This page has some news of Irish Odonata sightings during July 2005
Link to Phenology page last updated 08 April 2007 Dragonflyireland Project
Maintained by Angus Tyner.

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July 31st Clare Brian Porter
Alan Horan recorded two male Emperor Anax imperator at Lough Atorick (10k sq R69) around the 13/07.
The north shore of Lough Graney (10k sq R59) is a dead cert for Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum at a 'beach' called white sands just north of Flagmount. Both lakes are in East Clare joined by the Bleach River.
July 28th Dublin Conor Lynch
Interesting observation from yesterday (July 27th), I went for a stroll down along the canal from Rathmines going towards Leeson Street checking out for dragonflies as the conditions were good at the time. When I got beyond the new Luas bridge at Charlemont Place near the Hilton Hotel I noticed a very active pair of Hawkers, I decided to wait and confirm identification, but as they were so active the chances of this were getting more frustrating, so as I decided to hunch down and stick it out, one of them slowly flew towards me landing on my arm, this was a totally amazing experience and quite unexpected. It was clearly a male Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, he fluttered off after a few seconds but returned and landed on me at least 7 or 8 more times within the next hour. Usually he landed on the index finger of my hand, on one occasion he stayed as long as 2 minutes tucking his abdomen-in adjacent to my finger. Sometimes he would give a quick chew with his mouth like he was finishing some prey he may have caught earlier, at no stage did he prod or bite me.I was lucky enough to have a camera phone handy and managed at least 10 good record shot's, the picture that would have turned out the best was the time he landed on my face, but that was totally unexpected and so I was afraid to move hoping he would go back on to my arm or hand.All a bit sad really because I'm sure there's any amount of people out there ready to swat-him if he came within that range of them. See Photo
July 28th Clare Brian Porter
Some interesting records from East Clare
Lough Graney, south shore:
Banded Damselflies Calopteryx splendens - male & female, Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum - several.

Small pond on small holding/holiday home, Grid Ref' R594-963
Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa, Scarce Emerald Damselfly Lestes dryas - in tandem, Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula, Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella, Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio- 4th year running, Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, Common Hawker Aeshna juncea - male, Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis - male, Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata - 2, Black Darter Sympetrum danae - 4.

Forest access track flooded but drying out in 10km square R 79. Exact details will follow as sight holds breeding Hen harriers.
(Downy Emerald Cordulia aenea reported by Alan Horan on the previous day, went to check it out without any luck, site checked again by Alan a week later but much dryer.)
Aeshna juncea - 2, Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens - 1 male, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Black Darter Sympetrum danae...... all in 10 minutes.

Small pond @ R594-963
Both Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa & Scarce Emerald Damselfly Lestes dryas, studied together in hand. As 15th with Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and without the Blue tails.

July 27th Wicklow Angus Tyner
Saw my first adult Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta today. It was on the farm lane. I looked for more exuvia yesterday and was surprised not to find any though it wasn't a thorough search.
July 26th Down Ian Rippey
The Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens was more abundant than I have ever seen it anywhere before at Leitrim Lodge in the Mourne Mountains near Hilltown, Co. Down, today (26th July), in spite of (or perhaps because of) the fact that the area was possibly as dry or drier than I have ever seen it before. Many of the flushes were dry, but perhaps this meant that the dragonflies clustered around the 3 or 4 wet ones.]  

It is difficult to be sure about the numbers and I am sure I missed some, but I think the minimum number was 70 though probably 80 or so; 90 or even 100 is possible. This was in an area about 1 km. long and 100 metres wide. About 4 mating pairs were seen and 3 or 4 females on their own, but the great majority were mature males. One ovipositing female was seen. Also seen were 3 Large Red Damselflies, a Common Darter and 4 Common Hawkers.  

I was somewhat surprised at such numbers as I have only seen a single male during 2 recent visits to Killevy Castle on Slieve Gullion, South Armagh; although this is a smaller site I have seen it in numbers up to about 10 in recent years.  

At a gravel pit near Cranfield, Kilkeel, there was a single Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa, and about 3 each of Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum. It also looked a potential site for the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly, which I have seen for a number of years up to 2004 at a similar site within half a mile, but which I have not visited yet this year. It is probably too late for the species (though I once saw it on 1st August at the latter site).  

This site and Leitrim Lodge (where very small numbers were seen in 1989 and 1990) are the only known sites for the Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly in Co. Down, though it is possible that it occurs at similar sites (shallow flooded quarries or gravel pits and shallow flushes in hills, etc) elsewhere in the county.

July 25th Cork Peter Doyle
I had up to 6 Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, 1 male Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens, 2-3 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and 1 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula on a forest track near Castle Pook outside Doneraile in County Cork on Friday 22/7.
July 23rd Wicklow Angus Tyner
Rain and fog, but searching for Odes continues!!

Went down to my bog and immediately found what I was looking for, an exuvia of Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta. It was very obvious, about 0.6m (2ft) up on a bulrush leaf. I quickly found another about 0.3m (1ft) up on top of an old bulrush stem. I had found a couple larvae in the area. I did an extensive search elsewhere around my bog which is now reduced to a 20m across pond with depth to about 0.3m (1ft) but didn't find any more.

Considering the relative ease that I found larvae during past couple weeks, I anticipate 50+ Migrant Hawker to emerge, and if the position of the first 2 exuvia are typical of this species, then finding more exuvia will be easy. The 2 found today were both females.

July 22nd Tyrone Niall Keogh
21st July : Tyrone : Gortfinbar, 9km north of Ballygawley : With Joe Adamson
Warm, overcast, some sunny spells :

Didn't have much chance to search for Odes, and didn't see any Irish Damselflies. However we did see 4-5 Four-spotted Chasers Libellula quadrimaculata, a male and female Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, a few Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and about 10 each of Emerald Damselflies Lestes sponsa and Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula ( seen ovipositing ).
July 21st Armagh Ian Rippey
When looking (unsuccessfully) for Little Bog Orchid Malaxis paludosa on Clermont Mountain on the borders of Cos. Louth and Armagh today (21st July) I identified a single male Keeled Skimmers Orthetrum coerulescens. Using a GPS the Grid reference was J09011780 and hence clearly in Co. Armagh; this is a new site and also a new 10 x 10 km. square.
The GPS also gave an altitude of 893 feet which is roughly the same as I would have estimated from the contours on the map. Although I looked carefully, no other Odonata were seen here, though I saw about 3 Common Darters earlier on a rocky hill covered with bracken, gorse and heath at Fathom near Newry, Co. Armagh (J0822).

The habitat was flushes in heathland with some rocks and rushy marshy hillside. Although some of the flushes were almost dry due to recent dry weather, others had sufficient water for this species. Weather was bright with sunny and cloudier periods, and a moderate to fresh W to NW wind. It is possible of course that this was a a stray.  

As time was getting on I did not have the time to drive further south to investigate whether there might be suitable flushes further south in Co. Louth on the road to Omeath. I think there is a record of Keeled Skimmer from Co. Louth, but that this was actually in a limestone quarry near Castlebellingham some miles to the south. I do know that there is a record some years ago of Little Bog Orchid (a species also associated with upland flushes) from above Clermontpass Bridge (J1115) a few miles to the SE.  

The only other known site for the species in Co. Armagh is at Killevy Castle on Slieve Gullion, where it was only discovered in 1998; although in 1 or 2 years numbers exceeded half a dozen, this year I have seen only 1 male (on 2 occasions) so it is good to find another site (though this would be at a higher altitude and much less sheltered). Presumed strays have also been recorded at Derryadd Lake in North Armagh in the hot summers of 1955 and 1983.

July 20th Wicklow Angus Tyner
First sunshine of day and pushed the temp above 20°C. So a brief flash of wings over my lake. Picked up binoculars and did a scan, a couple of Emperor Anax imperator, and then amazingly a flash of copper wings. Was at lake shore in 15secs!!! and waited. 4 male and a single ovipositing female Emperor Anax imperator. It kept me waiting nearly 10 minutes, and then the Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis glided past in front on me. Been waiting 4 years to see this one in my garden. It continued patrolling the shore. Coexisting fairly happily with Emporer who patrolled the the middle of water body.

This brings the species list for my site to 20.

July 18th Westmeath Thomas Cuffe
On Sunday 17 July 2005 I spotted Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum on Lough Suedy, Ballymore, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. There was four or five in a very small area of the lake. I was with my father who has fished this lake since he was a boy and he has never seen it before.
July 18th Offaly Paul Walsh
Brief visits to Clara Bog, Co Offaly, in early afternoons of 16th & 17th July (both hot & sunny) produced similar numbers of at least 6 species both days (mainly at pools along one of the rough paths): a male Common Hawker Aeshna juncea; 2-3 Black Darters Sympetrum danae (one "black" male); 10+ Keeled Skimmers Orthetrum coerulescens (including just-emerged tenerals + exuviae); 8+ Four-spotted Chasers Libellula quadrimaculata (ovipositing seen); 15+ Emerald Damselflies Lestes sponsa; & a few Common Blue Damselflies Enallagma cyathigerum.  Probably some other species missed, plus only a small area covered.
July 17th Dublin Peter Doyle
Following up on an extraordinary report of ‘2/3’ Lesser Emperor, Anax parthenope, and ‘3+’ Emperor, Anax imperator at Knock Lake north County Dublin, I arrived at the locality at 12.10 on Saturday 16/7. The ambient temperature was good and increased significantly throughout the day. The smaller pool beside the larger lake/pond produced a few Common Blue & Blue Tailed Damsels, 1 Brown Hawker and a couple of teneral sympetrums. Working my way along the western side of the lake I had one male patrolling Emperor and 2/3 more Brown Hawkers. Just before reaching the northern end of the lake I had 1 male Black Tailed Skimmer. Moving around to the eastern side of the lake I had a couple more male Black Tailed Skimmers and the count on Brown Hawker had reached close to a dozen. There are short ‘piers’ on this side of the lake and I stood out on one of them whereupon a hawker type dragonfly flew by with a bright blue base to the abdomen. Hardly believing what I saw I followed it with my bins as it flew up and down a stretch of the shore. It was regularly ‘buzzed’ by a male Brown Hawker. Staying here for close to 2 and a half hours I got excellent views of it and another male Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope and a male and female in tandem. After about an hour I was joined by Ian Rippey.

At one point I had a male perched viewing it through a telescope noting all the salient features – ‘yellow band’ above the light blue base to the generally brown abdomen with a dark central line, brown thorax, apple green eyes and clear wings. In flight the abdomen sometimes took on a violet hue but with the beacon like blue base always standing out.

The final tally for the day was 3 Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope, 1 male Emperor Anax imperator, at least 4 male Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum, 12+ Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, 6+ Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, 1 Ruddy darter Sympetrum sanguineum and many teneral sympetrums. Also good numbers of Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum, Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and 1 Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella caught by Ian Rippey.

The next day Sunday 17/7 I again worked the site, still only having 1 male Emperor Anax imperator on the western side but the 3 Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope still showed well including a female ovipositing with male attached further out in the lake. A lone female anax was also noted ovipositing which was photographed by Conor Lynch as was a male Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope by Brian Porter who were also present at the site. An excellent dragonfly weekend!

July 17th Wicklow Angus Tyner
Another sunny day, temp up to 24°C. Spent a bit of time hanging around my lake and bog. 11 species seen inc a larvae record.

I comfirmed that the hawker larvae in my Bog are actually Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta. They looked to be final instar and I would think that emergence will commence by end of July.

For quite some time this morning, the only hawker flying was a single male Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron Pratense. The first I've seen about my patch this month. I was watching it for about 15 minutes, and while wondering where the Emperor were, a Male Common Hawker Aeshna juncea glided past. My first of year. Then I noticed some activity at other end of lake. I went half way and in my field of view of my binoculars were 2 ovipositing Emperor Anax imperator. I observed them for about 10 minutes. No sign of male. Then a 3rd Emperor arrived and commenced ovipositing.
Soon after an aggressive (randy) male came onto the scene. He vigourously checked out each female, chased a swallow!!! and generally made a nuisance of himself, before gradually settling down. I eventually saw 3 males.

Other species seen
Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata 20+
Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum 100+
Ruddy darter Sympetrum sanguineum 70+
Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa 100+
Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella 50+
Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans 50+
Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum 200+ inc teneral

17th July Armagh/Tipperary Ian Rippey
When visiting Killevy Castle on Slieve Gullion Forest, South Armagh, on 17th July in warm sunny weather, I had hoped that I might see mroe than the single male Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) seen there on 12th; however it was with some difficulty that I even saw 1, which was possibly the same (male) specimen and it was seen about the same spot. Also seen was at least 1 Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis (as on 12th), at least the 3rd occasion (and the 2nd year) I have seen this here though it must be a stray, 2 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, 1-3 Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, and a male Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula.  

I later visited a small boggy area at Glendesha near Forkhill, and found a mating pair of Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.  

Also on 17th July Brian Hodkinson reports his first Black Darter Sympetrum danae of 2005 on Annaholty Bog near Birdhill, Co. Tipperary (a single specimen). He also saw saw Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, several Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Large Red Damselflies Pyrrhosoma numphula, and what he thought was a common/ruddy darter but could not net it for id.

17th July Wexford Niall Keogh et al
17th July : Co. Wexford : Warm, sunny, light wind : With Noel Keogh and Hugh Delaney :
Tacumshin Lake : 12 species seen.
East End Pond :
20-25 Emperor Anax imperator patrolling the pond. Very high density?? All males as far as I could see.
1 male Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron Pratense seen resting in clubrush.
Darters, Four-spotted Chaser, Emerald, Azure, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies all present.
Hugh had a possible sighting of the Red-veined Darter.

Forgotten Corner :
4 patrolling male Emperor Anax imperator.
1 Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis.

Pond between High Car Park and Forgotten Corner : ( near Castle )
1 male Emperor Anax imperator and 1 male Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis clashing. 1 Four-spotted Chaser also.
In the late afternoon we saw an ovipositing female Emperor Anax imperator here also. Hugh took some good digi-photos of it through our telescopes. It had a blue surface to its abdomen.

Lingstown :
Lots of Ruddy and Common Darters, 1 Large Red Damselfly, 1 male Variable Damselfly.
2 male Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron Pratense also.

Since 10th July, a total of 15 species have been recorded at Tacumshin Lake. Not bad going!!!!!

Lady's Island Lake :
Furziestown Pond/Lady's Island Lake :
1 male Emperor Anax imperator at the pond and another 2 male Emperor Anax imperator along the lake shore.
1 male Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis seen along a laneway.
Ruddy Darter, Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselfly at the pond.

Lady's Island Lake ( Ring Marsh end ) :
4 patrolling males and a copulating pair of Emperor Anax imperator.
Blue-tailed Damselflies and Darters seen also.

Day total of about 35-40 Emperor Anax imperator!!!!
July 17th Cork Harry Hussey
Though I realise that the species is getting ever more abundant along the south coast (and beyond), I was still pleasantly surprised to see at least 6 patrolling male dozen Emperor Anax imperator from the hide at Ballyvergan (Co.Cork) today, also 2 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, and a brief glimpse of a small-looking male darter sp.
July 16th Wexford Killian Mullarney
It was a wonderful day at Tacumshin today, with warm sunshine virtually all day and some good birds as well as dragonflies (the best being a Gull-billed Tern and a young female Montagu's Harrier).  Around early-afternoon, Tom Kilbane alerted me to the presence of a Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope and a skimmer sp (all are very rare in S Wexford) at the 'East end pool', near Sigginstown Island. I was at the opposite end of the Lake when I got this news, so it was well over an hour before I reached the East end. I saw the usual half-dozen Emperor Anax imperator patrolling the pool, but could not find the Lesser, which Tom had seen flying off to the north. I did locate a very nice male Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum, probably the same one as seen by Tom, and while I was following it I came across a very accommodating male Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii, perched at close range on a clubrush blade. I was able to examine it in great detail through my telescope, and I obtained some good video of it, and the skimmer. 
July 16th Dublin Ian Rippey
I met Peter Doyle at Knock Lake near Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, today (16th) in warm sunny weather with little wind and spent a couple of hours. He had arrived before me. He had already seen Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope before I arrived and we soon saw the species. At the very least there was 1, but possibly 2 or even 3, mating pairs of Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope, with (in my estimate) somewhere between 4 and 7 other males. I saw at least 2 male Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum (a mating pair of dragonflies seen briefly could have been this or Lesser Emperor), at least 2 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, an unidentified Darter, at least 2 Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, 3 Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, a male Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella, a male Banded Damselflies Calopteryx splendens and about 20 Common blue damselflies Enallagma cyathigerum I didn't manage to see an Emperor though Peter pointed out one chasing another which he said were 2 of this species (at the time my binoculars were on the ground).  

Peter approached the lake from the west and I approached itf rom the east, so he seems to have covered more ground and seems to have seen many more Brown Hawkers, and rather more Black-tailed Skimmers. I saw the blue flash in the middle of the body very well on numerous occasions as the males came within a few yards. Eventually Peter saw one at rest about 20 yards away and we had a look at it through his telescope. I also filmed it with a x22 Zoom on the camcorder. Peter also said he has seen Variable Damselfly at Knock Lake on a previous occasion, and as Large Red probably occurs, there may be 10-12 species.

July 16th Carlow Angus Tyner
A visit to Altimont Garden. (S8665) Unbroken sunshine, temp approx 20C
A lily covered lake, 2 ponds and River Slaney, 10 Species seen.

Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis 6+ inc ovipositing in the larger pond.
Common darters Sympetrum striolatum 4 tenerals from the larger pond as well as matures
Ruddy darter Sympetrum sanguineum 5+
Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata 2 at the lake
Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo just a single male at the river
Banded Damselflies Calopteryx splendens About 60 seen along 100m+ of the river.
Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa Single male at the larger pond
Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella Plenty inc ovipositng
Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans A few
Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula Plenty inc ovipositing at the smaller pond

Was hopeful of Anax at the lake, but not to be. Was surprised not see find Common Blue Damselfy at the lake. I think I've recorded it there before. Another surprise was the lack of Beautiful Demoiselle. On previous visits, Banded and Beautiful have been recorded in approximate equal numbers.

July 16th Dublin Peter Doyle
At Knock Lake, 3 Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope and 1 Emperor Anax imperator. Also 4 male Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum, 12+ Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata etc
July 15th Limerick Geoff Hunt
I saw a male with a female  oviposting Emperor Anax imperator at Griston bog county Limerick. This makes it the first for the County.
July 15th Wicklow Angus Tyner
While a bit of excitement is happening some 40 odd miles north of me, I had some success during a larvae and exuviae hunt around my lake and bog. This was in the hope of finding exuvia of late emerging Emperor and early emerging Migrant Hawker, and larvae of whatever. No exuviae were found. I did find at least 10 Emperor Anax imperator (I lost count!) larvae in my lake. These look on course to emerge next year. They were all in vegetation in shallow water around the edge and were found in 2 locations, suggesting to me that they are somewhat communal. I did not confirm any emergence of Emperor this year, though I did find a fully grown larva. I suspect the resident breeding Little Grebes are preying on them.

I then went to look in my Bog (historic field name). I'd say with the current weather, it could be dry in about 3 weeks time and has dried out during the previous 3 summers. Water level is down to less than a foot deep. Still masses of newts, some still a good bit of growing to go before they can leave. I was delighted to also find 7 larvae of what I assume to be Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta. It was getting dark and I didn't have the larvae ID key with me, but it is highly unlikely to be any other species. 5 were in an old wheel rut, so a deeper part of the remaining pool and 2 were together in a shallower part. Note that the bog used to grow wheat and even a crop of spuds was grown one year until I decided to flood it and let nature take over.

At least I know where to look for exuviae and I may take a look at a larva in daylight on Sunday and key it out and take some photos. To date I haven't comfirmed Migrant Hawker as breeding at my site, though ovipositing has been noted at my lake.

Off to Altimont Garden in Co. Carlow tomorrow (Sat). Odonates are gauranteed with the River Slaney, a lake and at least 2 pools.

July 15th Dublin Niall Keogh
15th July : Co. Dublin : Cloudy and warm. Light wind and a sunny spell. With Joe Adamson.

While heading south on the M1 through Meath, I received a phone call from Hugh Delaney to say that there was a report of both Lesser Emperor and Emperor at Knock Lake in the previous days. We arrived in the afternoon, and it was quite warm yet overcast. Despite the cloud, we saw good numbers of Common blue damselflies Enallagma cyathigerum( several pairs seen in tandem ), Blue tailed damselfly Ischnura elegans and both Ruddy darter Sympetrum sanguineum and Common darters Sympetrum striolatum. The sun eventually broke through and the temperature increased greatly. With this, all the Darters began to feed and patrol actively, and a single male Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis was seen feeding over long grass and weeds.

Despite the increase in temperature, no Emperors of any sort were seen patrolling over the pond or along the marginal vegetation. None were seen feeding along the hedgerows either.

Well done to the finder. I hope to return here in better weather.

I know some local birdwatchers have experience of both Emperor and Lesser Emperor, so perhaps they could provide us with further sightings.

14th July: Co. Dublin: Hot and Sunny :
Noel Keogh saw two fighting male Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis on the Dodder River at Ballsbridge

July 15th Dublin  
Some brief directions to Knock lake have been added to Lesser Emperor page. Emperor Anax imperator was seen at this site in 2004. The observor is confident that his ID of Lesser Emperor is correct. "I am more sure it was a Lesser Emperor. The Blue waist was very obvious".
July 14th Dublin Ciarán Williams
Knock lake near Balbriggan in north Co. Dublin

This is an artificial lake around 7 ha in size with lots of vegetation growth around and within the water.Anyway yesterday in glorious odanata weather took note of my sightings. As I walked around the lake and the abundant vegetation I spotted

30+ Common blue damselflies Enallagma cyathigerum,
10 Blue tailed damselflies Ischnura elegans,
Ruddy darter Sympetrum sanguineum, (f)
5 Common darters Sympetrum striolatum,
3+ Emperor dragonflies Anax imperator
2-3 Lesser emperors Anax parthenope (m + f)
I didn't observe this last species at this lake last year.

July 13th Wexford Peter Doyle
I was down in Wexford yesterday at the Tacumshin quarry pond yesterday and had probably the same 7-8 male Emperor Anax imperator and 1 female ovipositing. Also present were 4+ Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata , Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum, Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa. Also 2 male Emperor Anax imperator and 1 female at another pond near the east end of Tacumshin Lake. Pressed for time I didn’t ‘work’ Tacumshin Lake or anywhere else in Wexford.
July 12th Armagh Ian Rippey
I saw a nearly mature bluish male Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) around flushes near Killevy Castle on Slieve Gullion, South Armagh, on 12th July. Weather was warm and sunny (after a cloudy morning) though not as hot as 11th. I also saw a glimpse of a yellowish medium-sized dragonfly which could have been another (or it might have been a Common Darter). To only see 1 Skimmer was disappointing as I had been expecting several.  

I also saw a Brown hawker (Aeshna grandis) which, though I have recorded it once before, is presumably a stray (from where I cannot say as the nearest breeding sites would be some miles away in SW Armagh). This presumably also applies to the Hairy Dragonfly (Branchytron pratense) which I have also seen at the site.  

There were also about 40 Banded Damselflies (Calopteryx splendens) on the River Bann at Dynes Bridge c. 3 miles south of Portadown, Co. Armagh, earlier. Only 2 or 3 females were seen and a mating pair, the rest being males. The visit was less than 5 minutes and only the 50 yards or so of river south of the bridge were examined, so there were probably many more.

July 12th Wicklow Angus Tyner
Visited pond in Parnell Park in Rathdrum where I surprisingly recorded Scarce Blue-tailed in 2003 amongst other species. Despite a sunny 22C I did not find a single odonate. The pond measures about 40m X 20m and unfortunately had recently been cleaned out, but I still thought it incredible to find nothing. Perhaps it was too hot as activity seemed well down in my garden during the hot spell.

Also went to Kilmacurragh nr Rathdrum in 10k Sq T28. The pond here had also been cleaned out and now there is no emergent vegetation. However I did see about 20 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula, and about 5 each of Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella & Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum. This is a first record for the latter for T28. So the cleaning out of pond did encourage it in as I've made a few visits to this pond without seeing this species.

July 11th Wicklow Angus Tyner
Visited 10k squares T39, I 20 as well as other sites in my own sq T29

Emperor Anax imperator At ponds/lake in the 3 squares. 3 new sites.
Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron Pratense a male in good condition at new site in T29
Ruddy Darter
Sympetrum sanguineum All 3, so new to I20
Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum All 3
Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata Just T29
Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula Just T29
Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo Just T29
Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa Just T29
Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella T39 & T29
Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans All 3
Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum All 3

No further sightings of the Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum since at my lake.

And some news I forgot,

On 7th July Kim Tyner saw a single male Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo in one km sq I2419 NE of Bray Town in County Dublin. There is only a single pre-1980 record of this species from 10k sq I21 and since the vast bulk of this sq is in County Wicklow including all of the River Dargle, and as I suspect that this pre-1980 record was probably from Co. Wicklow, there appears to be no previous records from Co. Dublin in the Dragonfly Ireland Database of Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo

Edit: Hugh Delaney informed me that he saw a Beautiful demoiselle in Cabinteely Park Co. Dublin about 10 years ago. He said "I remember being so taken with it and going to a bit of trouble to look up what it was at the time"

July 10th Waterford Paul Walsh
10th July:  Fenor Bog (S5301), Co Waterford. Early evening, sunny. 
Emperor Anax imperator 1 male at main pond; 
Four-spotted Chaser
Libellula quadrimaculata 3;  
Blue-tailed Damselfly
Ischnura elegans 5 (incl. ovipositing);
Common Blue Damselfly
Enallagma cyathigerum 3 (incl pair in tandem).
July 10th Wicklow Peter Doyle
With the sun beating down in Dublin on Sunday 10th July, I decided to head to Glendalough ostensibly in search of Common Hawker. It was cloudy when I arrived but the ambient temperature was quite high and I headed directly for the west end of the upper lake.

It was ‘alive’ with Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens (20+) and Four-Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata (30+) and I also found 2 teneral Black Darter Sympetrum danae and one Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa. Also present in good numbers were Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum, Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula and Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans. I had just got up off my knees having examined some Sundew when a male Emperor Anax imperator sailed by me. I quickly got the bins on it and watched it turn around and sail past me again flying in the direction of the ‘old quarry’ at the end of the valley. I never saw it again.

This I believe is the first record of Emperor at Glendalough. I’m inclined to think that this individual was a wanderer from the more attractive lowland sites along the coast. Glendalough has all the typical upland species and I would think the site is too acidic for Emperor. The site can often be cool and cloudy when the rest of the region is baking in sunshine. In my experience the site’s peak activity for dragonflies is August/September and rather disappointingly,  I had no Common Hawker or Common Darter on this visit.

To end the day I had 4 male Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo at a river near Laragh.

July 10th Wexford Niall Keogh
10th July : Co. Wexford, with Noel Keogh, Hugh Delaney and Joe Adamson.
Calm, sunny, and extremely warm ( peak of 30 C ). A great day out and an Emperor bonanza!!!!

Tacumshin Lake :
At the East End Pond there were :
7 + territorial male Emperor Anax imperator ( including 1 caught!! ). One of the Emperors caught, de-winged and devoured a Cinnabar moth in flight.
c.6 Four-Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata ( 2 of which constantly mobbed one of the male Emperors ).
Lots of Darters ( Both Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum).
10 individual plus 1 pair in tandem Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa.
up tp 100 Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.
4 male Variable Damselfly Ceronagrion pulchellum.

At the "Forgotten Corner" :
1 patrolling male Emperor Anax imperator.
1 male Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum!!!

The Black-tailed Skimmer was found by Hugh Delaney who first picked it up flying across the lake. I was able to get a brief view of it through the telescope before it dissapeared. I walked up to where it was last seen and it flew right past my legs, keeping close to the waters surface and landed some distance away on bare sandy mud. It stayed there for a short while before flying off which allowed us to look at it with our telescopes. It was a new species for all who saw it.

I've heard that Tom Kilbane had a Black-tailed Skimmer at Tacumshin Lake last year, but don't know the finer details, so this record constitutes as the second for Wexford. Perhaps we can expect an increase in the range of Black-tailed Skimmer soon??

Paradise Quarry Pond :
7-8 male Emperor Anax imperator ( 5 of which were patrolling territory ) plus an ovipositing female. The female had a blue upper surfacre to her abdomen.
1 male Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis.
c.6 Four-Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata.
1 male Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum.
Lots of Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans. ( seen mating )
c.100 Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella( seen mating and ovipositing )
1 male Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum .

Ring Marsh :
5 male Emperor Anax imperator.
2 Four-Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata.
50 + Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.
A few Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum.

No sign of any Lesser Emperors or Red-veined Darters.
July 10th Kerry Brian Nelson
Just back from Killarney (hot!).

Main aim this tip was to search for adult Somatochlora arctica Northern/Moorland Emerald. Some success with this. Adults were seen at Galway’s Bridge, below Queen’s Cottage at Gallavally and near Lough Beg. Best of all I saw 3 males patrolling an area of bog at the area called O’Sullivan’s Punchbowl on the OS map. JJFX King recorded arctica between Torc and Dinis 22 July 1887, so this appears to be the first record of it in this area for almost 120 years.

Other species seen

Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Black Darter Sympetrum danae. Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens, Four-Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum, Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula and Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo.

July 9th Wicklow Angus Tyner
Sun appeared during afternoon and temp rose to about 20°C, and although I was concentrating on moths, (national moth night/day), it's odonata that has a big smile on my face!! There basking on a stone on the northern shore of my lake was a "blue" dragonfly. A quick look in binoculars, a run into house for guide book, to confirm it to be a male Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum. This is the first record of this species for Wicklow, brings my site species list up to 19, and 10k sq T29 list to 20 and was also a new species for me as well (I don't venture much.) I watched it for a while. it was taking occassional glides out over the water and was using the only 2 stones on the shore to bask. I tried getting photo, but it was a bit shy. It also landed on some vegetation.

Other odonata about my patch

Emperor Anax imperator 2 males
Four-Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata c. 15
Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum c. 50 inc ovipositing
Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum c. 10 inc ovipositing.
Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula single male
Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo Single male patrolling my stream and another 2 males elsewhere on farm
Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa c. 30 inc ovipositing
Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella c.50
Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans c. 100 inc tenerals
Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum 100s inc tenerals

11 species today. I did see a female Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio a few days back as well

July 9th Wicklow Niall Keogh
9th July : East Coast Nature Reserve, Blackditch, Co. Wicklow :
Calm, warm and humid, quite misty in morning.

Highlight of the day was a male Emperor Anax imperator patrolling along the northern end of the main north-south drainage ditch. New site for the species. Brings the Blackditch Odonata species list to 12.

Also present were : 9 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula,
5 Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella ( including a green form female ),
c.25 Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans,
1-2 Four-Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata
and a total of 25 Darters ( 4 identified were Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and 9 identified were Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum.)

Newcastle Airfield :
70 individual plus 3 mating pairs of Blue-tailed Damselflies and a single immature Common Darter along the main coastal drainage ditch.
July 8th Tyrone Niall Keogh
8th July: Co. Tyrone, with Joe Adamson. Overcast, yet very warm and humid. Some light showers :

Where the A5 crosses over the Fairy Water river, just north of Omagh :
An immature male Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis flew into the car windscreen and got caught in the windscreen wipers!!!!! Managed to get itself free, albeit, with some damage to the abdomen.

Gortfinbar, beside Altmore Forest, 9km north of Ballygawley :
( Cut-over blanket bog, with mature Sitka Spruce plantations nearby ) The following were seen in a small dystrophic bogpool, with well vegetated edges ( sphagnum moss, rushes with heather, deer grass and cotton grass nearby ). No emergent growth in centre of pond.
Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula : 10
Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella : 2 males
Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans : c.10
Four-Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata : 2 males

Another larger bog pool was found. It is completely surrounded by floating sphagnum beds and sedge-like plants and seems to be totally clear of emergent vegetation in the centre. The entire pool was situated in a cut away piece of blanket bog with a heather-bank perimeter. A mature Sitka Spruce planation is located closely to the west of it and probably offers some shelter.
The GPS co-ordinate for the pool is 63318 67079.
There were 2 male Four-Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata clashing over the pool, with another 2 found resting in the heather bank. 6 Large Red Damselflies and a single female Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa were found in the heather-bank also.
More excitingly however, while walking through a patch of juncus rushes, I flushed an interseting looking "blue" damselfly, which I instantly netted. I reached into the net and pulled out a cracking male Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum !!! A new species for myself and Joe. Unfortunately, I was unable to re-check the site as the weather began to worsen and we had to leave.

I don't know for certain if they have been recorded at this site before and would like to know if anybody has any information regarding their status in that general area.
When we got back to the car there was female Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa trapped inside, flying around the back seat trying to get out the window!!!!!
July 4th Waterford/Cork Paul Walsh
Some recent records below from Cork and Waterford (nothing terribly dramatic, and most site-visits below were in fairly poor weather conditions). 

3rd July:  Annestown Bog (S4900 - ponds W of road) (Co Waterford).
Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum 3 (teneral);
Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa 1;
Common Blue Damselfly
Enallagma cyathigerum 7;
Blue-Tailed Damselfly
Ischnura elegans 5.

3rd July:  Fenor Bog (S5301), Co Waterford.
Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum 2; plus unidentified "blue" hawker/hairy sp briefly.

2nd July:  Ballyvergan Marsh (X0776), Co Cork.
Emperor Anax imperator 2 males over pond in front of BirdWatch Ireland hide;
Blue-tailed Damselfly
Ischnura elegans 2.

2nd July:  Near Monaneea Lake (X2184), Co Waterford. 
Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata 1 (female);
Blue-tailed Damselfly
Ischnura elegans 9.  

26th June:  Unnamed lake near Coomerkane (V887557), west of Glengarriff, Co Cork. 
Four-Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata 5+ (3 m, 2 f);
Large Red Damselfly
Pyrrhosoma numphula 2;
Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans
Beautiful Demoiselle
Calopteryx virgo 2.

26th June: Loughavaun Little (V909533), SW of Glengarriff, Co Cork.
Blue-tailed Damselfly
Ischnura elegans 4+;
Common Blue Damselfly
Enallagma cyathigerum 6+.

26th June: Glengarriff Wood (V95), Co Cork. 
Beautiful Demoiselle
Calopteryx virgo 1.

19th June:  Brownstown Head (garden at X6298), Co Waterford. 
Brown Hawker
Aeshna grandis 1 (Mary Duggan per PW).

July 4th Laois Peter Doyle
A visit to Emo Court near Portlaoise in County Laois, on Saturday 2/7 proved quite fruitful for dragonflies. The lake on the estate which has a couple of islands and extensive emergent vegetation was alive with them. There were 20+ Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, large numbers of ‘blue’ damsels (although I didn’t catch any for close inspection I suspected Common Blue, Azure and Variable from brief perched views), 1 female Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa, 4-6 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, 3 Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, 3-4 Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum (including a copulating pair) and most exciting of all, 2 male Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator holding territory (occasionally clashing and chasing Brown Hawkers). It was quite windy with some cloud cover in between which there were warm periods of sunshine. Much of the lake is surrounded by woodland allowing for sheltered yet sunny stretches in which the Emperors sallied back and forth. This location I think would represent a significant inland penetration for Emperor which generally seems to be still somewhat confined to the south and east coasts (apart from Clonmel). The estate and ‘house’ were in private ownership until 1996 when the owner generously gave it to the nation and it is currently managed by the Board of Works. Well worth a day out!

Plenty of Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans there as well although no Large Red Damsels noted. The site has great potential and may produce other species such as Common Hawker.

July 2nd Armagh Ian Rippey
I saw my first 2005 specimens of Emerald Damselfly, Black Darter and Ruddy Darter today, as follows:  
Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa: About 8 at Peatlands Park, North Armagh.
Black Darter Sympetrum danae: At least 2 immatures at Peatlands Park, North Armagh.
Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum: c. 15 at Brackagh Bog near Portadown, North Armagh.  

There were also up to 6 Common Hawker Aeshna juncea at Peatlands Park though I had seen 1 at Glendermott Bog near Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone, on 28th June.  

Also seen were:  
Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma numphula: About 4 at Peatlands including a mating pair.
Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella: Several at Peatlands and Brackagh.
Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum: Some at Peatlands and Brackagh.
Blue-Tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans: At least 1 at Peatlands.
Four-Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata: Common at Peatlands and 2 at Brackagh.
Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum: About 12-15 at Peatlands, most of which were actually teneral specimens around a shallow ponf associated with sewage disposal, although a fairly red male was also seen.  

This makes 10 Odonata species seen today (9 at Peatlands, 4 at Brackagh Bog).

I understand a Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis was seen at Montiaghs NNR, Co. Antrim, on 2nd July

This now means that all the 17 resident Odonata species of Northern Ireland have been seen in 2005.

David Nixon also reports a female Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens at Broadwater near Aghalee, Co. Antrim, on 1st July.  

The most interesting record though on this website is the sighting of 2 Emperor dragonflies (Anax imperator) at Emo Court near Portarlington, Co. Laois, on 2nd July by Peter Doyle. This site (in the Irish midlands) is well inland (most sites are on or close to the coast). The species should certainly be looked for further north and west.  

With the sighting last year of both Emperor dragonfly and Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) in Scotland, possibly both may yet spread to Northern Ireland though neither have yet been seen as far north as Dublin.

July 2nd Antrim Brian Nelson
A second dragonfly course today. At the Montiaghs Co. Antrim in breezy but warm conditions there were

30+ 4 spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata,
5 Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum,
2 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum,
many Variable Bluet Coenagrion pulchellum and Common Emerald/Spreadwing Lestes sponsa,
at least 1 Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis and
3 Common Hawker Aeshna juncea
1 female Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense

July 2nd Laois Peter Doyle
2 Emperor Anax imperator Co. Laois on lake at Emo Court!
July 2nd Wicklow Niall Keogh
2nd July: Wicklow : Sunny, warm but very breezy :
Kilcoole : A male Emperor Anax imperator flying around the drainage ditch at the southern end of the Birdwatch Ireland Reserve. Came within 1 foot of me!!!! First confirmed record from this site as far as I know. The only other Odonata present was a single teneral Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum .

Kilmacanogue Marsh/Pond : Several Blue-Tailed Damselflies Ischnura elegans,Azure Damselflies Coenagrion puella and a single female dark phase Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum seen.

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