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

Last updated 8th November

Dragonflies continue to be reported, but given the noticeble drop in temperature, one wonders for how long?

April to June News

Cronykeery, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner

7th Nov Single male Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta

6th Nov, Single Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and ovipositing Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta Wings in good condition

3rd Nov Single Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and 2 Male and an ovipositing Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta

2nd Nov 2 Male and an ovipositing Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta

5th November: Lough Money, Co Down, David Nixon A single male Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum was at the car-park

3rd November: Tacumshin Lake, County Wexford, Peter Doyle I had one male Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum in good condition. I am certain that with more time and extensive searching, I might have been more fortunate with a late Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta!

3rd November: Keenan's Cross Pond, Co Louth O095904, Don Hodgers Male Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta present at 1.20pm. Temperature 13 degrees C., overcast.

2nd November: Keenan's Cross Pond, Co Louth O095904, Don Hodgers Two male Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta present at midday. Temperature 16 degrees C., sunny. No other odonata present.

2nd November: Peatlands Park, Co Armagh, Ian Rippey Although after a nice bright spell late this morning (which brought out 2 Red Admirals and a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly in my garden at Portadown) it was mostly cloudy from then on, it was still mild, and I disturbed 2 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum from the board walk in the Bog Garden in the afternoon.

1st November: Cronykeery, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner Record November temperature of 18.2C during a brief spell of sunshine before 11am. 2 male Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta and an ovipositing female. No Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum seen though I'd be surprised if they're not still some about. Last one seen here was on 30th October.

31st October: Graig Upper, Ballyhoura Mountains, north Co. Cork, Ken Bond via Ian Rippey A mating pair of both Black Darter Sympetrum danae and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum.

28th October: Keenan's Cross Pond, Co Louth O095904, Don Hodgers & Gerry O'Neill A male Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta was present this morning (see photo,). This is apparently the first county record. Also present was a fresh male Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum.

12th October: Montiaghs, Co Antrim, David Nixon Paid a quick visit to Montiaghs this afternoon in overcast but mild and calm conditions. Saw 3 Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, 2 males and a female ovipositing, as well as about 7 Black Darter Sympetrum danae and a single Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum.

5th October: Lough Gur, Co Limerick, Geoff Hunt Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum.

4th October: Rathkeale, Co Limerick, Geoff Hunt A Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens was reported by Maurice O'Connor.

September/early October: various sites, Peter Doyle Some recent Odonata observations: 4 to 7 Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta & 3+ Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum at Kilcoole BWI reserve, County Wicklow on 7th September; 1 male Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea and 1 probable Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta at Knocksink Wood, Enniskerry, County Wicklow on 8th September; 1 male Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea & 5 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum at the Blackrock Hospice pond, County Dublin on 13th September; 5+ Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta at Tacumshin Lake, County Wexford on 22th September; 1 male Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea at Ethelstown Bog, Kells, County Meath on 28th September; 6+ Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta at Kilcoole BWI reserve on 5th October; 6+ Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea (males, pair in tandem and female ovipositing), 20+ Black Darter Sympetrum danae, 3+ Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum& 30+ Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum at the west end of the Upper Lake, Glendalough, County Wicklow on 6th October.

22nd September: Garry Bog, Co Antrim, C940312 4 male Common/Moorland Hawker Aeshna juncea, at least two Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula (see photo of ovipositing female), several Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa and numerous Black Darter Sympetrum danae.

22nd September: Shannon Airport Lagoon, Co Clare, Geoff Hunt One Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta was near the golf club car park with a few Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum.

21st September: Lough Gur, Co Limerick, Geoff Hunt Species seen were Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum and Common Bluetail Ischnura elegans.

13th September:Howth, Co Dublin, O28393661, Frank Smyth While recording butterflies along the cliff path at Howth between the Needles and the Baily on the 13th Sept I noticed at least 40 dragonflies in small groups. I don't normally see many here as there is not much freshwater in immediate area. I inspected a number at rest and they turned out to be Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta. Over the next few days I saw about a dozen near Martello at Red Rock (O29693746), 3 in my own back garden in Sutton and several at Sutton Cross. It seems that they were widespread at that time all over the penninsula.

12th-19th September: Various sites in Down and Armagh, Ian Rippey I saw at least 3 male Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta at Lough Money, Co. Down, on 19th September (although they took some time to appear, even after other Odonata were active). They were seen at the edge of woodland close to the Water Service building towards the NW end, where I saw 1 last year. About a dozen or so Sympetrums were seen; I identified about 3 male Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum and 4-5 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum. There were also about 10 male Common Bluet damselflies. Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum was also seen near Killough (1) and at a lake west of Ballydargan Hill south of Downpatrick. I also looked for Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta unsuccessfully at Loughinisland and the above lake at Ballydargan. In Co. Armagh, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum was also seen on 17th September at Milford (1) and Navan Quarry (2), both near Armagh, and at Craigavon Lakes (2) on 21st September; Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum was also seen at Craigavon Lakes (4 males) on 21st September. On 12th September at Navan Quarry there were 1 or 2 Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, a Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, 3 or 4 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, 7 male Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum and 4 Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa.

16th September: Galley Head, Co Cork, Breffni Martin 1 Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta

9th to 15th September, Great Saltee, Co. Wexford, Oscar and Cian Merne We were on Great Saltee, Co. Wexford over this period and saw Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta every day. When I looked up their status and distribution in Nelson and Thompson 2004 I found that the species had not been recorded in the Great Saltee 10-km square, X99. The weather on the island was quite variable through the week, with cold N/NW winds some of the time, and warm humid conditions on several days. The only precipitation we had was light drizzle for ten minutes at 08.00 hrs on 14th September. The great majority of the insects were hawking around the sheltered house and garden, but a few were also seen along the 1-km path to The Ring, in the SW of the island.

The maximum number we recorded in one day was 12 individuals, and six was the minimum. We got the impression that the majority were males. On eight occasions a dragonfly collided with and became entangled in mist-nets which I had erected to catch migrant birds for ringing, but I managed to extract them without damage to legs and wings. One individual gave me quite a sharp bite on the finger! Nowadays there is no open standing freshwater on the island. In the past a small pond in the centre, and two cress-beds near the house held open water, but these are now choked up with waterplants and probably unsuitable for breeding dragonflies. I also noted in Nelson and Thompson that the species was first "officially" recorded in Ireland in 2000. I was sure I'd seen Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta on Great Saltee before that, and when I checked through the Great Saltee Ringing Station log books I found that my memory had not let me down. One was seen on the island in 1998, and several (up to three at one time) were recorded in 1999 and 2000.

7th September: Shannon Airport Lagoon, Co Clare, via Geoff Hunt 2 Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta were recorded at the Shannon Airport lagoon according to the www.clarebirdwatching.com web site.

15th September: Lough Money, Co Down, J532457, Geoff Campbell Approximately 7 Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta (including two pairs in tandem), at the north end of lough. Photos attached of perched male and copulating pair. Numerous Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum, with several Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum (one male photographed) and at least two Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa seen.

17th September 2007: Mouth of Moyola River, Lough Neagh H962892, Geoff Campbell 1 male Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, and two Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum in small area sheltered from strong northerly winds.

Early September: various sites, Ian Rippey Among 10 Odonata species seen by me last week (2nd-9th September) in the Republic of Ireland were good numbers of Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta. I saw c.4 (1 on dunes and 1 along approach lane) at Ballyteigue Burrows near Kilmore Quay (S9605), on 7th September, 2 at Coolree Reservoir near Wexford (T0020), about 40 (including 5 in one corner of the car park and about 20 around one large dune slack) at Raven Dunes near Curracloe (T1125) and 1 male at Killoughrim Forest near Enniscorthy (S8941), all on 8th September. One was also seen at Buckroney Dunes near Brittas Bay, Co. Wicklow (T2879), on 9th September. All or virtually all seemed to be males.

On 12th September I saw Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea,Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum and 3 or 4 Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa at Navan Quarry near Armagh.

13th September: Lough Money, Co Down, David Nixon I went to Lough Money this afternoon, it was breezy at the South end so I went to the North end and walked along the track towards the water treatment works. Although overcast, almost at the end of the track (right under the overhead cables) I saw a male Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta patrolling, it was briefly joined by another. Being the second year that the species has been recorded here, this would suggest that the species is now resident. A few each of Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum were seen as well as 32 Small Tortoiseshells, all on Water Mint.

9th September: Portadown, Co Armagh, Brian Nelson An oviposting tandem pair of Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum is an new addition to the garden. The pond has also attracted Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea and Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum in recent weeks.

7th September: Tullylough Beg, Pettigo Plateau, Co Fermanagh, Brian Nelson Small pristine lake in the Pettigo blanket bog produced good numbers of Black Darter Sympetrum danae, Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa and Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea. A single Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis was a surprise. Many fully grown larvae of Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata were present in the lake margins.

28th August: various sites in Fermanagh and Down, Brian Nelson On the 26th August Largalinny Lough, Co Fermanagh had at least 3 Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, 2 Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, many Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum,Black Darter S. danae and Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa plus a few Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans. A visit to Lackan Bog, Co Down on 21st August produced all above plus a single male Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens.

On the 22nd at Derryleckagh, Co Down, afternoon sun eventually tempted good numbers of both Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis and Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum to take wing. Larvae of Hairy Hawker Brachytron pratense were also seen in the pools.

25th August: various sites in Co Wexford, Killian Mullarney I regret not having reported it at the time, but over the past six or seven years sightings of Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta have become so commonplace in Wexford in August I hardly gave my first observation of one this year (in my garden at Murrintown Co Wexford) a second thought. That was on 3rd August. Since then, most of my visits to Tacumshin and Lady's Island Lake have been in the evening or morning time, so not the best time of the day to see dragonflies. I have however seen Migrant Hawkers at several places around and between the lakes, though so far just ones and twos, so much less numerous than usual.

I counted a minimum of twelve Blue Emperor Anax imperator (including three ovipositing females) at Ring Marsh Co Wexford 8th August, and small numbers at Tacumshin on various dates this month. I have recorded up to three Blue Emperor Anax imperator on a small pool in front of the EPA headquarters at Johnstown Castle Co Wexford on several dates in July and August.

23rd August: Ballyvergan pool, Co Cork, Rick Mundy A male Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope in the afternoon. Also a male Blue Emperor Anax imperator which looked very fresh. News reported on the IBN Bird Network.

13th August: Galley Head, Co Cork, Harry Hussey An immature male Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta. News reported on the IBN Bird Network.

26th August: various sites, Ian Rippey Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis did not seem as common as usual at this time of year in the Burren and around limestone areas of western and central Ireland during the period 29th July-12th August. However I have seen it at the following sites in Northern Ireland since coming back from holiday:

COUNTY DOWN: 1 near Mitchells Lake in Castlewellan Forest Park on 15th August. Rare in Co. Down generally and it is not clear whether it is a regular breeder; I remember seeing one in the Walled Garden not far away some years ago.

COUNTY FERMANAGH: 2-3 at Reilly Wood NNR near Derrylin on 18th August.

COUNTY ARMAGH: 8-10 in fields near my home at Killicomaine, Portadown, on 20th August (with 1 Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea and 2 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum). 3 were seen not far away in fields off Bachelors Walk on 21st August and 2 near Craigavon North Lake.

I also saw about 20 Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum at Lough Keelan near Strangford, Co. Down, on 24th August and about 10 at Carrickanab near Clough, Co. Down, on 26th August. Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum have also been seen at sites in Co. Armagh and Down recently.

25th August: Cronykeery, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner I've been somewhat short of time both for making observations and sending in news, but I set aside an hour today to dedicate to odonates in my garden. Sunny 22C as have the previous 3 days.2m & 2f Blue Emperor Anax imperator. Plenty of interaction between one of males and the 2-3 male Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea. I don't remember ever seeing more than a single Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea and never before consistantly patrolling as 2 of them were. There was also a single male Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta among the mix. It was good to see the 3 sizes in the same frame. There are still plenty Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum with numerous ovipositing pairs. A guessimate of numbers is high double figures. Lesser numbers of Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, probably a total of about 30 with a few oviposting pairs. About half dozen pairs of Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa and about another 6 males, 2 Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and finally hundreds of Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum.

On my rounds I kept half an eye for exuvia and find a single Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta exuvia. With the water levels so high, a thorough search would take a week! A brief rundown for past couple months. A Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis made a visit on 7th August. Only 2nd Brown Hawker I've seen at my lake.The first Migrant Hawker Aeshna mixta was seen on 16th August and although there have not been many seen at water, they are very obvious out and about the fields and tracks with as many as 4 seen together. It appears to have been a good summer for Blue Emperor Anax imperator, though perhaps its the large number of poor days, means that when it is fine they all can be seen at water. Max number seen at any one time was 8m & 6f. Date unknown. Finally, I don't think I forwarded on my first sighting of Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa. A female teneral on12th June, the day when summer departed for couple months. Nice to see it back again!

10th August: River Poddle, Tymon's Park, Co Dublin, O105293, Tim Clabon Two male Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo along a shaded section of this river near the M50. The two males were observed fighting/displaying and from a distance wings appeared entirely dark in flight, and had a flight pattern like butterflies mating.

The substrate of the river is pebble with about 90% algae cover (probably Cladophora). The flow was moderate, and water depth about 20-30cm. The river runs into flood attenuation lakes before continuing. The water quality Value is Q3-4 (nearer the 4 end personally), and the river has a history of pollution. The weekend just past diesel oil was released, which was evident in places, but not excessive. The river runs under the M50 into more lakes and vegetated streams where the quality picks up. Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum breed in these lakes. The only other species seen today was the Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis.

4th August: near the Balrath crossroads south west of Kells, County Meath, Peter Doyle Ambient temperature still significantly high produced some dragonflies for me on a forestry track opening out onto a raised bog . 1-2 male Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, 1 male Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis, 2 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, 1 mature male Black Darter Sympetrum danae and 6+ Common Darter S. striolatum was the final tally.

31st July: Auburn Avenue, near Cabinteely, Co. Dublin, Noel Keogh and Niall T. Keogh A male Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens was present in our back garden for about 25 minutes at around 15:00. Resting amongst long grass on the lawn and also along a hedgerow. Allowed close approach and several photographs were taken. A nice surprise for a pondless garden!

31st July: Upper Lake, Glenadalough, Co Wicklow, Peter Doyle A visit to the west end of the upper lake at Glendalough produced 4 Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea, including a confiding pair in tandem which permitted me to lift them by folding the maleís wings over its head and depositing them at a more inconspicuous spot away from the track! Male Moorland/Common Hawker is still the top drawer bread and butter Irish dragonfly; it would be a shame to lose them to global warming! Also present were 15+ male & 2 female Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens , about a dozen Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, 3+ Four spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata and many Sympetrum on their maiden flight; many of which were almost certainly teneral Black Darter S. danaealthough no adults were seen. Damselflies present in good numbers were Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum, Common Spreadwing Lestes sponsa and Common Bluetail Ischnura elegans as well as a surprising number of Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula which are usually scarce at this time of the year at this location.

28th July: Blackditch nature reserve, co Wicklow, Peter Doyle A visit to the Birdwatch Ireland produced 4 male & 1 female ovipositing Blue Emperor Anax imperator. Also present were 2-3 Four spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, 6+ Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, 1 Ruddy Darter S. sanguineum, Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and Azure Bluet Coenagrion puella (no Common Bluet/Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum were observed).

29th July: Ferrard Cross Pond, Co Louth, O132895, Don Hodgers & Gerry O'Neill There were three male and one ovipositing female Blue Emperor Anax imperator at Ferrard Cross Pond today. Also present were many Common Bluet/Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum, Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans, and Common Spreadwing/Common Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa, with many Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, including ovipositing pairs. Photo of male Blue Emperor feeding on a 7-spot Ladybird attached.

29th July: Keenan's Cross Pond, Co Louth O095904, Don Hodgers & Gerry O'Neill A male and an ovipositing female Blue Emperor Anax imperator were present. Also seen were a male Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum, many Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum, Common Bluet/Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.

25th July: Lough Beg, Co Londonderry, H982924, Geoff Campbell At least 9 Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis (photo of a female) in a small area close to the sandpits at the south end of L. Beg. A few Common Bluetail Ischnura elegans also seen.

22nd July: Slieveanora, Co. Antrim, D148291, George Henderson Black Darter Sympetrum danae around some bog pools.

22nd July: Ferrard Cross Pond, Co Louth (O 132 895), Don Hodgers and Gerry O'Neill There were two Blue Emperors Anax imperator, a male (flight shot) and a female, today between 12.30 and 1.30pm. Also present were the usual bluets and Common Spreadwing/Emerald damselfly Lestes sponsa, and some Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum.

15th July: Knock Lake, Co Dublin, Peter Doyle Early morning looked like there might be a significant rise in ambient temperature so I visited Knock Lake in north County Dublin. It didnít really materialise. The best on offer were two male Blue Emperor Anax imperator holding territories and 1 female Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis. Common Bluet Enallagma cyathigerum, Common Bluetail Ischnura elegans and Variable Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum were also noted. No darters Sympetrum, Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum or Lesser Emperor Anax parthenope were seen.

15th July: Keenan's Cross Pond, Co Louth (O095904), Don Hodgers and Gerry O'Neill There was at least one male Blue Emperor Anax imperator and at least 6 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum today. Also present were large numbers of Common Bluet/Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum and a few Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans.

15th July: near Killevy Castle, Co Armagh, Ian Rippey I saw a single female Keeled Skimmer Orthetrum coeulescens at this site today. Nearby was at least 1 Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea. At the adjacent Slieve Gullion Forest, there was another Moorland/Common Hawker, a male Azure Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion puella, about 3 Common Bluetail/Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and about 6 Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa beside a small lake on the Scenic Drive. On 14th July Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis was common at both Crom and Reilly Wood, Co. Fermanagh, with 8-10 seen.

15th July: Calliagh Berras Lough, Co Armagh, Brian and Shirley Nelson A visit to this, the highest lake in Northern Ireland at 545m, on the top (almost) of Slieve Gullion produced no adult odonates but at least 40 Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea larvae were seen. They were in three distinct size ranges, indicating a three year cycle for the species at this site. No damselfly larvae were found and disappointingly no upland water beetles either.

6th July: Raven Nature Reserve, Co Wexford, Christopher Wilson per Ian Rippey A male Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii (colours mature but wings, etc, in very good condition), seen and photographed at Culletons Gap, at the edge of the wood nearest the beach at the northern entrance to the reserve.

12th July: Cronykeery, Co Wicklow, Angus Tyner Male Red-veined Darter Sympetrum fonscolombii in my garden! Pure stroke of luck because I didn't even pick it as one when at rest. But I had some children here that I was showing damselflies to, and the opportunity came up to show them a darter. I just thought it was a common darter, but when I had it in hand I noticed the red-veins and blue eyes. Wow!!

This is the 21st species seen in Angus's garden! See picture

8th July: Coolanillaun, Menlo, Co Galway, Tom Cuffe A Black-tailed Skimmer Orthetrum cancellatum. Other pictures are on Tom's website at www.iol.ie/~birdsgalway

8th July: Derrycarne, Portadown, Co Armagh, Brian Nelson My first Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis of the year a pristine almost mature male sitting on a shrub in my garden. May have come from my pond but can't be certain. Another Brown Hawker seen feeding along a lane beside the River Bann. Otherwise zilch!

7th July: Powerscourt (Waterfall), Co Wicklow, Peter Doyle A window of patchy sunshine prompted me to visit here in search of dragonflies. 4 (2 male & 2 female) Beautiful Demoiselle Calopteryx virgo; 1 Large Red Damsel Pyrrhosoma nymphula; 1 Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum and 3 Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea were observed.

1st July: Peatlands Park, Co Armagh I saw at least 1 Black Darter Sympetrum danae (sex undetermined) at Peatlands Park; 2 other darters seen in an area where I often see the 1st Black Darters looked more likely from their size to be Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum , of which at least 3 were seen elsewhere. Also seen was a Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis(not often seen, at least by me, in the Park due to the acid conditions), about 5 Moorland/Common Hawker Aeshna juncea (my first in Northern Ireland this year), about 6 Common Spreadwing/Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa, 3 Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata, and a few Common Bluetail/Blue tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans and Variable Bluet/Damselfly Coenagrion pulchellum.