correct database.

As I am the BDS recorder for Vice County 23 (old Oxfordshire, prior to the 1974 county boundary changes), I will automatically be asked to verify any VC23 records entered into iRecord.

However if your iRecord entries relate to those parts of current Oxfordshire that used to be Berkshire (generally areas to the south of the Thames) I will not hear about them, as the Berkshire recorder (for VC22) will be notified of them, not me. As this page is intended to cover the whole of current Oxfordshire, please let me know if you submit any records for VC22 to iRecord.

News for previous years is available:

Date Species Site and details Observer
16 November 2 Common Darters - probably the latest ever dragonfly sighting in Oxon - unless anyone else has a later record? Otmoor David Hastings
30 October c. 10 Common Darters Otmoor David Hastings

Migrant Hawker (c) David Hastings
3 October Migrant Hawkers (4), Southern Hawkers (2) and 20+ Common Darters. Otmoor David Hastings
23 September Migrant Hawker (1) Pinkhill hide - Farmoor Stephen Burch
22 September Migrant Hawker (1) - probably first site record, C Darter (tandem pair) Milton Park - field to N Stephen Burch
15 September Southern Hawker (1) Milton Park - field to N Stephen Burch
13 September Ruddy Darter (10), Common Darter (3) and Southern Hawker (1) Radley Lakes David Hastings

Common Darter (c) David Hastings
6 September Small Red-eyed Damselfly (1), Blue-tailed Damselfly (2), Southern Hawker (2), Common Darter (9), Ruddy Darter (1) Faringdon Folly Park Pond David Hastings

Migrant Hawker (c) Stephen Burch
Emerald Damselfly
Emerald Damselfly (c) Stephen Burch
2 September Emerald Damselfly (1m), Small Red-eyed Damselfly (10+), Migrant, Brown and Southern Hawkers, Common & Ruddy Darters, Blue-tailed Damsel Faringdon Folly Park Pond Stephen Burch
2 September Migrant Hawker (10+), Brown Hawker (1), Common Darter Pinkhill & Farmoor Reservoir Stephen Burch
31 August 18 Small Red-Eyed Damselflies, 1m Emerald Damselfly, 31 Common Darter (11 pairs, most ovipositing in tandem, plus 9 individuals), 7 Ruddy Darter (one being devoured in Garden Spider's web), 3 Migrant Hawker (2 m, 1 f), 1 Brown Hawker, 1 m Southern Hawker, 10+ Blue-Tails, 3 Common Blue,  1 (late) Azure Faringdon Folly Park Pond Bill Haynes
29 August 1 maturing male Emerald Damselfly, 2 Southern Hawker (one male one female), 1 Brown Hawker, 1 male Migrant Hawker, 1 (relatively late) male Black-Tailed Skimmer, 3 Common Darter (one pair in tandem with female ovipositing), 4 Ruddy Darter (one teneral), 11 Blue-Tailed Damsels (one pair copulating) 4 Common Blue Damsels (one pair copulating) Buscot Park Little Lake. SU241971 Bill Haynes

Ruddy Darter (c) Stephen Burch
26 August 10+ Small Red-eyed Damsels, 3+ Migrant Hawker, 1 Brown Hawker, Common & Ruddy Darters Faringdon Folly Park Pond Stephen Burch
Migrant Hawker
Migrant Hawker (c) Stephen Burch
26 August 2-3 Migrant Hawkers, 1 Brown Hawker, c 10+ Common Darters, Blue-tailed Damselfly Pinkhill, Famoor Stephen Burch
24 August 1f Southern Hawker Milton Park (SU498922) Stephen Burch

Migrant Hawker (c) David Hastings
20 August 2 Migrant Hawkers and 4 Common Darters. Farmoor David Hastings
17 August 3  Emerald Damsels (2 males 1 female, one pair copulating), 21 Small Red-Eyes, 12+ Blue-Tailed Damsels & half-a-dozen Common Blues. 1  Brown Hawker, 1  male Emperor,  1  male Migrant Hawker, 4  Ruddy Darter, 27+ Common Darter made up of 8 copulating pairs, 5 of which were ovipositing in tandem, plus a minimum of 11 loners Faringdon Folly Park Pond Bill Haynes

Ruddy Darter (c) David Hastings
16 August Southern Hawker (4), Brown Hawker (3), Ruddy Darter (13+), Common Darter (8+) and Blue-tailed Damselfly (2). Otmoor David Hastings

Southern Hawker (c) David Hastings
15 August 20+ Migrant Hawkers, 3 Southern Hawkers, 2 Brown Hawkers and 30+ Common Darters Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings
14 August c. 6 Small Red-eyed Damselflies, 2 Emerald Damselflies, Common Blue Damselfly & 1 Brown Hawker (ovipositing) Faringdon Folly Park Pond Ian Smith
18 July Belated record of another Variable Damselfly seen and photographed. Dry Sandford Pit per Colin Williams at BBOWT, via Ian Smith

Brown Hawker (c) David Hastings
8 August Common Darter (12+), Brown Hawker (2), Emperor Dragonfly (3), Blue-tailed Damselfly (3) Farmoor David Hastings
6 August Small Red eyed Damselflies. On floating algal mats near wildlife zone. First known record for VC23! Blenheim Park - on the River Glyme to the S of the lakes - SP445150 Ian Smith

Variable Damselfly (c) Ian Lewington
18 June 1 Variable Damselfly (belated record) Parsonage Moor Ian Lewington

Keeled Skimmer (c) David Hastings
6 August  Southern Hawker 1, Migrant Hawker 2, Brown Hawker 1, Keeled Skimmer 1, Common Darter 4. Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings

Small Red Damselfly (c) David Hastings
6 August  Common Blue Damselfly 1, Small Red Damselfly 2, Southern Hawker 1, Migrant Hawker 1, Common Darter 6. Cothill Fen/Parsonage Moor David Hastings
Small Red-eyed Damsel
Small Red-eyed Damselfly (c) Stephen Burch
6 August 20+ Small Red-eyed Damselfly, 10+ Blue-tailed Damsels. 1 Brown Hawker, a few Common Darter Faringdon Folly Park Pond Stephen Burch
5 August 1 Small Red-eyed Damselfly, 20+ Blue-tailed Damsels, 1+ Azure Damsel. 2 Emperor, one ovipositing; 5+ Common Darter, inc one tandem pair ovipositing. Brief visit curtailed by heavy rain! Faringdon Folly Park Pond Stephen Burch
3 August Migrant Hawker 1, Southern Hawker 3, Common Darter 3. Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings
3 August Emerald Damselfly 1, Migrant Hawker 1, Brown Hawker 1, Southern Hawker 2, Ruddy Darter 6, Common Darter 4. Otmoor David Hastings

Common Darter (c) David Hastings

Brown Hawker (c) David Hastings
1 August Common Blue Damselfly (4), Blue-tailed Damselfly (1), Southern Hawker (2), Brown Hawker (1), Common Darter (4). Farmoor David Hastings
30 July c.60 Small Red-eyed Damselflies of which c. 20 copulating and oviposting pairs Faringdon Folly Park Pond Bill Haynes
29 July Common Blue Damselfly (12+), Blue-tailed Damselfly (2), Southern Hawker (1), Banded Demoiselle (1) and Black-tailed Skimmer (2). Pit 60/Langley Lane David Hastings
29 July c.20 Small Red-eyed Damselflies several copulating and oviposting Faringdon Folly Park Pond Bill Haynes
9 July 1 Emerald Damselfly Coleshill Worsall Farm (private site) Bill Haynes
8 July 1 Emerald Damselfly Buscot Park Little Pond Bill Haynes
1 July 3 Small Red-eyed Damselflies Faringdon Folly Park Pond (SU294949) Bill Haynes
21 June  1 Downy Emerald Faringdon Bill Haynes
25 July 1 Brown Hawker Milton Park - along stream on N side (SU495920) Stephen Burch
22 July 1 Black-tailed Skimmer, 10+ Brown Hawkers, 1 Southern Hawker,  a Blue-tailed Damselfly plus a few Common/Ruddy Darters Otmoor Stephen Kill
22 July 2+ Black-tailed Skimmer (one ovipositing), 1 Brown Hawker, Common Blue Damselflies, Pit 60 & Langley Lane Stephen Burch

Migrant Hawker (c) Barry Hudson
18 July Migrant Hawker 1 immature female Bampton Barry Hudson

Common Blue Damselfly in flight (c) Stephen Burch
8 July 5+ Red-eyed Damsels, 100s Common Blue Damsels, c. 10 Black-tailed Skimmer, 5+ Four-spotted Chasers, 2 Emperor, 1 Brown Hawker Tar Lakes Stephen Burch

Airborne Small Red-eyed Damselfly (c) Martin Green
17 July 1 Small Red-eyed Damselfly Pond in front of closed Upper Reaches hotel, Abingdon (SU499969) Martin Green
8 July Black-tailed Skimmer (inc 1 ovipositing) Pit 60, Standlake Stephen Burch
8 July 50+ Common Blue Damsels, 2-3 Brown Hawker Langley Lane, Standlake Stephen Burch

Black-tailed Skimmer (c) David Hastings
1 July 7 Emperor Dragonfly, 2 Black-tailed Skimmer, 4 Brown Hawker, 3 Ruddy Darter. Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings
1 July 2 Brown Hawker. Waterperry Wood David Hastings
18 June 3 Beautiful Demoiselles. Waterperry Wood David Hastings
17 June 250+ Common Blue Damselflies, 12+ Black-tailed Skimmers, 7 Banded Demoiselles, 1 Brown Hawker Standlake Common David Hastings
17 June c.15 White-legged Damselflies, Common Blue, Blue-tailed, Red-eyed Damsels & 1 Emperor River Thames from Goring to railway bridge Stephen Burch

Black-tailed Skimmer (teneral) (c) Peter Law

Hairy Dragonfly (c) Peter Law
15 June 3m Hairy Hawker, a teneral Black-tailed Skimmer and 12+ Common Darter. Otmoor - Roman Road Peter Law

Southern Hawker (c) David Hastings
15 June Emperor Dragonfly 4, Southern Hawker 1, Broad-bodied Chaser 1, Ruddy Darter 1, Beautiful Demoiselle 1 Whitecross Green Wood David Hastings

Keeled Skimmer (c) Peter Law

Southern Damselfly (c) Peter Law
14 June 2m Keeled Skimmer and good numbers of Southern Damselfly  Dry Sandford Pit Peter Law

Common Darter (c) Peter Law
14 June 3 teneral Common Darter & 1 teneral male Keeled Skimmer Parsonage Moor Peter Law
13 June 1 Beautiful Demoiselle 2 Streams near Aynho Wharf, SP502318. On border with Northants John Curd, per iRecord
4 June 1 Hairy Dragonfly Whitecross Green Wood David Ferguson per Upper Thames Butterflies website
4 June Common Blue Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle. No Clubtails. SU5694 Stephen Burch
4 June Red-eyed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle. No Clubtails. SU5693 Stephen Burch

Southern Damselfly (c) David Hastings

Keeled Skimmer (c) David Hastings
3 June  4 teneral Keeled Skimmers and 2 Southern Damselflies Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings
3 June Many Common Blue Damselflies, 8 Red-eyed Damselflies, 30+ Banded Demoiselles and 1 Four-spotted Chaser. No Clubtails! SU5196 David Hastings
Beautiful Demoiselle
Beautiful Demoiselle (c) Stephen Burch
3 June 1m & 1f Beautiful Demoiselle, 1m Banded Demoiselle, numerous Azure Damselflies, Large Red Damsels, 1 Blue-tailed Damsel, Red-eyed Damsels. 1 Hairy Dragonfly, 30+ Four-spotted Chasers, 2 teneral Ruddy Darters  Otmoor Stephen Burch
2 June 2 Downy Emeralds Otmoor Geoff Wyatt, per Pete Barker

Hairy Dragonflies (top female, bottom, male) (c) David Hastings

Beautiful Demoiselle (c) David Hastings
30 May Azure Damselfly - 250+; Red-eyed Damselfly - 2; Large Red Damselfly - 2; Blue-tailed Damselfly - 1;  Beautiful Demoiselle - 3; Hairy Dragonfly - 2m,1f; Four-spotted Chaser - 20+ Otmoor David Hastings
28 May Banded Demoiselle, Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Blue-tailed Damselfly, Red-eyed Damselfly, Hairy Dragonfly. Cholsey Marsh Paul Chandler, per his blog

Hairy Dragonfly (c) Ewan Urquart
28 May 3 Hairy Dragonflies (2m & 1f ovipositing) 2 Beautiful Demoiselle m/f   Plenty of Azure and Blue tailed Damselflies. Tim's Pool, Trap Grounds Ewan Urquart
28 May 100s of Banded Demoiselles in total, present in all monads: SP3300, SP3200,SP3100, SP3000, SP2900, SU2999, SU2899. c. 50 Red-eyed Damselflies in SP3200 and SP2900. SP2900 also had 1 Emperor and 1 Four-spotted Chaser at one spot. No Clubtails again! Tadpole Bridge to Radcot Stephen Burch

Common Blue Damselfly (c) Stephen Burch
27 May 100+ Banded Demoiselle (at SP304000; smaller numbers between here & Radcot bridge), 10+ Common Blue Damsel at SP295002, 1 Red-eyed Damselfly also at SP295002. No Clubtails! East from Radcot bridge along the Thames Stephen Burch

Broad-bodied Chaser and exuvia (c) Tom Stevenson
26 May 3 exuviae on 25 May and one adult Broad-bodied Chaser today Ewelme cress beds pond  Tom Stevenson
26 May 1 Clubtail coming to Tim's Pool for second day. Also 1m & 1f ovipositing Hairy Dragonfly (first site record), 1m Emperor, several dozen Azure Damselflies, 2 Blue-tailed Damselflies, mating pair of Large Red Damselflies. Also 1m Banded Demoiselle seen flying down Kingston Road Trap Grounds Adam Hartley
24 May 4 Common Clubtail exuviae. 2 of these were attached to the wall of the bridge abutment and 2 more in long grass at the top Goring Railway Bridge Peter Law
22 May c. 7 Hairy Dragonflies (including 1 female) and c. 7 Four-spotted Chaser,  Otmoor Peter Law
22 May 1 Large Red and 5 Azure Damselflies Ewelme Cress Beds Tom Stevenson

Azure Damselfly (c) Tom Stevenson
21 May 1 Azure Damselfly Millbrook Mead Nature Reserve Tom Stevenson

Banded Demoiselle (c) David Hastings
21 May 10+ Azure Damselfly, 2+ Common Blue Damselfly,  5m & 4f Banded Demoiselle River Thames at SU515967 David Hastings

female Hairy Dragonfly (c) Peter Law
18 May 3f & 1m Hairy Dragonflies and 2 Four-spotted Chasers Otmoor Peter Law
18 May 5m & 1f Banded Demoiselles Cholsey, south of Ferry Lane Suzanne Parrott
15 May Hairy Dragonfly Otmoor Phil Cutt per iRecord
14 May 1 Clubtail Goring Railway Bridge Dominic Mackenzie per iRecord
14 May  50+ Banded Demoiselle Between Tadpole Bridge and Radcot Lock   Stephen Burch 
14 May 1 Clubtail adult On Thames path just W of Tadpole Bridge SP333003 Stephen Burch
13 May c. 50 Azure Damselflies and 1 Large Red Damselfly Otmoor Martin Harvey per iRecord

Banded Demoiselle (c) Stephen Darlington
13 May 1m & 1f Banded Demoiselle and 1 Large Red Damselfly Goring railway bridge area Stephen Darlington
13 May 1m Banded Demoiselle Just downstream of Goring railway bridge Stephen Burch
13 May Clubtail exuviae: 3 in SU5980, 2 in SU5979 and 6 in SU6079 Goring village to railway bridge Stephen Burch
10 May 4 Banded Demoiselles, 1 Blue tailed Damselfly, 1 Variable Damselfly. 1f Four spotted Chaser, 1 Hairy Dragonfly Barton Fields, Abingdon Martin Wackenier

 Large Red Damselfly (c) David Hastings
2 May 6 Large Red Damselflies. Dry Sandford Pit David Hastings
1 May 1f Banded Demoiselle River Thames at Cholsey Suzanne Parrott

Variable Damselfly (c) Martin Wackenier
29 April Variable Damselflies Barton Pool, Abingdon Martin Green & Martin Wackenier
29 April An ill-formed teneral male Common Clubtail. First 2017 Oxon record for the count! Abingdon Lock (SU506971) Bob Eeles
22 April 1 Hairy Dragonfly. Remarkably early record! Otmoor Pete Roby per Oxon Wildlife Blog
19 April 2 Large Red Damselfly Otmoor (Roman Rd & on the bridleway near bridge to car park field) Peter Law

All pictures copyright Stephen Burch, unless stated otherwise

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