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Dragonflies of the Wetlands

Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)


There are a few early records, but nothing has been heard about this species for the last few years. However, it may be present in the central area by the Reed-bed and be breeding


Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa)


Has been seen recently, usually in June and July in small numbers by the Far Lake and Reed-bed.


Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)


Seen on one occasion on the 22nd June 2010.


Red Eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas)


There is a small colony near by the Carp Lake, the best place to see it being the small glade in between the Far and Carp Lakes in May.


Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella)


An uncommon resident, mainly seen around the Reed-bed, with no more than 2 or 3 seen at one time.


Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)

Our commonest damselfly, seen in numbers all around the reserve. At the right time, it is possible to count over 100 individuals on a visit.


Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans)

The second commonest damselfly, with normal visit numbers of up to 10, but due to the presence of the ‘Common Blue’, it is probably under recorded. The junction between the Reed-bed and the Far Lake is the favoured spot.


Common Hawker (Aeshna juncea)


Although it does breed nearby, it needs acidic conditions, which is why there are only a few old records.


Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta)

Our commonest hawker at the right time, with counts in the 20’s being possible. Sightings are mainly concentrated on the west side, especially the west path, where individuals may be sighted resting on the hawthorn hedges.


Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanaea)

An annual visitor with 2 or 3 records per year.


Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis)


This dragonfly cannot be mistaken as it patrols it’s territory. This is particularly so on the West Path, alongside the Far Lake. Often, if you stay still, they come very close to investigate what you are, and quite often ignore the presence of humans. Numbers seen, tend to be in the low 10’s.


Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator)

Our largest dragonfly, has got a little rarer, as the reserve has settled down. However in 2010, 3 or 4 individuals became very easy to see on the eastern most of the dragonfly ponds as they hawked and rested here. Apart from this spot, the Reed-bed is another place to spot them. With the developments to come, it is expected that numbers will increase for the near future.


Four Spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)


One of our earlier emerging dragonflies, the west path and the dragonfly ponds being the best place to see them. Numbers seen at any one time are in their low 10’s, probably due to the habit of emerging, drying, and then flying off the reserve.


Broad-bodied chaser (Libellula depressa)


As a dragonfly that colonises new habitats it should be more commoner than it currently is. There are no more than maybe one or two records in a year. It will be interesting to see if the new ponds that will become part of the reserve will attract more of the species


Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum)

A reserve speciality, that offers some very good views. This is especially so on sunny days when they may be seen basking on the paths alongside the Reed-bed and the Maize Field rosebays. 2010 seems to have been an especially good year, with up to 30 individuals being seen in these areas in August.


Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

A common site, during summer & autumn with ‘walk counts’ of up to 30 & 40 been seen. The West path hawthorns by the Carp Lake and the Dragonfly ponds are favoured spots.


Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii)


There was a record on the 31st August 2010.


Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)


Rarer than the similar Common darter, but still present if looked for. This species seemed to have apoor year in 2010 for reasons that are unknown.


Black Darter (Sympetrum danae)


A resident seen in small numbers each year, either around the Island Lake, or the Dragonfly ponds.



Earliest sighting

Latest sighting

Common blue damselfly



Blue-tailed damselfly



Migrant hawker



Brown hawker



Emperor dragonfly



Four-spotted chaser



Black-tailed skimmer



Common darter



Ruddy darter



Black darter