Irish Dragonfly News 2007

News and reports of sightings of Irish dragonflies will appear here from the beginning of May 2007. The most recent news received will be at the top of the page. Please send your records to dragonflyireland_news@hotmail.co.uk. A sincere thank you to Angus Tyner for performing this service in the last two years. The DragonflyIreland project is still active and records received will be entered into the DragonflyIreland database, so please provide grid references and other information with your records. I hope to get the DragonflyIreland pages on the Ulster Museum site updated to include the data since 2003, but cannot promise this will be soon.

By preference I will use the vernacular names from the British Wildlife European Dragonfly Guide , but with the BDS names given frequently. Scientific names will be given on all occasions.

Brian Nelson

All the Irish Dragonfly News from April to 30 June 2007. The summer news is available (July to end of year) here

30th June: Legalough, Co Fermanagh, Ian Rippey 1 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum

30th June: Terenure College lake, Co Dublin, Peter Doyle A miserable start to Saturday, wet and windy, seemed an unlikely dragonfly day. However in the late afternoon the ambient temperature rose with some distinctly warm patches. On foot of same and being in the vicinity on a call to my parents, I visited Terenure College lake in south County Dublin. Nothing spectacular was observed although anything at this previously much polluted site is still of note. 3 male Common Bluetail/Blue tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, 1 male Common Bluet/Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and 2 unspecific damsels on their maiden flight quickened the pulse and a male Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis that braved the blustery wind just as I was leaving made it all worth while. It’s amazing how even the most unlikely of sites with a little bit of TLC allows nature to respond magnanimously in the fullness of time.

29th June: Rathlin Island, Co Antrim, David Nixon 2 male Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea seen, 1 near Kebble Lough (D0950) and 1 at the conifer plantation approx D1251

27th June: Leitrim Lodge, Co Down J224254, Geoff Campbell 1 Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens during a very brief visit (see photo); also two Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula.

19th June: small quarry near Brockagh, Co. L/derry C768147 Geoff Campbell 15+ Small Bluetail Ischnura pumilio (see photo). A further visit on 25th June had smaller numbers approx 7, though conditions were poor.

24th June: Keenan's Cross, Co. Louth, O095904, Don Hodgers & Gerry O'Neill Raining today at Keenan's Cross pond when we went to check the Black-tailed skimmers Orthetrum cancellatum. Just one male (see photo) seen, downed by the rain. Also two Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and good numbers of Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum and Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed damselfly Ischnura elegans

24th June: Dysert Marshes, Co Kerry Q896323, Geoff Hunt Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense [first record from this site], Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Four-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum, Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed damselfly Ischnura elegans and Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula.

23rd June: Ashford, Co Limerick, R295213, Geoff Hunt Variable Bluet Coenagrion pulchellum, Azure Bluet Coenagrion puella, Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed damselfly Ischnura elegans, Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa, Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum.

22nd June: Curragh Chase, Co Limerick, R412492, Geoff Hunt Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis [my first of 2007], Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum, Common Bluetaail Ischnura elegans, Variable Bluet Coenagrion pulchellum, Azure Bluet Coenagrion puella and Common Spreadwing Lestes sponsa in good numbers in flight [also my first].

22nd June: Brackagh Bog, Co. Armagh, Ian Rippey I saw a teneral Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa this afternoon, the first I have seen this year. Also seen were 2 male and 1 female Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens (probably strays from the Cusher or Bann Rivers not far away); a number of Darters Sympetrum spp. of which about 3 each of Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum were identified; about 6 Four-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata; 2 Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, and several dozen Coenagrion spp. of which a couple of Azure Coenagrion puella and Variable Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum were identified.

Various sites in counties Clare, Kerry and Limerick, Geoff Hunt

17 June: R007402, Shronowen Bog, Co Kerry Four-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Black Darter Sympetrum danae , Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula, Common Bluetip Ischnura elegans; 17 June, Q996405, Shronowen Bog, Co Kerry Four-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula, Common Bluetip Ischnura elegans, Variable Bluet Coenagrion pulchellum; 16 June: R318951, Mullach Mor, Co Clare Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum, Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula, Common Bluetip Ischnura elegans, Azure Bluet Coenagrion puella; 4 June: Q915368, Toohana Bog, Co Kerry Four-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata,Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula; 3 June: R284526, Aughinish Nature Reserve, Co Limerick Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula; 1 June: Feenagh Co Limerick, R410270 3 Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula; 4 May: Lough Gur, Co Limerick, R648413 Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense, Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula, Common Bluetip Ischnura elegans, Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum, Azure Bluet Coenagrion puella; 4 May: University of Limerick R620584 3 Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula; 20 April: R758234, Griston Bog, Co Limerick 3 teneral Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula;

12th June: Ballyvelaghan Lough, Co Clare, Ian Rippey and Ted Rolston 1 male and about 4 female Robust Spreadwing/Scarce Emerald Damselfly Lestes dryas.

11th to 17th June: various sites in western and central Ireland, Ian Rippey Contact Ian for a complete list. Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens on Castlesampson Esker (near Athlone) in Co. Roscommon on 11th June, which I believe may be a new county record. Another probable example of Keeled Skimmer, with pale thoracic stripes and a light coloured pterostigma) was seen along with Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum at Rinnamona, Co. Clare, on 12th June; the latter was also seen elsewhere in Clare and also near Lough Conn, West Mayo, on Lough Carra and on a limestone hill at Mounthenry hill near Lough Corrib, East Mayo. I also saw Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis at Ballyeighter Wood in Co. Clare on 11th June and with a Moorland Hawker/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea near Lough Conn, West Mayo, on 16th June. Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum was seen in Clare, South-east Galway, West and East Mayo and Roscommon being more abundant than the Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum which was seen only in very few places.

17th June: River Bush, Co Antrim, C945336, Geoff Campbell Between 25 and 30 Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens on 150m stretch of the river immediately north of Benvardin Bridge. Also present 2 male and 2 female Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula and 2 Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.

17th June: Keenan's Cross, Co. Louth, O095904, Don Hodgers & Gerry O'Neill Two Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum were seen this morning at Keenan's Cross Pond, a disused quarry in Co Louth. (See photo here ) The first seen was taken by a Chaffinch, but later a male was seen basking on old concrete just inside the quarry entrance. These are apparently the first records for Louth. A Four-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata and Common Bluet/Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum were also seen.

10th June: Belmullet, Co. Mayo, Peter Doyle About a dozen Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum .

10th June: Cullentra Lough, Co Tyrone, Brian Nelson A superb hot day, and I spent the afternoon at this beautiful crystal clear lough . I have never seen so many Crescent Bluet/Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum in one place before. Many tens of pairs were seen flying over the Yellow Water-lily pads. It was hard to estimate the numbers, but the total must have been in the hundreds of this species alone. It was also sobering to see the numbers of damselfly exuviae. Normally these can be hard to find, but at Cullentra they were very obvious; every emergent plant stem right across the lake appeared to have several exuvia attached [photo] . On many, stems exuviae were piled on top of each other. The fishing platform supports also had several dozen. Emergence was happening when I was there as I saw several teneral damselfly, although I dont know what species. Judging by the sheer numbers of exuviae, the total emergence of damselflies from this lake must have been in the thousands, and based on the relative abundance of species, the majority of these would have been Coenagrion lunulatum as it was by far the most abundant odonate. By comparison I saw only 2 Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula and about half a dozen Variable Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum in a visit of just over 5 hours.

10th June: disused quarry at Brockagh, Co. Londonderry C768147, Ian Rippey This small disused basalt quarry between Garvagh and Dungiven was the location of my 2nd ever sighting (and 1st colony) of the Small Bluetail/Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio, in 1985. Today I counted approximately 15 mating pairs of Ischnura pumilio (3 or 4 pairs examined were all found to be this species, and no Common Bluetail Ischnura elegans were seen), with a single female and about 8 mature males; this makes about 40 which is among the most I have ever seen anywhere, and they were seen over a larger area of the quarry than I remember before. The only other Odonata were 3 or 4 Large Red Damsels Pyrrhosoma nymphula .

I later visited a quarry in Cam Forest near Ringsend, some miles to the north, which I remember being a bit too deep for Ischnura pumilio (c. 1987) but the only water was in one small shallow pool which was frequented by 2 Pyrrhosoma nymphula .

8th June: 4 sites in Co Down, Ian Rippey

Drumadonnell River, Ballyroney, J227388 4 male and 4 female Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens, 1 Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegansand 10 Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula .

Cutover bog at Lackan Bog ASSI, Ballyroney, J240370 8 male Crescent Bluet/Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum, a few Variable Bluet C. pulchellum, 15 Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula , 1 or 2 male Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense, 1 Four-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata

Flushes in grassy heathland at Leitrim, J2225 24 Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens mainly very teneral, but several a deeper yellow brown; 1 Four-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata

June: Coleraine, Co Londonderry, Peter Langton I thought you might like to know that Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens has emerged for the third year running from my small pond in the front garden, despite progressive overgrowth of the water surface by vegetation (there is no water to be seen at present - must do something about it). Speculation that the first specimens seen were vagrants from the R.Bann just over Mountsandel Wood from here and not resident in my pond can now be refuted. A strange habitat for this beast - maybe there is a change going on in habitat requirements for the species. Common Bluetail Ischnura elegans, Common Bluet/Damsel Enallagma cyathigerum and Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula have also emerged from the pond this year. Common Speadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa occurred in previous years, but I haven't seen it this year yet.

6th June: Lackan Bog, Co Down J2337 and Dunmore Fen and Black Lough, Co Down J3545, Brian Nelson Crescent Bluet/Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum was seen at both these sites. Numbers at Black Lough were estimated at over 50 males on the western of the two water bodies that constitute this 'lake'. Virtually the entie surface of the ponds are covered in floating pondweed leaves, so conditions are ideal for C. lunulatum. Smaller numbers were seen at Lackan Bog, but habitat is more limited, although in better condition than I had expected at this cutover bog site. Access to Black Lough is difficult and treacherous as it is surrounded by an extensive floating fen. However the pools at Lackan are easily accessed as the main rampart is a public footpath. You can then enter the bog at several points along this footpath and, with care, see the pools. A sign on the path refers to the importance of the site for dragonflies. Well done Banbridge Borough Council! Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense and other expected species seen at both sites. Several emergent Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum flew away from the shallow pools at Dunmore Fen.

6th June: Sillees River, nr Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, Ian Rippey I saw about 60 Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens along about a quarter of a mile of river beside the bridge over Sligo Road before about 10am today; about 80% were males and many were disturbed from Reed Canary Grass Phalaris arundinacea. 1 or 2 (?immature) females were a bronzy orange, similar to one seen on the same river (though some miles to the north) a few years ago which I thought might just have been an immature Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo; I am now convinced that it was C. splendens As I was mostly visiting dry grassland few other Odonata were seen, though I saw a Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula on a raised bog at Five Points and at Killykeegan NNR, and Four Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata at Lisblake Bog (2) and Crosssmurrin NNR, all more or less in the area around Florencecourt.

4th June: Tonnagh Quarry, Co Fermanagh, Ian Rippey There were about 4 male, 2 female and 2 mating pairs of Small Bluetail/Scarce Blue-tailed Ischnura pumilio. There was a lot of water flowing out of the quarry over the approach path (which may be due to the heavy rain recently, although the water level in the pools was normal; however a pool with a bottom of dark, semi-peaty mud seems to have been created closer to the entrance; there were about 6 Four Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata here.

3rd June: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner Today saw nearly 40mm rain. This has allowed me the opportunity to fill my lake and bog. The nesting Little Grebes were a bit concerned, but their floating nest in amongst a water lily had no problem with the 0.5m verical rise. The rain cleared late afternoon and my daughter and myself went down to bog to see the Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum. All the emergents of previous 48 hours were on show. We found about 12 without having to look hard. We also spotted one that had just started emerging. It seems to have waited till the rain stopped before climbing a rush stem. We saw the head and thorax appear, and waited, and waited while it hung upside down. Just as the 5yo patience was wearing very thin, the emergent reached up and grapped the exuvia. So with renewed interest we started watching the wings expand. We left when the wings were about half way expanded, but first thing in morning my daughter will be down to have a look before it takes flight. I've also seen a few failed emergences, a couple when half way out of exuvia. It seems likely a spider was responsible for one, others perhaps weather related.

30th May: Montiaghs Moss, Co Antrim, Allan Sumner via Ian Rippey 12+ Crescent Bluet/Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum with good numbers of Four-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata (20+) and a dozen or so Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense and 30th May: Kebble, Rathlin Island, Co Antrim teneral Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum just by the entrance/cattle grid to Kebble NNR.

30th May-2nd June: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner I haven't been keeping as close as eye on Odonata as I'd like, but I've seen both Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum. First Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum was seen on 29th May, a female. It was cloudy on the 30th, but on 31st there was a significant emergence with c15 seen taking maiden flight. Even more were seen on 1st June, and even though 2nd June is foggy and drizzly, there are plenty more emerging. Water level is quite low in my "bog" and I may let a bit of water in to see the Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta to maturity. No Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa have been seen. I suspect they are on the wing and I've overlooked them to date. A Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum (female) was seen emerging from my pond on 31st May

1st June: Drumcarn ASSI, Co Armagh, Ian Rippey 4 male Crescent Bluet/Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum this afternoon in bright, partly cloudy but rather breezy weather; I suspect there may have been more around some of the larger pools. Also seen was an immature Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum - surprisingly early at this somewhat elevated site.

1st June: Montiaghs Moss, Co Antrim and Selshion Moss, Co Armagh, Brian Nelson About 20 single male Crescent Bluet/Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum around the small pools by the reserve sign at the Montiaghs. Three pairs also seen. Later at Selshion Moss, about 6 single males and a couple of pairs were seen. The extent of open water at Selshion has shrunk considerably in the last five years, and I would fear for the long-term survival of the species at this site. The usual selection of additional species was seen at both sites.

29th May: Knockbrack Quarry, Co Waterford, Andrew Malcolm Four Blue Emperor Anax imperator, one newly emerged landed beside me and just as I was going to capture a super close up...the battery died on the camera...ah well!

28th May: Peatlands Park, Co Armagh, Ian Rippey I found a teneral female Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum beside a couple of small shallow ponds. This is I believe the earliest record for Northern Ireland.

28th May: River Bann at Dynes Bridge, Co Armagh/Down, Ian Rippey A few hundred yards south of this bridge I saw about 4 female and 3 male Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens; a few hundred yards south of this (which would definitely have been in Co. Down) there was another female Banded Damselfly and 2 male Coenagrion species, of which was one caught and found to be an Azure Bluet/Damsefly C.puella.

23rd May: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner First Blue Emperor Anax imperator patrolling my lake

22nd May: Montiaghs Moss, Co Antrim, David Nixon and Ted Rolston 24 Crescent Bluet/Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum, 2 male Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense, and many Four-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, Variable Bluet Coenagrion pulchellum and Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula.

20th May: Montiaghs Moss, Co Antrim, Ian Rippey I saw 3 male Crescent Bluet/Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum along with 2 male and at least 1 female Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense, a number of Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula, Four-spot Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata and Variable Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum.

20th May: Cullentra Lough, Co. Tyrone, Peter Doyle I took the bull by the horns yesterday and went up to Cullentra Lough, County Tyrone; lovely place. I had 20+ 20+ Crescent Bluet/Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum no problem at all! There could have been any number up to 60 or so present. Also 6+ Four spotted Chaser Libellula quadimaculata, at least one male and female Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense, Common Bluetail Ischnura elegans and Variable Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum. I thought I had 1 Azure Bluet Coenagrion puella through my bins but I didn’t note any Common Bluet/Damsels Enallagma cyathigerum.

17th May: Newcastle, Co. Wicklow, O3000 & O2900, Angus Tyner I visited a neighbouring farm on a glorious day with temperatures well above 20C. There are a number of water bodies on the farm, ranging from flooded bogs, to ditches and a number of ponds. The flooded bog which was full of Irises, reeds and sedges had huge numbers of damselflies, mainly Variable Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum and Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans of which there were thousands of both teneral and mature. There were lesser numbers of Azure Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion puella. Also seen were a mature male Small Bluetail/Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio and 3 teneral females. Probably more, but hard to find amongst the masses of other species. Other species were about a dozen Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula, c30 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata including tenerals and mating and c20 Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense including ovipositing females. The woodland adjacent to this bog also had thousands of damsels, mainly Variable Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum

Numbers were low at the other water bodies, but added a species by finding a female Common Bluet/Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum. 6 of the eight species mentioned were found in both 1km squares, the exceptions being Common Bluet/Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum only in O2900 and Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura pumilio only in O3000

10th May: The Murrough, Co. Wicklow, Niall Keogh A female Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense was seen flying along the Marram dunes beside the Birdwatch Ireland reserve at Kilcoole. 2-3 immature male Azure Bluet Damselflies Coenagrion puella and a female Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula were flushed from long grass in the evening at Blackditch ECNR.

10th May: Dinis, Killarney National Park, Co Kerry, Rob Holloway A female Downy Emerald Cordulia aenea seen and photographed

4th May: Lough Gur and Knockderk, Co Limerick, Geoff Hunt Common Bluet/Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum), Azure Bluet Coenagrion puella, Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula, Common Bluetail Ischnura elegans and Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense at Lough Gur, and all except the first at Knockderk south of Lough Gur.

4th May: Blackditch , Newcastle, Co Wicklow, O315035, Oran O'Sullivan Four Spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata

5th May: Cullentra Lough, Co Tyrone, Brian and Shirley Nelson A brief visit to this site revealed several fully-coloured Crescent Bluet/Irish Damselfly Coenagrion lunulatum in the fields on the south side of the lake. This is easily the earliest ever Irish date I am aware of for this species (previous earliest 10 May in 1990), one I usually associate with June.

3rd May: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner 3 male Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense offering very good closeup views as they flew among the Reedmace. Also did a larvae search. I found dozens of larvae of Blue Emperor/Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator. Most of them amongst some floating water plants. 2 of them final instar that I expect to emerge by mid month if in mean time they can avoid appetite of Swans and Little Grebes. All others bar one should emerge next year. The other was in between and may well be on a one year cycle and emerge late June. Also found larvae of Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum. Some these were very advanced for time of year and will emerge in early June.

1st May: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner First ovipositing noted. This by Common Bluet/Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum. Also mature Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans at water

1st May: Co Armagh, Ian Rippey 2, possibly 3, Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula at Milford Railway Cutting. One Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense, probably a male, at the edge of a wood at Carganamuck later in the afternoon.

26th April: near Raphoe, Co Donegal, Stuart Dunlop One female Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula Picture on Stuart's Donegal hedgerow website

28th April: Tacumshin, Co Wexford, Peter Doyle Following up on Dick Coombes’ Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense observations at Tacumshin Lake in County Wexford on 26/4, I went down and had 6+ myself on 28/4; One freshly emerged male in the dyke behind the east end pond, 1 lovely perched female and 1 fly by at the ‘forgotten corner’ and 3 – 4 (at least 2 males and 1 female, all perched) at the west end of the same locality. Many Large Red Damsels Pyrrhosoma nymphula also on the wing.

29th April: Co. Wexford, Niall T. Keogh, Noel Keogh and Hugh Delaney A single anisoptera sp. (presumably Hairy Hawker) was seen at Ring Marsh. At Tacumshin Lake a single Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense was seen at the Forgotten Corner with another seen hunting at Lingstown lane along with 30+ Large Red Damsels Pyrrhosoma nymphula resting along a Hawthorn hedge.

30th April: Craigavon Lakes, Co. Armagh, Ian Rippey 6 teneral Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum which indicates that it was almost certainly a teneral example of this species that I saw there on 26th April.

30th April: near Bunnahone Lake, Co. Fermanagh, Ian Rippey 1 Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense

29th April: Brackagh Bog, Co Armagh, Brian Nelson 2 newly emerged Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata

29th April: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner A male Azure Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion puella seen among the usual Common Bluet/Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, and a female Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula in the vegetable patch.

28th April: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner Finally found the first Azure Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion puella of year. A teneral female. I needed to check about 30 'blues' before finding it. Also my first sighting of an adult Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense, a female. The exuvia found on the 24th April was left by a male.

27th April: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner Another female Variable Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum and no Azure BLuet/Damselfly Coenagrion puella.

26th April: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner Still no Azure Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion puella despite checking numerous blue tenerals, but a big surprise was an immature adult female Variable Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum. She had the blue colouration down the abdomen, but thorax was still pale. I record this species very infrequently in my garden. Usually about 2-3 times a year.

25th April: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner A Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans with mature colours. I'm surprised that I've not recorded Azure Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion puella yet and they usually appear within couple days of Common Bluet and before Common Bluetail.

24th April: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner Exuvia found of Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense. It may have emerged overnight as it was very mild. Also my first Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans among the dozens of teneral Common Bluet/Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum.

21st April: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner 10s of emerging Common Bluet/Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum

20th April: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner 6 teneral blues, 4 of them identified as being 2 male & 2 female Common Bluet/Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum

18th April: Cronykeery, Ashford, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner Immature adult female Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula in my garden.

14th April: East Coast Nature Reserve, Newcastle, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner. 3 teneral Large Red Damsel Pyrrhsoma nymphula

14th April: Tacumshin Lake, Co Wexford, Peter Doyle. 6+ Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula