This page has some news of Irish Odonata sightings during 2006
  last updated 07 April 2007  
Maintained by Angus Tyner.

IMPORTANT: Please send records to Robert Thompson for inclusion on the national DragonflyIreland database which is still being updated.
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Headlines:
Oct 24th Red-veined Darter in Co. Wexford
3rd August Emperor in Armagh
18th July Lesser Emperor in Armagh
Downy Emerald Glengarriff Woods
14th July Lesser Emperor and Red-veined Darter at Knock Lake Co. Dublin
5th July - Lesser Emperor in Kildare, Red-veined Darter in Wexford, Emperor in Louth
2nd July - Red-veined Darter Symptrum fonscolombii confirmed in Co. Cork

17th June - Lesser Emperor in Cork and possible Red-veined Darter
June 3rd - Downy Emerald Cordulia aenea in Kerry

Archives - April/May June
     
Note: Due to time contraints, I shall not be doing similar webpages next year 2007.
It's been an interesting couple of years with 3 species new to Northern Ireland this year and Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) confirmed in SE last year.
     
13th November Wexford per Ian Rippey
Christopher Wilson, the Warden of Wexford Wildlife Reserve, reports a Common Darter on 13th November at Wexford Wildlife Reserve. This must be among the latest ever Odonata records for Ireland. The latest date given for this in the Dragonfly Ireland book (and I think any other Odonata species in Ireland) is 19th November 2001. I understand that Migrant Hawker was also recorded at WWR on 13th November 2001;
     
9th November Armagh Ian Rippey
In bright calm weather (though rather cold, possibly only 8 deg. C.) I saw 3 Common Darters (1 female and probably 2 males) at Peatlands Park, North Armagh, at about lunchtime today (9th). They seemed to be in good condition. None however were seen in the "Bog Garden" where I saw several earlier this month.
     
6th November Kerry Ken Bond
Black Darter: one male, Killarney National Park (Muckross), 4 Nov. 2006
Common Darter: one male, Killarney National Park (Colleen Bawn Rock), 4 Nov. 2006
     
4th November Armagh Ian Rippey
Starting about mid-day I spent about 2 hours at Peatlands Park, North Armagh. Weather was bright with hazy sun and a light wind, but despite earlier frost (c. -2 deg. C.) it was somewhat warmer than yesterday. As expected I saw both Common Darter (4) and Black Darter (1) in the "Bog Garden"; there were also 2 Common Darters and 4 Black Darters in the areas outside the Garden (mostly between the Turf Cutting area and Annagarriff Wood), making 6 Common Darters and 5 Black Darters respectively altogether, or 11 Dragonflies altogether. The Black Darters and all but one of the Common Darters seemed to be males, and any seen closely were in mature condition but with wings in excellent state; when disturbed they flew strongly. Nearly all were seen initially sunning themselves on paths or wooden walkways.
 

I have regularly seen both species during the first few days of November at this site in recent years (sometimes a little bit later), but I think this is the largest number I have seen on a November day. There were probably at least a few others in other parts of the park (which is too large to cover completely in 2 hours). Weather in October was very mild but cool, though dry, northerly winds set in one the last day and have lasted until the present, though it has been bright.

     
2nd November Wicklow Angus Tyner
I'm still seeing Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum whenever the sun is shining. Today I saw 3 Common Darter (2m 1f) and a single Male Migrant Hawker. Of the 2 male Migrant Hawkers yesterday I saw one perched, and his wings were very tatty.
     
24th October Wexford Killian Mullarney
As I walked out from the Lingstown side of Tacumshin Lake (Co. Wexford) this afternoon I noticed a darter Sympetrum sp alight on the vegetation in front of me. Expecting it to be just a Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum I almost didn't stop to look at it, but when I scrutinized it through binoculars I realised it was actually a male Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii. Fortunately, it remained on its perch long enough for me to obtain some photographs.

This is the latest (by a couple of months) that I have seen the species in Ireland.

     
23rd October Down David Nixon
A male Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta and 2 Common Darters were still at Lough Money near Downpatrick, Co Down, today.
     
23rd October Cork Peter Doyle
I had 2/3 Common Darter, Sympetrum striolatum, in a water logged field yesterday 22/10 near Baltimore, west Cork.
     
22nd October Armagh/Waterford Per Ian Rippey
On 21st October there were 2 Common Darters and a large clear-winged Hawker (presumably Aeshna juncea as it looked too large for Aeshna mixta, a species which in any case has yet to be recorded in Co. Armagh) at Navan Quarry near Armagh, Co. Armagh; the latter was glimpsed briefly and the abdomen was noticeably turned down. Weather was bright and mild.

Andrew Malcolm also reports Common Darters (one of which landed on his head) and Migrant Hawkers in Co. Waterford (I believe in the Clashmore area) on 20th October.

     
13th October Antrim David Nixon
This afternoon the following were seen at Montiaghs Moss near Aghalee, Co Antrim: 4 Common Hawkers, around 10 Black Darters, 2 Common Darters and 1 Ruddy Darter.
     
12th October Armagh/Waterford Per Ian Rippey
There were 6-8 Common Darters today (12th) at Navan Quarry near Armagh, Co. Armagh, and on 7th October a medium-sized darter on the edge of the dunes at Murlough NNR near Dundrum, Co. Down, was almost certainly also this species.  

In the west of Co. Waterford Andrew Malcolm reports several Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta (including mating and oviposition behaviour, which was photographed) and several Darters including some Common Darters and a Black Darter at Clashmore on 3rd and 9th October.

     
3rd October Cork Peter Doyle
A weekend on Cape Clear Island in west Cork produced 3 Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta (2 male and 1 female) by Lough Errul, 2 male Migrant Hawker in Cotter’s Garden by the harbour and 2 Common Darter in the west bog, all on 30/9. Surprisingly no Common Hawker were seen which is known on the Island.
     
2nd October Wicklow Angus Tyner
An unusual visitor to my garden was Black Darter Sympetrum danae. Also have Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta present.
     
2nd October   Ian Rippey
The Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) is generally scarce in the south-east of Ireland due to lack of suitable peat bogs (and indeed, as far as I am aware, there have been no records from Co. Wexford, though it has recorded 23 Odonata species, 10 out of the 11 Zygoptera and 13 of the 22 Anisoptera recorded in Ireland, although probably at most 19 or 20 of these 23 breed).   Although I understand it has been recorded in Co. Waterford, http://www.habitas.org.uk/dragonflyireland/5651_m.htm does not sem to show any 10 x 10 km. square records for the county. It is with interest that I noticed that http://www.waterfordwildlife.com/lepidoptera.htm mentions (along with a photograph of a mature male, acknowledged to Andrew Malcolm) states ("26.9.2006"): A rare Waterford animal, the Black Darter shown here was recently found at a site in west of the county. Reddish Common Darters have been seen in Waterford City in the past few days."
     
25th September Wexford/Wicklow Peter Doyle
3 – 4 Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) noted on Saltee Island off County Wexford yesterday 24/9. I understand from birding colleagues that there were also significant numbers of the same species at Tacumshin Lake yesterday nearby on the mainland. I would belatedly add that on my return journey from Glendalough on 16/9 that I had 2 male Migrant Hawker at Kilmacanogue Marsh which I forgot to mention in my last missive. I think we all need reminding that only 7 years ago news of Migrant Hawker in Ireland would generate novel excitement. Now it has reached County Down. For the sake of posterity I would add that it is now apparent, that in season, Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) is now more prolific in Leinster than Common Hawker (Aeshna juncea). Where will it all end?!!
     
24th September Down/Armagh Ian Rippey
I saw a male Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) towards the NW end of Lough Money near Downpatrick, Co. Down (J523457, near the sewage works) on 23rd September; it was latish afternoon and conditions were not ideal as it was windy (though bright) and the adjacent quarry (where insects tend to congregate) was in shade. This was probably one of the individuals seen by David Nixon or Laurence Morgan on 15th and 16th September respectively.   I also looked for the species without success the same afternoon at Carrickanab near Clough (J4538), where I thought I saw one on 7th October 1995, and a lake at Ballygargan about 3 miles east of Carrickanab (J4833386), but only Common Darters were seen at these places, and on 24th (when the weather was less suitable) at Ballydugan Lake near Downpatrick (J460428); only a single male Common Blue damselfly was seen here.   On 19th September there was a rather late Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) at Milltown Reservoir near Warrenpoint, Co. Down, with 4-6 Common Darters and 2 or 3 male Common Blue Damselflies; on 22nd September there was a probable Brown Hawker, 4 Common Hawkers (1 or 2 ovipositing), about 6 Black Darters and 10 Common Darters at Peatlands Park, North Armagh.
     
19th September Dublin Joe Curtis
On 16th, 17th & 18th September 2006 I watched an Emperor Dragonfly 'hunting' the area around Inch pond, Balrothery, nr. Balbriggan Co Dublin.   The pond is a 3 (or so) acre ornamental pond attached to a Glebe House which is nowadays totally overgrown but still has small wet areas.
     
18th September Various Ian Rippey
Full report with list of records on separate page

Rather belatedly, here are my Odonata observations in the Republic of Ireland (mainly the west from Kerry to Limerick and a few midland counties) during the 14 day period from 31st July to 13th August and 3rd-10th September 2006. 1 or more species were recorded from Longford, Kildare, Offaly, Roscommon, Westmeath, East and West Mayo, South-east Galway, North-east Galway, West Galway, Clare, Limerick, and North and South Kerry.

Highlights were:

(1) 14 or 15 species (8 or 9 Anisoptera and 6 Zygoptera) were seen. Apart from a few Banded Damselflies at 1 site in Kerry in September, I failed to see any Calopteryx species, any Pyrrhosoma nymphula or Coenagrion puella; otherwise I saw all the species one might expect to see in the localities I visited (as I was not in the south-east I did not cover the main localities where the Migrant Hawker might be expected, though there was a probable record from Limerick.

(2) The highlight was a probable male Migrant Hawker at Dohyle Lake near Rathkeale, Co. Limerick, on 9th September; I saw the prominent area of blue at the base of the abdomen which also appears in a photograph of this species (E-mailed privately to me) which was taken by Laurence Morgan at Lough Money near Downpatrick, Co. Down, on 16th September (this together with records from the same site by David Nixon on 30th August & 15th September constitute the 1st confirmed records from Northern Ireland); see http://www.iol.ie/~wicklowweather/dragonfly/odonatanews.htm. I believed at the time I had also seen 1 there in August 2003 but after seeing Black-tailed Skimmer (not present on 9.9) doubts entered my head. This is as far as I know the only site in Limerick where the Migrant Hawker has been seen, though another "new" colonist, the Emperor, has been seen at Griston Bog near Ballylanders in the south of the county.

(3) Scarce Emerald lived up to its name of being scarce (though the hot weather in June/July may have caused the peak to be earlier than normal) as very few were seen though this included 1 at a site in East Mayo which may be a new one.

(4) Black-tailed Skimmer was seen at 2 spots on the shores of Lough Conn, West Mayo; these may or may not be new sites though I think not a new vice-county record. A specimen (which was a rather dark grey and probably an old female) seen near Lough Ree, Co. Roscommon, on 10th August had some red blotches on the right wings, reminiscent of paint markings but whether someone had tried to mark and release a specimen I do not know; perhaps it had landed on wet paint! Unfortunately the video footage relating to this is defective as bands have appeared across the image, though parts can still be seen.

The Keeled Skimmer was also seen at 2 different sites on the same lake and several were also seen on Achill Island, West Mayo though I believe it has been recorded here before.

(5) Ruddy Darter and Brown Hawker were widespread, even being seen in some acid habitats which did not look particularly suitable for breeding; equally Common Hawker was widespread even in limestone habitats.

On a warm sunny if rather breezy day, 8th September, a Common Darter (2 others of which were seen on the nearby dunes) was seen flying south over the sea at Inch on the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry; single examples of butterfly species (Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, though interestingly none of the c. 10 Clouded Yellows seen on the dunes) were also seen doing the same (to the south or west).

Full report with list of records on separate page

     
18th September Wexford Peter Doyle
[ed..The first part was sent couple weeks ago, but I lost it with the failed hard drive.]

I was down at Tacumshin Lake, County Wexford on 3/9 and had Common and Ruddy Darter and Migrant Hawker in good numbers at the east end of it. I also had 2 male Emperors, both in pristine condition, at the nearby quarry pond (my latest date for the species ever) as well as Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta, Common and Ruddy Darter. Also 3 male Common Blue Damselfly there, were of note.

On Saturday 16/9 just gone I was at Glendalough, and had 4+ male and 1 female Common Hawker, 12+ Black Darter including 2 copulating pairs, 20+ Common Darter and 10+ Emerald Damselfly at the west end of the upper lake. A Clouded Yellow butterfly was a welcome autumnal sight there too.  Also 1 female Keeled Skimmer, 1 male Common Hawker and 15+ Common Darter noted in the boggy area adjacent to the lower lake.

     
16th September Down Laurence Morgan
Following on from David Nixon's news of Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta at Lough Money on 15th Sept., I paid a visit there today 16th Sept. I saw 1male at the southern end near the slipway, and at least 2 other males at the northern end near the sewage treatment works, one of which was mated with a female.
     
15th September Down David Nixon
On 30th August 06 I made a brief stop at Lough Money, outside Downpatrick, Co Down. At the carpark at the south of the lake (Grid J532452) I saw 2 smallish hawkers in flight but not well enough to clinch identity.

I went back today and almost immediately saw a small blue hawker at the same spot. For the next hour, I saw it periodically, always in flight.

I then went to the North end of the lake and walked along the track towards the sewage works. About 100m from the end of the track (Grid J533458) I saw another hawker which alighted at knee height on the vegetation along the side of the track.For the next 15 minutes I was treated to superb views of a pristine male Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta, down to distances of 2 feet. The distinctive yellow 'golf tee' was seen well.  I got lots of photographs, unfortunately they are poor but some will serve as record shots.  About 6-8 each of Ruddy and Common Darter were present as well as a few Common Blue Damselflies.

This is a brand new species for me and I am now satisfied that what I saw on 30th August, was this species. The one seen in flight from the carpark earlier today was definitely this species too.

     
30th August Various Ian Rippey
On 7th October 2005 I had seen what I think was a Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) at a lake at Carrickanab (J453384) near Clough, South Down, Northern Ireland (a visit here in October 2004 drew a blank); unfortunately though I had several brief glimpses it flew away (surprisingly to the windy side of a hedge) and I did not see it again that day or on a subsequent visit. so did not claim it as a definite record, although the only other potential candidate, Common Hawker (Aeshna juncea) is seldom found on these type of lakes in Co. Down, etc.  

A July visit for possible Emperor or Lesser Emperor dragonflies (now both confirmed this year for the first time in Northern Ireland, at separate sites in Co. Armagh; see http://www.iol.ie/~wicklowweather/dragonfly/odonatanews.htm) drew a blank although there were some Ruddy Darters.  

A visit here last Saturday (26th) was brief as it was rather late in the evening and I was also deterred by an inquisitive bull (which has been present on all my visits from last year), so all that was seen were a few Ruddy Darters.  

On 29th August, which after some earlier heavy showers was mostly bright though breezy in the afternoon, I visited South Down and saw several examples of what may be Migrant Hawkers. The trouble is, at at least one site, there were definitely a number of Common Hawkers also present; I caught a male and a female and also saw 2 females, one ovipositing, in a pool in the nearby quarry, where there was also a male Emerald Damselfly.  

The first dragonfly I saw here (along the track just off the road at Carrick Little east of Rourke's Park in the Annalong Valley, Mourne Mountains (J3622), seemed noticeably small (either a female or immature male). Further on up I saw what looked like a male Migrant Hawker, and caught it with the net but the momentum of the bag immediately blew it out again immediately before I could examine it. I had seen it or another on several occasions and the "jizz" seemed right (size, more noticeable blue, flight pattern, etc), however I cannot be certain. There was a Clouded Yellow, a Red Admiral, and some Silver Y moths (also a 2nd brood Holly Blue there) indicating migration and several Common Darters. There was a fairly good shelter from the wind along the forest tracks.  

There were also a possible male A. mixta at Mourne Park (J277153) near Kilkeel (along the edge of the wood not far north of the Golf Club) with a female which I video'd which however seemed to be juncea, also 1 or 2 Common Darters; I hoped for possible Holly Blue, but had to be content with a Wall Brown. I also looked at the lake in Mourne Park there but no Odonata were seen though there were 2 Buzzards and a Jay and.  

Of course several "probables" do not make a definite. Hopefully though someone can confirm the Migrant Hawker in Northern Ireland this year; the most northerly definite record was at Knock Lake near Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, where I saw a number of specimens on 11th September 2005.  

I saw about 13 species of Odonata in the Republic of Ireland during 31st July-13th August including Scarce Emerald damselfly (1 site each in Mayo and Clare, former possibly new), Black-tailed Skimmer (Clare, West Mayo including 2 sites on Lough Conn, East Mayo and Roscommon), Keeled Skimmer (West Galway and West Mayo), Ruddy Darter (Clare, South-east Galway, West and East Mayo, Roscommon, Kildare), and Black Darter (West Galway), etc. I hope to give fuller details soon.  

Since coming back the only other Odonata of note have been a female Keeled Skimmer near Killevy Castle, South Armagh (the first I have confirmed in Co. Armagh this year despite several visits), and 8 Banded Damselflies (6 males and 2 females) on the River Bann at Dynes Bridge near Portadown, both in Co. Armagh on 17th August.

     
28th August Wexford Tom Shevlin
A good few Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta were patrolling a sheltered lane at Carnsore Point in south Wexford on Saturday 26th August. Also present was one Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator – annoying the hawkers. Further along the track by the wind turbines I looked at (and photographed) a darter that was resting on the warm stones. Much to my surprise it turned out to be a male Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii, the first I’ve seen since September 2001, which was also at Carnsore.
     
23rd August Louth Don Hodgers
23 August 2006, Moneycrookroe, Co Louth: Three quarters of an hour at lunchtime today produced 20-30 Black Darter Sympetrum danae, 4 Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, a single Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, a single male Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens, and good numbers of Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum. Damselflies present were Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.
     
9th August Galway Brian Nelson
4th August Large numbers of Lestes dryas were seen at Carrickslavan turlough near Carrick on Shannon in Leitrim.  Sympetrum sanguineum also seen here during brief visit.

4-6th Aeshna grandis was in abundance in Portumna Forest Park and along many roads. One male Aeshna juncea was seen around a woodland pool in the Forest which also, surprisingly, held a female Calopteryx splendens. Orthetrum cancellatum also seen on the Lough Derg shore within the Forest Park

7th-8th Shores of Lough Corrib and Moycullen/Oughterard area Aeshna grandis again often abundant always outnumbering A. juncea even on drains in boggy areas. Sympetrum danae was seen also at one site. A few Libellula quadrimaculata were hanging on in the area.
     
8th August Wexford Killian Mullarney
This afternoon I was pleased to see a Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta in my garden on the southern side of Forth Mountain, near Murrintown, Co Wexford. It flew around for a few minutes before  settling on a Pyracantha bush at the front door, when I could determine that it was a young male. No doubt there are lots of others about in this warm weather.
     
8th August Wexford Tom Shevlin
At Tacumshin Lake, Wexford yesterday (7th Aug), Tom Kilbane alerted me to the presence of a male Keeled Skimmers Orthetrum coerulescens . Not sure if this species has been recorded at this site previously so perhaps worth a mention.
     
6th August Cork Mark Shorten
nothing dramatic but have had 2+ Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator at Fitzgeralds Park Cork city on 25th July. Also Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, Large red damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.
     
4th August Cork Harry Hussey
I had two male Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator along a (brackish!) channel behind Shanagarry Marsh at Ballycotton, Co. Cork yesterday.
     
3rd August Louth Gerry O'Neill
Seen male Emperor anax imperator 24 july at Corial lake, Louth.
     
3rd August Armagh Don Hodgers
3 August 2006, Co Armagh: A male Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator was present at 12.15pm at Cashel Lough Upper, near Silverbridge, Co Armagh. It was patrolling the northern end of the lough especially on the eastern side of the car park. Also present were Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, including an ovipositing female, perhaps a half dozen Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, a single Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, about 4 Black Darter Sympetrum danae and numerous Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum. Damselflies included mostly Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum but also some Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa. Earlier a quick check at Glassdrumman Lough produced a single Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, some Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa.
     
31st July Kerry Ciarán Williams 
On Wed 26th July I went to Rossacroonaloo millenium forest on the Clonkeen to Kilgarvan road (W 045 789) Theres a car park and information sign just off the road and a little footbridge runs over the Loo river and into an native woodland. From the car park I saw approx. 10 Beautiful demoiselles (Calopteryx virgo) and 6 Large red damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) on the river. Walking through the length of the forest you come to deer fencing and a clearance for overhead esb lines. Along this ride line at a boggy seepage I saw 5 Common hawkers (Aeshna juncea), 10-15 Keeled skimmers including one female ovipositing, (Orthetrum coerulescens), 2 Four spotted chasers (Libellula quadrimaculata) and 4 Common darters (Sympetrum striolatum).

The following day I started from the picnic area across the road from the native woodland and followed a forest track up to a small mountain lake,Lough Aclearig W 021 792 (Alt. 280m). Along the way a spotted 4 more common hawkers, plenty of keeled skimmers and common darters. At the lough itself was plenty of Common blue damselflies (Enallagma cyathigerum), Blue tailed damselflies (Ischnura elegans) and a good number of Emerald damselflies incl. many tenerals (Lestes sponsa). Unfortunately the rain closed in soon after so I made my way back down to the car.

     
30th July Down Ian Rippey
A fruitless search for Emperor dragonflies, etc, in East Down today (though I was concentrating mainly on the coast for Butterflies). However at Carrickanab Lake near Clough I saw at least 3 Ruddy Darters (1 female caught and 2 mature males seen); several other darters were seen of which at least 1 looked to be Common Darter.  

I do not know whether this is a new site; there is a 1990-1999 record for this 10 x 10 km. Grid Square (J43) in the Dragonfly Ireland book. I have only been at this site in early October previously which is probably too late for Ruddy Darter.  

Several Emerald damselflies, a male Variable Damselfly and 2 Blue-tailed Damselflies were seen; at Ballydugan Lake near Downpatrick a Common Blue and a Blue-tailed damselfly were seen. Observations at both sites were curtailed by heavy showers and it is still raining as I type this, although the recent rain in Northern Ireland is very welcome from the point of view of vegetation, preventing fires and also topping up bog pools, etc.

     
30th July Louth Don Hodgers and Gerry O'Neill
30 July 2006, Ferrard Cross Pond: Three male and at least one ovipositing female Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator (first site records); one male Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, good numbers of Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum, including ovipositing pairs, a few Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata. Large numbers of Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum with Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula.

30 July 2006, Keenan's Cross Pond: Male Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator (first site record), ovipositing pair of Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, some Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, large number of Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and some Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans

24 July, Moneycrookroe: 3 Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, 1 Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator, about 12 Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens, small number of Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, great many Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa and usual blues and reds.

23 July, Cappoge Bridgeover R Dee on old N1: Over 40 Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens, mostly males counted from bridge.

     
27th July Armagh Brian Nelson
I was able to get to Craigavon North Lake today between 1600 and 1730. Conditions would have been perfect except frustratingly the sun was obscured by cloud for periods. Brief views were had of what I presumed was the Lesser Emperor, but never 100% convincing. A second clear-winged large dragonfly was also seen once. These sightings were in the bay at northeast corner of north lake around the wooden jetty and the two small islands.
     
25th July Wexford Peter Doyle
2 male Emperor (A.imperator) at Ring Marsh on 22/7 & 3+ male Emperor (A.imperator) at the quarry pond, Tacumshin Lake, County Wexford on 23/7. I also had a possible male Red veined Darter at the quarry pond but conditions were windy and it was ’gone’ without perching before I could sort it. Plenty of Ruddy Darter (S.sanguineum) at the west end of Tacumshin Lake. Common Darter (S.striolatum), Blue tailed and blue damsels also noted at all sites visited. Orthopteran enthusiasts may be interested to know that the Short winged Conehead Crickets (Conocephalus dorsalis) are out at Tacumshin Lake but all specimens observed were tiny!
     
24th July Armagh Brian Nelson
The male Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope was still at Craigavon Lakes on Saturday 22 July, favouring calm conditions along south shore of the north lake. It was not seen on 23rd but conditions were less favourable with strong westerly breeze affecting most of lake. Even the Enallagma were restricted to the marginal vegetation.
     
23rd July Various Niall Keogh/Joe Adamson
20/07/06 : Knock Lake, Co. Dublin :
Present for an hour from about 15:00 onwards, overcast yet very warm with a light breeze.
A single male Lesser Emperor was seen very well patrolling along the northern edge of the bank that separates the pond from the main fishing lake. Quite territorial, often coming into conflict with a male Emperor, which quickly drove its smaller cousin away.
On the pond there was a further 2 patrolling male Emperors, loads of Common Blue Damselflies and Blue-tailed Damselflies, and about 20+ Darters (any of which were identified turned out to be Ruddy Darter ).

20/07/06 : Slieveglass, Co. Tyrone :Grid ref. 228225 377707.
A male and female Large Red Damselfly and a Hawker sp. seen along a natural peaty bottomed stream on wet grassland/wet heath.

Grid ref. 227495 377290. A male and female Large Red Damselfly and a male Common Hawker seen around a small bogpool on cutover blanket bog.
Both of the female Large Red Damselflies were of the form melonatum.

19/07/06 : near Claudy, Co. Derry :Grid ref. 254060 410871.
2 male and a pair in tandem Large Red Damselflies on a stoney bottomed stream on the edge of wet grassland and cutover blanket bog. Stream pH 7.01 and temperature 21.3 degrees Celsius.
     
23rd July Wicklow Angus Tyner
With 2 reports of probable Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta during past 2 days, I went looking for exuvia about my bog pond. Despite a reasonably thorough search, I found none. The pond will be only mud within a few days, so any larvae in it had better hurry up. I did find a single Migrant Hawker larva today which certainly was not in final instar. This is in addition to a final instar larva found yesterday during the DNFC outing.

The 2 reports of adults was one by Kim Tyner today perched on the sea-saw in the garden. It was definitely a hawker, brown in colour and much smaller than Emperor. The other report was yesterday in a neighbouring field by David Nash and Gerry Sharkey during the previously mentioned DNFC visit. The rest of group had moved on, so missing out on sighting.

Previously, during brief sunny spells after a cloudy morning the DNFC members saw a number of Emperor Anax imperator inc an ovipositing female, a Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, a number of Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum, a good view of a fresh looking Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, along with a couple of older specimens, plenty of Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum, lesser numbers of Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and a single Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa.

     
23rd July Wexford/Dublin Hugh Delaney
Dublin City 15.07.06
On a walk between Baggot Street bridge and Lesson Street Bridge i saw 4 Brown Hawker and 2 Emperor, the Emperor where once again just upriver from Lesson Street Bridge, a Male patrolling and a Female ovipositing, just under where Luas line crosses canal.

Wexford 16.07.06 (with Noel Keogh)
At the North Slob in the 'Snipe pool' 2 Emperor where present, also 6 Four-Spotted Chaser and a single Brown Hawker.
In South Wexford about 25 Emperor was noted on the wing at various sites, the best numbers at the East end pool, Tacumshin, with 8, and Paradise pond nearby, with 6. Other highlights were two Black-Tailed Skimmer immediately opposite the High Carpark at tacumshin, both patrolling males. A few days later the same area had dried up and none were present (per Dave Daly).
Also in Tacumshin about 10 Hairy Hawker were still on the wing in the area behind sigginstown Island, a very large emergence of Ruddy Darter noted, smaller numbers of Common Darter,Emerald Damsels and Four-Spotted Chaser.

Dublin Zoo, Phoenix Park 17.07.06
4 Brown Hawker present.
     
22nd July Louth Don Hodgers and Enda Flynn
22 July 2006, Rathescar Lake, Co Louth: There were three males and one ovipositing female Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator at Rathescar today. Also present were at least two Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis , about a dozen Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, and good numbers of Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and blues. There was no sign of the stray Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo.
     
21st July Various Ian Rippey
On 20th July I looked in vain for the male Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) at the spot near the islands which is I assume where Brian Nelson saw it on 18th; however shortly after I had a brief glimpse of an Anax. sp. which I think was this species (and possibly the same individual) as there seemed to be a very distinct bluish patch at the base of the abdomen (I have seen this species along with Emperor at Knock Lake, Co. Dublin, in July 2005 and 2006).   Later there were about 25-30 Keeled Skimmers including a mating pair at Leitrim Lodge near Hilltown in the Mourne Mountains, Co. Down; pver half of these were in a fairly wet flush near the road at the SW end, while many of the main flushes were rather dry. Also seen were 2 Large Red Damselflies and 3 Common Hawkers; I also saw 1 of the latter at Argory Estate, Co. Fermanagh, on 18th, and on 19th saw 1 at Marble Arch and a Brown Hawker at Reilly Wood NNR, both Co. Fermanagh.   Again on 20th, at Ballynahatten gravel pit near Kilkeel, recent sand excavation has changed the drainage so that the area where I have regularly seen Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly for some years is now deep water, but there remain quite a few shallower areas which look suitable. Only Blue-tailed Damselfly was identified for certain; I saw what might have been a SBT but as my net is out of order could not conifrm this I took some Video footage, which unfortunately and annoyingly did not come out due to a temporary fault in the camcorder. Some Common Blue Damselflies and Common Darters were seen, but no sign of Red-veined Darter (where I had seen 1 in August 1998, the first record for Northern Ireland). I had also hoped an Anax species might have turned up.
     
19th July Louth Don Hodgers
19 July 2006, Ratheskar Lake, Co Louth: A new species was seen briefly at the lake yesterday and confirmed and photographed today – a male Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo, apparently the first Louth record. The lake is a kilometre from the White River and 4 km south of the Dee, and about 12km north of the Boyne. Also present were three Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator, 2 males and a female; at least three Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, about 20 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, increasing numbers of Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and the usual blues and reds. Only one corner of the lake was checked. A brief glimpse of what appeared to be a Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope was obtained at distance, but it flew over the iris and was not seen subsequently.
     
19th July Dublin Peter Doyle
This is a quick summary of my odonata sightings for the last few days. 14/07/06 Knock Lake, County Dublin: 1 male Red veined Darter (S.fonscolombei); 3 male Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) – 2 on a regular beat on the east side and 1 on the west side of the lake; 5+ male Emperors (Anax imperator) – 2 holding territory on the east side and 1 on the west side of the lake. 1 on the smaller pool adjacent to the larger lake and 1 in nettles in field behind ‘fishing buildings’ beside main entrance. Also 1 near the north end of the lake. 1 male and 1 female Black Tailed Skimmer (O.cancellatum); 6+ teneral darters (Sympetrum sp.); 12+ Four spotted Chaser (L.quadrimaculata); many Blue and Blue tailed damselflies.
The next day 15/07/06 I also visited Knock Lake and had only the 2 male Lesser Emperors on the east side of the lake. The Red veined Darter was still present where I found it the previous day and was also seen by David Dillon, Don Hodgers and Enda Flynn. I do not recall seeing any male Emperors (A.imperator) on this second visit although I understand at least 2 were seen by the aforementioned observers. However I did briefly see a female Anax which I could not satisfactorily identify as Emperor or Lesser Emperor. Also 3 male and 1 female Black tailed Skimmer. More sympetrums were on the wing than the day before and I noted at least 3 male Ruddy Darter (S.sanguineum) and tenerals. I was surprised that both visits did not produce any Brown Hawkers (A.grandis) like last year and that male Emperors (A.imperator) seemed somewhat elusive on the second visit to this site.

On 16/07/06 I had 1 male Common Hawker (A.juncea) on Mullins Hill above Killiney Golf Course and I visited a quarry pond in a private garden near Dalkey Village and had 2 male Brown Hawker (A.grandis) and 1 male Common Hawker (A.juncea). Also 3+ Common Darter (S.striolatum) including a pair & 6+ Blue tailed Damselfly. On 17/7 I had 1 male Common Hawker again on Mullins Hill.

     
19th July Cork per Brian Nelson
Some news from Clare Heardman the NPWS ranger at Glengarriff

13th July A single Downy Emerald Cordulia aenea was seen at the new pondcreated in Glengarriff woods. This pond was created in an area of felledwoodland with hope that it would provide breeding site for this species.

18th July A male Emperor Anax imperator patrolling the pond
     
18th July Various Brian Nelson
The advancing Anax species, getting ever close to Northern Ireland, has prompted me to look at a few sites in south Down which I think are most likely to receive Anax imperator. Mill Pond and Donaghguy waterworks appear best placed being just 8km north of the Louth site. A look on Saturday 15th proved negative however, Mill Pond appears ideal for imperator, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns up there soon. Also looks a good site for Aeshna mixta. The odonates there were several Aeshna grandis, lots of Enallagma cyathigerum, a single Sympetrum striolatum and a few Ischnura elegans, Donaghguy waterworks proved useless.

16th July in Fermanagh at Lough Alaban. Quite a few Pyrrhosoma nymphula, Ischnura elegans and Lestes sponsa. An Aeshna grandis was also present. No Coenagrion were seen. Surprising result as I would have expected lunulatum still to be on the wing at this its highest Irish site and largest colony in N. Ireland

18th July Finally hit the jackpot at Craigavon North Lake. A fine male Anax parthenope. A nice birthday present!!

I have been there daily in the last few blisteringly hot days, swimming the dogs and suspected I saw an Anax there yesterday, but lacking binoculars could not see anything on it. This was confirmed today as it was seen patrolling off the shore of the North Lake in the area the calm water created by the dense beds of water weed, occasionally coming close along the shore. The flight was exactly as I have seen in parthenope before, low with abdomen arched above thorax and on a circular loop, rather than the to and fro, high beat of imperator. Its regular route extended several 100 metres along the shore from south to north then out to island and back again. This was varied according to circumstance but was reasonably predictable. Once it was interrupted by Black-headed Gull which lunged at it, but missed.

Best access point is from the Lurgan end of the lake, where the road goes over the railway bridge and straight down to the shore of the north lake. Also present at the lakes were Aeshna grandis and the usual clouds of Enallagma cyathigerum

My refurbished garden pond has attracted its old complement of odonates (Ischnura elegans, Coenagrion puella, Libellula quadrimaculata, Sympetrum striolatum, Aeshna grandis), and paid host to a male Calopteryx splendens briefly on the 14th July. This was first seen flying along the road in front of the house, flipped into my garden and hung for a few hours. The River Bann lies about 500m away so is the presumed source. My dragonfly-eating sparrows tried once to capture it unsuccessfully. The same sparrows caught the only Sympetrum seen emerging this year.

     
17th July Waterford Paul Walsh
16 July 2006, small lake (apparently artifical) at Curraghtaggart (S41: S423122), near Clonea Power:  5 Emperor Anax imperator (including egg-laying), apparently a new site for the species (and the furthest inland in Waterford?), also 3+ Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, 3 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, 1 Blue-tip Damselfly Ischnura elegans, & 10+ 'blues' . 

On same date, 5 Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo & a Common Darter along River Clodiagh (S4015) east of Clonea Power.  

15 July 2006, Clodiagh River at Curraghmore Estate (S4515) and Portlaw:  31 Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo, 4 Common Hawker Aeshna juncea and a Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis.

     
17th July Wexford/Wicklow Michael O'Donnell
15th July Barnland, nr.Gorey: A male Emperor Anax imperator has been present for at least the last two weeks. At least two females have been ovipositing on most days since 7th July. A Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis also put in an appearance.

16th July Arklow Ponds: Quiet enough up to 11.30am when I had to leave. Two Brown Hawkers Aeshna grandis and male & female Emperor Anax imperator. This is the first time I’ve actually seen Emperor ovipositing at this site. There were also several Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella

     
16th July Louth Enda Flynn
16 july moneycrookroe , a male emperor(anax imperator) was present around noon.also 2 common hawkers (aeshna juncea) & 1 brown hawker (aeshna grandis) at least 12 keeled skimmers (orthetrum coerulescens) most likely many more, where spread throughout the site.four spots were very plentiful,as were damsels (commons,blue tails,&emeralds) darters were also numerous (anything id. was common)
     
16th July Dublin/Armagh Ian Rippey
In 14th July 2006 I set off from Portadown to Knock Lake near Balbriggan, Co. Dublin; my intention was to get some camcorder footage for the first time of Emperor and Lesser Emperor dragonflies, as as during visit there in mid July 2005 my camcorder had developed a temporary fault which meant that though I had views of them, I was not able to record them.  

On the way I stopped at Killevy Castle near Slieve Gullion Forest, Co. Armagh. I saw a Brown Hawker (not a typical habitat for the species, though I have seen it here before, and also Hairy Hawker, to which the same remarks apply). Also seen were 2 Common Hawkers, but no definite Keeled Skimmers (a brief glimpse oa medium-sized dragonfly could have been this or a Common Darter).   Not much more than an hour later (due ot the excellent new M1 Motorway starting near Dundalk, Co. Louth) I was at Balbriggan Lake in North Dublin where (as in July 2005) I met Peter Doyle of Dublin who had been there since late morning. His observations as shown on http://www.iol.ie/~wicklowweather/dragonfly/odonatanews.htm are shown below and more or less coincide with mine (no male Anax sp. were noted) although I failed to see the Red-veined Darter or any Black-tailed Skimmers at this time or on a 2nd visit in the late afternoon. I did however see 1 or 2 Ruddy Darters (1 female caught and identified) and a Common Darter during the first visit, and a Ruddy Darter during the 2nd. Unfortunately I managed at best to get only 1 distant shot of a Male Emperor at rest on vegetation on either visit, perhaps because because they were too lively due to the hot sunshine. Since the Emperor has recently been recorded in Co. Louth (see also below) within a few miles of the border within Northern Ireland, perhaps it may be worth looking for it in lakes in Co. Down, including the lake at Carrickanab near Clough where I believe I may have seen a Migrant Hawker in October 2005.

     
14th July (16:38 by text) Dublin Peter Doyle
Final Tally at Knock Lake, one male Red-veined Darters Sympetrum fonscolombii, at least 3 male Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope, 5+ male Emperor Anax imperator, 2 Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum (m/f), 6+ teneral darter, 12+ Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, many Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans. An excellent day!
     
14th July (Midday by text) Dublin Peter Doyle
One male Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope and 2 male Emperor Anax imperator here at Knock Lake so far
     
14th July Dublin David Dillon
Visited Knock Lake yesterday afternoon between 2.00 and 3.30pm; male and female Emperor Anax imperator at north-east corner of larger lake in and out of the trees and reeds there. In addition one 4-Spotted Chaser and large nos of Ruddy/Common Darters along with plenty of Blue Damselfly ssp. Bright day  with cloud cover arriving fairly regularly; interesting to watch Emperor getting up from cover and patrolling immediately sun came out only to drop back down the instant next cloud arrived.
     
13th July Louth Don Hodgers
13 July 2006, Ratheskar, Dunleer, Co Louth: At least one male and one ovipositing female Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator were present at Ratheskar Lake today. Also present were one Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, about 30 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, small numbers of Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and good numbers of damselflies, especially Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.
     
11th July Wexford Killian Mullarney
At the Ring Marsh inlet of Our Lady's Island Lake, Wexford late this afternoon I had good looks at a couple of male Red-veined Darters Sympetrum fonscolombii and a male Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope (at precisely the spot where I have recorded the species most years since 2000). Surprisingly, I saw only one Emperor Anax imperator here, a female; at this time of year there are usually there are several males patrolling the area. In addition to the large numbers of fledgling Mallard deposited in the area by the local gun club I noticed a very obvious presence of Mullet foraging right in at the edges of the lake, not something I recall having seen there before in such large numbers. I wonder if they may have had an impact on the number of odonata emerging this summer?
     
10th July Dublin David Dillon
Sluice River Marsh, PortmarnockThis afternoon I had 11 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, 15 Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum, 1 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum plus about 12 unidentified ruddy/common darters. In addition usual blues with 3 Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum specifically identified and 10 Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans,.
     
9th July Louth Don Hodgers, Enda Flynn and Gerry O'Neill
9 July 2006, Moneycrookroe, Co Louth: Poor conditions today. First Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, a female, for the season here, also 1-3 Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens, ca.12 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, 3-4 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, one or two Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa and the usual blues and reds.
     
7th July Cork/Laois Peter Doyle
I had a minimum of 11+ male and 4+ female Keeled Skimmer (O.coerulescens), 2 male Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, 3+ Four spotted Chaser (L.quadrimaculata), 4+ Common Darter (S.striolatum), 30+ Large Red (P.nymphula), 15+ Blue tailed (I.elegans) and 12+ Azure (C.puella) damselfly at a flash beside a forestry track near Pook Castle at Doneraile, County Cork on 5/7. This is the largest number of Keeled Skimmer I’ve had at this site. Later on that day in cooler conditions I had 1 Ruddy Darter (S.sanguineum), 1 Four spotted Chaser and 4 (3 male/I female) Banded Demosielle (C.splendens) at Doneraile Park, Doneraile. On my way back to Dublin on 6/7 I visited Emo Court near Portlaoise, where I had 2 Emperor (A.imperator) last year. Weather was cool followed by drizzle. Only 2 Brown Hawker (A.grandis) and 3 Four spotted Chaser with the usual back up of common damselflies showed.
     
6th July Armagh Ian Rippey
This afternoon at Brackagh Bog NNR near Portadown, Co. Armagh, there were probably about 30 Darters. Nearly all looked like Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum, and 2 mature males and 2 immature males were caught and identified as this species, though I also caught a female Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum. Also seen were a Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, about 50 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata mainly around newly created or opened pools, several Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, about 20 assorted Coenagrion species (at least 1 Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella and 1 Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum were present) and a female Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens. The latter has been recorded occasionally and generally singly at Brackagh Bog over the years and this like the others was probably a stray from the nearby Newry Canal, Cusher or Bann River which lie within a half mile or less from the site. On a walk earlier in the afternoon near Dynes Bridge on the River Bann about a mile away I saw about 25 Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens and a Darter which looked like it was a Ruddy Darter, and thus a stray from Brackagh Bog!
     
6th July Louth Don Hodgers & Enda Flynn
6 July 2006, Moneycrookroe, Co Louth: It was cool, overcast and breezy today, with quite a contrast to yesterday. No dragonflies were on the wing as such, and in 3 hours a single mature male Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens, a single Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata and about 7-10 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum were flushed from around the pools. There were reasonable counts of damselflies however, and the season's first recorded Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa at this site, an immature male, was seen.
     
June issue Wexford The Gaggle
http://www.wexfordnaturalists.com/gaggle.php

The first Brown Hawkers Aeshna grandis were noted on 4th (June)at Screen Hills and at Culleton's Gap, Raven N.R.. There were 27 Four-spotted Chasers at just one pool in Raven N.R. on 4th. Hairy Dragonflies were seen at a number of locations in the early part of the month and there was a spectacular count/showing of literally 100s of this species at Tacumshin Lake on 8th. The 'first of the year' Emperor Dragonfly was seen at Tacumshin Lake on 7th. There were 46 counted in Screen Hills on 9th and a number of other localities had specimens in the second week - 3 at Raven Point on 11th. The first Common Darters were noted in Raven N.R. on 10th.

     
5th July Armagh/Fermanagh Ian Rippey
At Peatlands Park, North Armagh, in very warm weather on 5th July I saw 2 Brown Hawkers Aeshna grandis and about 4 Black Darters Sympetrum danae, which I think are the first reported in Ireland so far this year. I also saw about 8 Common Hawkers (having seen my first on 30th June near Randalstown, Co. Antrim), about 6 Four-spot Chasers, 1 or 2 Common Darters, several Emerald and Variable Damselflies, and a Blue-tailed Damselfly.  

On 4th July in Co. Fermanagh Brad Robson reports a Common Hawker and 2 Four-spotted Chasers at Pettigoe Plateau, and 13 Banded Damselflies at Sillees River Bridge north of Derrygonnelly.  

Concerning Enda Flynn's interesting record of a mature male Keeled Skimmer at Moneycrookroe near Omeath, Co. Louth, on 2nd July, in 2005 I saw at least 1 (male) among flushes at some altitude on Clermont Mountain on the Armagh/Louth border (though on the Armagh side). I think there is a record of the Keeled Skimmer near Castlebellingham in the 1980s and an older one for around Clogherhead, both Co. Louth.  

In 2005 I only saw a single Keeled Skimmer on 1 or 2 occasions only at the only known breeding site for Keeled Skimmer in Co. Armagh (Killevy Castle on Slieve Gullion) and I did not see any there on 2nd July, though it had clouded over by the time I got to the site in late afternoon. The site is small and thus vunerable, as are many sites for this species.

     
5th July Louth Don Hodgers
Reports from Co Louth, including the first county record for Emperor Dragonfly!

5 July 2006, Moneycrookroe, Cooley, Co Louth: Conservatively about 15 Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens were present in the flushes at the northern end of the site, although the most seen together was two mating pairs and three attendant males. While scanning the pools from here I saw three large hawkers near the middle. By the time I extricated myself from the flushes and reached them, only one was showing, a male Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator. It returned to patrol the bay were I was standing about every 5 minutes, there was no sign of the others. At least 100 or more Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata were present, every bay and flush seemed to have a dozen or so, with more spread along the grass and heather. The usual damselflies were also present in large numbers.

4 July: Glack Bog, Ardee, Co Louth: there were a few Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata and Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula in some rapidly drying drainage ditches.

4 July Mapastown Bridge, River Glyde, Road N52: Over 30 Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens, mostly males, were counted from the bridge looking downstream.

Nothing new seen at the other sites checked.

     
5th July Kildare Niall & Noel Keogh
5th July, Naas, Co. Kildare : Very hot ( c.30 degrees max.) and calm.

Jigginstown ( just southwest of Naas ) :
Canal feeder stream and small pond in field of long grasses, nettles and meadowsweet :
2 Brown Hawkers Aeshna grandis ( 1 male patrolling pond and one hunting along nearby laneway ), 5+ male Azure Damselflies, an ovipositing pair in tandem of Variable Damselfly (the female being blue form), and 6+ Blue-tailed Damselflies and 1 female melonatum Large Red Damselfly all also on pond.

Connaught Bridge, Grand Canal (Naas and Corbally Branch) :
c.2km southwest of Naas, N866174. Walked northeast from Connaught Bridge, c1km along canal.
Lots of Odonata activity here, with Common Blue Damselfly being the most numerous species present. "Swarms" of this species were seen, and perhaps several hundred were present. Pairs were seen in tandem and mating, and several tenerals and blue form females were noted. Excellent views of Brown Hawkers Aeshna grandis were to be had, with 20+ patrolling and feeding along the canal and the hedgerows. 1 pair was also seen copulating. 7 male and 2 ovipositing female Hairy Hawkers, stunning views of 3 male and 2 female Banded Demoiselles, 25+ Blue-tailed Damselflies with 3 pairs seen copulating, 1 Emerald Damselfly and 1 male Variable Damselfly also noted.

Star of the show was however a lovely male Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope that flew slowly past whilst we were walking back towards the bridge, about halfway down. The sky blue base to the abdomen literally jumped out at you, even with the naked eye, and it was seen in direct comparison with a male Brown Hawker.
Main features noted include :
- Sky blue base to abdomen, which was noticeably bulbous in shape.
- Slim shape to the remainder of the abdomen, which was a dull brown colour and unmarked.
- Blue on abdomen extended slightly from the "bulbous part" of the abdomen onto the first segment of the "slimmer" section. Somewhat reminiscent of that seen on Migrant Hawker.
- Clear wings.
- Unmarked brown thorax.
- Similar length to accompanying Brown Hawker, yet noticeably slimmer.

Kept to a reasonably low height over the water the whole time it was seen,
flying slowly by, heading northeast along the canal. It once had a brief tussle with the male Brown Hawker, to which it quickly gave way. Never once did it careen high into the air, as seen with other Dragonfly species.

A nice surprise and a new species for us both...
We will be staying here at Jigginstown for a week, so hopefully we will catch up with this individual again and hope to check some more sites locally.
     
5th July Wexford Noel Keogh
3rd July: Noel Keogh, Tacumshin Lake, Co. Wexford

A single male Red-veined Darter Symptrum fonscolombii resting on the ground out from the "High Car Park", seen very well through telescope. At 17.30.
Relevant features noted on this individual include :
Noticable red veins to leading edge and base of all wings, deep red abdomen which was slighlty wasted, pale blue underside to eyes, yellow behind eyes with black edge to the back of the blue on the eyes, honey coloured pterostigma with thick black border, yellowish stripes on legs. Quite worn, with chunks taken out
of both left wings.Thick black stripes to sides of segments 7 and 8? of abdomen, also present on upper surface of these same segments.

A single male Emperor was also flushed from a ditch in the same area at about 19.00.

     
5th July Wicklow Niall Keogh
3rd July: Niall Keogh, Blackditch East Coast Nature Reserve, Co. Wicklow :

Spent about an hour from 2 til 3 o'clock walking around the "scirpus marsh" otherwise known as field 13, at the north end of the reserve. Weather was slightly overcast, yet warm with a light breeze.
Checking the newly created scrapes and widened ditches i saw : 4 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata ( 3 territorial males and 1 ovipositing female), 1 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula, numerous Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, with copulating and ovipositing seen by both of these species.

While searching through the drier part of the marsh for resting Libellulidae i came across : 3 more Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, 2 teneral Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, 1 mature male Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum and a *possible* male Red-veined Darter Symptrum fonscolombii (enticing views of this individual were had using binoculars, but i could not relocate it for closer inspection to confirm its identity.)

     
4th July Antrim Ian Rippey
There seems to have been no reports yet of Brown or Common Hawker or Black Darter in Ireland so far in 2006. I did however see a Common Hawker Aeshna juncea at Ballybollan Bog near Randalstown, Co. Antrim, on 30th June. Usually the Brown Hawker is out by mid or late June, a little earlier than the Common Hawker so I suspect it will by now be out in its known haunts. I will try and have a look for the Black Darter over the next 2 days.
     
3rd July Cork Harry Hussey
I visited Lough Aderra east Cork again yesterday (2nd July) with John Kennedy, mainly in the hope that one or other of these possible Red-veined Darters would still be present. Despite there being some cloud cover, the day was warming up nicely, and I saw 4-5 male Emperor Anax imperator and a few Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum soon after arrival. On walking down the fishing track along the SE corner, JK drew my attention to a dragonfly at rest on a bramble: it was immediately apparent that it was a mature male red darter, and my initial thoughts were that it was just a male Ruddy (due to the bright red abdomen), but the blue lower portion of the eyes/ red veins on the leading edge of the wings/ prominent area of yellow on the hindwings clinched the ID as Red-veined Darter Symptrum fonscolombii.    This was lost after a few minutes, and I couldn't relocate it in a quick search. A return visit to the site later also failed to yield a sighting, though 2 female or teneral male Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, 2 ovipositing female Emperor Anax imperator and an increased number of Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum (perhaps up to 20) were noted.
     
2nd July Louth Enda Flynn
2nd july,moneycrookroe,1 mature male Keeled Skimmer (orthetrum coerulescens) about 16 Four Spotted Chaser (libellula quadrimaculata) with common blue,large red &blue tail damsels plentiful. about 20 immature darters were flushed from the grass
     
2nd July Dublin Hugh Delaney
I had excellent views of two Male Emperor Anax imperator patrolling the section of the Grand Canal just 'upstream' from Lesson Street Bridge, one patrolling the area immediately below the point where the Luas line crosses the canal. Fantastic to see them in the city!
     
1st July Wicklow Don Hodgers and Enda Flynn
1 July 2006: There were at least 14 Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens at the Upper Lake in Glendalough today. 3 mature males were on the river at the car park, the rest, including at least one mature male, were at the delta at the other end of the lake. This area had at least 12 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata. The river at the car park also had 7 male and one female Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo. There were large numbers of Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum, Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula in the area.
     
1st July Louth Don Hodgers
27 June 2006,A quick search of the Curralhir Bridge on the River Flurry had just a single male Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens, nevertheless the first record at this traditional site this year. 8 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula were also seen. At Mullaghattin there were 6 Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula and one Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata. Ratheskar had at least 8 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, one Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense and hundreds of Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella and Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans on 28 June.
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