|Irish Odonata sightings during April/May 2006|
|last updated 07 April 2007|
|Maintained by Angus Tyner.|
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|31st May||Monaghan/Louth||Don Hodgers|
|About 40 minutes at Corcrin Lough near
Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan today produced about 50 Common
Blue damselflies Enallagma cyathigerum,
18 Blue-tailed damselflies Ischnura
elegans, and about 10 each of Variable
damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum and Azure
damselfly Coenagrion puella. Many
tenerals were also present. About 6 Large Red
damselflies Pyrrhosoma nymphula were
Yesterday there was a Four-spotted chaser Libellula quadrimaculata at Moneycrookroe in the Cooley Mnts Co. Louth.
|30th May||Down||Ian Rippey|
|Ballykilbeg Fen near Clough, Co. Down, seems to be a regular haunt for Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense as I have seen it there in small numbers for several years. Today was no exception as there were up to 6; a female, one presumed teneral and 4 males were seen. There were also 15-20 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula. Earlier I had seen several Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella and 1 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula. Finally a male Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum was seen at Carrickanab Lake near Clough|
|30th May||Clare||Ken Bond|
|ODONATA Co. Clare, 27-29 May 2006
Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella (male);
Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans;
Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum (7);
Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense (male & female).
Derroogh Loughs South (nr Crusheen):
Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense.
Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly ischnura pumilio;
Four Spotted Chaser libellulla quadrimaculata (4);
Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum (2);
Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula;
Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense (2)
Ballyogan Bridge (Dromore Wood North):
Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense.
Lough Cullaunyheeda (between Tulla & Kilkishen):
Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum (ca. 20);
Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum (male);
Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella (2);
Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula;
Four Spotted Chaser libellulla quadrimaculata (2):
Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense.
Doon Lough (NW of Broadford):
Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum (male).
|30th May||Wexford/Armagh||per Ian Rippey|
April 2006 report for the Wexford Wildlife Reserve http://www.wexfordnaturalists.com/gaggle#2 states that 3 Large Red Damselfly
Pyrrhosoma nymphula were seen on the wing on 23rd April and were recorded on a daily
basis from this date. This is 2 days later than the sighting of 1
by me at Derryloiste Bog near Lough Neagh in Co. Armagh
on 21st April and the same day as I also saw 1 at
Brackagh Bog NNR, Co. Armagh.
Ted Rolston also reports a male Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense at Montiaghs Moss NNR, Co. Antrim, on 25th May.
|29th May||Louth||Don Hodgers|
|A quick look at Ratheskar Pond, Dunleer, Co Louth today revealed 8 Azure damselflies Coenagrion puella and one male Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum.|
|29th May||Wexford||Hugh Delaney|
|Some observations from tacumshin
A very large emergence of Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense noted,whilst watching an actively feeding Hobby it was seen to consume at least about 80 in about 45 minutes observation,it appeared the Dragonflies where mostly present rather high-up,given it was a fairly cool day it seemed suprising there were so many on the wing.
|29th May||Wexford||Peter Doyle|
|A day at Tacumshin Lake, County Wexford yesterday proved quite productive for dragonflies. I caught 1 specimen each of Azure damselflies Coenagrion puella and Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum for inspection. Other blues were seen but not specifically identified. At least 6 Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans were noted including a copulating pair. Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula were everywhere. However the highlight was the large number of the Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense on the wing. Initially I had noted close fly bys of up to 5 specimens of male and female. However around mid day I had the fortune to catch up with a 1st year Hobby which actively caught and consumed high flying Hairy Dragonflies every 2-3 minutes over a large patch of phragmites. I watched this performance for over an hour. Only for the Hobby I would not have seen the dragonflies which were presumably catching insects high in the air. It was a treat to watch the bird skilfully catch them in a talon, stall in flight and eat them!|
|28th May||Limerick||Geoff Hunt|
|My first sighting this year was on 26-05-06
at Griston Bog near Ballylanders County Limerick with
Glenroe National School 3 Spring Redtail
20 Azure Bluet Coenagrion
puella, 2 Common Bluetip Ischnura elegans.
Aughinish Nature Reserve pair of Spring Hawkers Brachytron
pratense in flight, 1 Four Spotted Chaser
1 Spring Redtail Pyrrhosoma nymphula
and 1 Azure Bluet Coenagrion
|27th May||Wicklow||Angus Tyner|
|3 new species for the year today. A male Large Red Damselfly
Pyrrhosoma nymphula was seen at my lake. The
other 2 species were Four Spotted Chaser libellulla
quadrimaculata and Scarce Blue-tailed
Damselfly ischnura pumilio. They were both seen at a private
coastal pond south of Newcastle. This pond is narrow, but
about 300m long and there was a huge emergence today with
tenerals disturbed with every step.
It is a new 10km square for Scarce Blue-tailed and I suspect it's been breeding there for quite a few years. The pond has a lot of irises, but there are some open areas. It is in a field that is grazed by cattle each summer, and this must be a key factor for this species to breed. I didn't have my net with me, but the teneral females (aurantiaca phase) are very obvious with their orange colour.
It was very hard to determine species in the clouds of tenerals without a net, but I confirmed plenty Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella and plenty Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans. I did find a single male Scarce Blue-tailed but there must have been others. I saw about 10 Four Spotted Chasers taking their maiden flight. The strong westerly breeze taking them towards the sea. Quite a few of them landed on the beach.
|27th May||Armagh||Don Hodgers and Enda Flynn|
|Montiagh's Moss, Co Antrim: one male and one female Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense, at least 3 Four Spotted Chaser libellulla quadrimaculata, 7 Variable Damselfly coenagrion pulchellum, one Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella and 16 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula.|
|27th May||Dublin||David Dillon|
|I called into small lake at Knock Lake
between 12.30 and 13.00 today, didnt have time to
walk around larger one. Following species were
noted/identified; Azure Damselfly Coenagrion
Variable Damselfly coenagrion pulchellum 30,
Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum 5,
Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula 6 and
Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans 1.
Plenty of others (lots of tenerals) disturbed while walking but not specifically identified. No dragonfly ssp noted. Weather was warm but quite breezy with scattered cloud cover being blown over intermittently.
|25th May||Antrim||Ian Rippey|
May) was dry and a good bit warmer and less windy of
late, though with increasing high cloud in the afternoon.
At Montiaghs NNR near Aghalee, Co. Antrim, I saw a
slightly teneral male Irish Damselfly
after considerable searching. About 15 or so mature
coloured Variable Damselflies
(Coenagrion pulchellum), at least 1 (female) Azure
Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) and about a dozen Large
Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) and Four-spotted
Chasers (Libellula quadrimaculata); there were
were however no Hairy Dragonflies (Brachytron pratense)
to be seen though I had seen 1 in Co. Tyrone on 24th May.
This makes only 6 Odonata species recorded in Northern Ireland this year, although it is likely that up to 4 others may be about (Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Scarce Blue-tailed Damselflies and Banded Demoiselle).
|24th May||Tyrone/Armagh||Ian Rippey|
|I saw a male Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense at Killywoolaghan, Ardboe (near the Co. Tyrone shore of Lough Neagh at about H932723) on 24th May. The only other Odonata species seen that day were 2 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula at Milford Railway Cutting near Armagh. Last year I also saw a male on a cut-over bog at Drumconvis near Coagh, about 4-5 miles away (Grid Reference H9178), late in the afternoon of 21st May. It may well be there is a breeding site in this area (there are ditches leading to Lough Neagh and probably occasional pools) but so far it has not been discovered.|
|24th May||Louth||Don Hodgers & Enda Flynn|
|Mullaghattin, Cooley Mnts: one 4 Large Red Damselfly
Pyrrhosoma nymphula, one Four Spotted Chaser libellulla
Dunleer: One male and one blue-formed female Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella.
|23rd May (Larvae)||Wicklow||Angus Tyner|
|During this continuing bad weather, I went on a larvae hunt yesterday 22nd May. I found a few (presumed) Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum larvae in bog. One of them looked quite advanced and possibly final instar. Also some Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa larvae, again one more advanced that I'd expected. Had a look in lake for Emperor and to my surprise, I found none. Perhaps all the rain and cool weather, or perhaps the swans who seem to have eaten a lot of the water plants. I did find amongst all the blue damselfly larvae, an Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa, which is first time I've preoved breeding in my lake.|
|18th May||Wicklow||Angus Tyner|
|Re: female Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense, dead this morning. Was still perched yesterday evening. This morning I found it on ground with part of abdomen missing, with the part still attached totally hollowed out. There was slug slime over the corpse. Plenty of damselflies emerging, but it is a very windy day now this afternoon.|
|16th May||Wicklow||Angus Tyner|
|That female Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense I mentioned on 14th, is still there. There has been sunshine and 17C, but that hasn't enticed her to fly. It seems likely she may have to stay put during the next couple days of wind. I've examined her closely and wings are perfect and not fused. The iris flower she is clinging on may open before she leaves...|
|15th May||Antrim/Armagh||Ian Rippey|
|On Thursday 11th
May, a very warm day with bright though hazy
sun, I visited Brackagh Bog NNR near Portadown, Co.
Armagh, and Montiaghs Moss NNR near Aghalee, Co. Antrim.
At the former, I saw 3 or 4 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula, 3-4 Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella and 2 Four Spotted Chaser libellulla quadrimaculata; at the latter 2 Variable Damselfly coenagrion pulchellum, 3-4 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula, and 3 Four Spotted Chaser libellulla quadrimaculata. I had hoped to see Hairy Dragonfly which occurs at both sites but none were seen.
|14th May||Wexford||Niall Keogh|
|A single Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense seen today ( 14th May ) at Lingstown, Tacumshin Lake, Co. Wexford during a brief spell of sunshine.|
|14th May||Armagh||Enda Flynn|
On a bright, sunny afternoon at Peatlands park Co.Armagh the following were noted; at least 6 Four Spotted Chaser libellulla quadrimaculata with 7 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula and 1 female Variable Damselfly coenagrion pulchellum
|14th May||Wicklow||Angus Tyner|
|A female Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron
pratense emerged from my lake today. With the lack
of sunshine it may stay put for the night. It is not a
species I expect to see emerging as I rarely see adults
at the lake. I did have some ermerging in 2004, but none
noted last year. They usually visit my pond (bog), but it
usually dries out in late summer, so they don't
Friday 12th was a very warm day - had a huge emergence of Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and lesser numbers of Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.
|13th May||Wexford||Peter Doyle|
|Had my first Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense - female, today at Tacumshin Lake in Co. Wexford. A nice up close perched view!|
|10th May||Antrim||Ian Rippey|
|On Sunday 7th May, a fine sunny day, I saw Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) at the following sites in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland: 2 at Sharvogues Bog near Randalstown; 3-4 at Frosses Bog near Cloghmills; 1-2 at Black Lough, Loughguile; 4 at Cabragh Bog, Ballymena; 1 at Killybegs Bog, Ballymena. I also saw what I think was one today (10th May) at Craigavon Lakes, North Armagh. The species was also reported in Co. Waterford on 28th April according to the website http://www.waterfordwildlife.com/lepidoptera.htm|
|10th May||Dublin||David Dillon|
|Some news from Fingal. I was briefly at Knock Lake this afternoon and things have picked up somewhat compared to recent days. About 40 teneral blues disturbed in vegetation around lakes. Any identified were Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum. In addition two Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula noted.|
|9th May||Wicklow||Angus Tyner|
|Big emergence today. Got some calm and sunny weather. I was away for most of it, just loads of exuvia this afternoon, that wasn't there this morning. Got my first Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella with a single teneral male. All the other tenerals identified were Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum.|
|8th May||Wexford||Niall Keogh|
|7th May : Lingstown
Lane, Tacumshin, Co. Wexford. Niall T. Keogh, Noel Keogh
and Hugh Delaney.
Temperature was 17.5 degrees Celsius. Calm and very sunny.
A total of about 40+ Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula were casually counted here whilst listening for Reed Warblers singing in the nearby reedbed. All were flushed from their perches on the hedgerow or in the dense nettle stands.
No other odonata species were seen however. When compared to this date last year when I was watching Hairy Hawkers being feasted upon by Little Gulls and a Whiskered Tern at the eastern end of the lake! A Blue-tailed Damselfly was also seen on that day.
|8th May||Wicklow & Wexford||Michael O'Donnell|
Surprising quiet at Arklow Ponds this morning. Only two Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula. As with Angus, there are usually blue damselflies on the wing by now.
Also saw a damselfly sp flying away from the pond in my garden near Gorey. This pond was only made last year but already we have had Emperor and Brown Hawker ovipositing, Four-spotted Chaser, Beautiful and Banded Demoiselle, Blue-tailed Damselfly ovipositing, Emerald Damselfly and Common Darter.
|7th May||Clare & Wexford||Ken Bond|
Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula,
female, Tullybrack Lough near Kilrush, Clare, 28.4.06
Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula, male, Ford of Ling, near Rosslare, Wexford, 6.5.06
|7th May||Wicklow||Angus Tyner|
|A quick look at 9:30 this morning, 12 tenerals taking flight. Got all but one, (wind is less strong), 5 female, 4 male Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and a single female Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans|
|6th May||Wicklow||Angus Tyner|
|No joy yet in finding other species. Plenty of Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum emerging. Conditions continue to be difficult. If it is calm, it's cloudy, any sunshine accompanied by wind. Very windy today, which made catching any that took flight quite difficult, even more so with the little un on my back. I identified about 15 and all but 2 were female Common Blue, the other 2 were males. At least the same no. again that I didn't identify. Usually I have Azure and Blue-tailed damselfly on the wing by now.|
|3rd May||Wicklow||Angus Tyner|
|Very windy, but managed to see another female Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum. Generally conditions are quite poor. Either sunny, but windy, or calm but cloudy.|
|1st May||Wicklow||Angus Tyner|
|Was away for the weekend. Got back monday afternoon (1st May) to see 2 teneral female Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum that have emerged from my lake. They wern't the first tenerals I'd seen because on Friday 28th April during a brief bit of late afternoon sunshine, a teneral, almost certainly a 'blue' flew past the window of the house while I was in eating my dinner. I ran out, but could not locate it.|
|23rd April||Armagh||Ian Rippey|
|After seeing a male Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula on 21st April at Derryloiste Bog near Lough Neagh, Co. Armagh, I saw a female of this species at Brackagh Bog NNR near Portadown, Co. Armagh, today (23rd April).|
|21st April||Armagh||Ian Rippey|
21st April) was ideal (sunny, warm and with a light wind)
and during a visit to Derryloiste Bog near Lough Neagh,
North Armagh, I saw and filmed a male Large Red
Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula; the coloursd were reasonably red
indicating it was not quite freshly emerged. This is so
far as I know the first record of an Odonata species in
Ireland in 2006, and currently the British Dragonfly
Society website http://www.dragonflysoc.org.uk/frameset.htm?hotnews.asp&hotnews shows only 1
record, also of Large Red Damselfly (14th April in Devon) of any Odonata species in Britain so far this year. Although in some respects this has been a later spring for insects (eg butterflies) than for some years, this is among the earlier dates I have seen this species, though I think I saw it and certainly also a Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) on 17th April 2003; see http://www.habitas.org.uk/dragonflyireland/news2003.htm and also saw it about 19th or 20th April in 1981 and/or 1988, I believe. The earliest ever date for Pyrrhosoma nymphula in Ireland mentioned in the Dragonfly Ireland book is 15th April 2003 (presumably 1 seen at Montiaghs Bog, Co. Antrim, by David Nixon (see http://www.habitas.org.uk/dragonflyireland/news2003.htm) though 1 believe 1 may have been seen by Robert Thompson at Selshion Bog near Portadown, North Armagh, on 6th April in 2002 or 2003.
|April 19th (Larva)||Wicklow||Angus Tyner|
|I searched in my lake for larva. I was targeting Emperor Anax imperator. Didn't take long to find!! I found at least 10 small Emperor larva ranging in size from 8mm to 15mm long and all but the largest were bi coloured brown and white. These are the results from last years ovipositing. I also found one large emeperor larva. I didn't measure it, but I'm sure it exceeded 40mm, and clearly will emerge this year, if the Little Grebes don't get it first. Plenty damselfly nymphs as well, but I wouldn't know the species|
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