Wednesday, 2 May 2018

Sunday, 22 April 2018

First damselfly of the season - Stratfield Brake!

c. 4 Large Red Damselflies at Stratfield Brake Lakes per Martyn Butt

Teneral Large Red Damselfly (c) Martyn Butt

To see the latest news on dragonflies and damselflies in the county, goto this page on my website.

The first precious jewels of spring 2018


The heart-gladdening treasure that is Green Hairstreak

They're a little late this year ...
 
... but what thing of such delicate beauty ...
 
... does not possess a right to keep us waiting?

All pictures from Aston Rowant NNR (N)
 

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Oxon Dragonflies 2018 - update

UPDATE: The first damselfly was seen in Berkshire yesterday, so it can't be long before they make an appearance here!!

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The new dragonfly season should be starting in the next few weeks, although perhaps the late spring will delay things. 

The first species to appear are usually damselflies, either the Large Red or Azure. Last year the first record was of two Large Red Damselflies along the Roman Road at Otmoor on 19 April which was closely followed by a Hairy Dragonfly on 22 April. 

Web page for 2018 Dragonfly news and Photographs
I am again intending to collate records for dragonflies and damselflies in Oxfordshire and to regularly update a page on my website which aims to give the latest information on what is happening on the dragonfly and damselfly front in the County. 

To work well, this needs as many as possible to contribute their sightings so these can be shared with others. Photographs will also be added to break up the text.

So if you see or photograph any dragonflies or damselflies in Oxfordshire this season, please let me know, and I will post your records and photos at http://www.stephenburch.com/dragonflies/oxondnews2018.htm . 

This page also contains information on how to submit records both for that page and to the BDS, via their preferred iRecord system. 

Topics for 2018

BDS Clubtail Count 2018
The BDS has recently announced it is extending its Clubtail count into 2018, so if you are interested in taking part and searching for this elusive species please visit their webpage for further information. This year there is an interactive map which you can use to select your own monad(s) for the survey - which involves at least three visits between May and July.  

On the BDS webpage, there is also a report on the results of their 2017 count. As far as the River Thames goes, this shows a fair number of records along the stretch of river downstream from Goring/Streatley, but a more patchy distribution upstream, with only one record from the upper Thames. 
The only 2017 Clubtail record from the Upper Thames: Tadpole Bridge, 14 May (c) Stephen Burch

White-legged Damselflies
In Oxon, there are generally a few records of this scarce species annually, usually from sections of the river Thames anywhere between Streatley and Banbury! There is no evidence for a major decline in numbers, but it is difficult to be sure what is happening to their numbers given the sparse nature of the records.

In 2018, the BDS is undertaking an "investigation" of this species, and is asking for all casual records of this species and is also looking for volunteers to take part in a survey between May and August. For further details, go to this page on the BDS website

White-legged Damselfly (c) Stephen Burch

Information on Dragonflies and Damselflies in the County
If you are new to dragonflies, you might find the section of my website devoted to dragonflies in the County of interest - at http://www.stephenburch.com/dragonflies/OxonDragons.htm 

This has a number of separate pages including:
  • Where to find dragonflies in Oxfordshire – an updated site guide
  • An illustrated list of the dragonflies and damselflies in the County

Stephen Burch
BDS County Dragonfly Recorder (Oxfordshire, VC23)

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Otmoor rspb.

Mystery swimmer.

Any suggestions? The two photos taken on different occasions of this vole that has been seen to swim long distances.  Water Vole is obvious candidate but some features are suspect.