Monday, 19 June 2017

The Downs: 18th June

   Must be about time for my annual contribution to the Oxon Bug Log;

    Common Glow Worm

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Cothill Fen reserves - 14th June

Keeled Skimmer (male)

Southern Damselfly (male)

Common Darter (immature male)

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Otmoor Area. 3rd June.

Beautiful Demoiselle. (male)
P.S. Black Hairstreaks seen in Roman Road this morning.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Aston Rowant NNR 28th May

                                                       Burnet Companion Moth

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Trap Grounds Oxford 28th May


Hairy Hawker 3

Two males and a female ovipositing

Male eating unidentified insect prey

28th May, The Trap Grounds

Male Hairy Hawker at Tim's Pond. No sign of the Clubtail so far this weekend

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Otmoor Area.

Four-spotted Chaser (male).

Stretch Spider.

Drinker Moth Caterpillar.

Friday, 26 May 2017

26th May Trap Grounds

Common Clubtail, first found by Nicola Devine and seemingly "on territory" in a small pond in the Trap Grounds where it's been seen regularly over the last couple of days.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Dragonflies in Oxon - 2017

The new dragonfly season has already started despite the generally cool recent conditions! There have already been records of Large Red Damselflies, Variable Damselfly and even one Common Clubtail, and more are set to follow very shortly, especially if the weather warms up a bit. 

Web page for 2017 Dragonfly news and Photographs
As the British Dragonfly Society (BDS) Recorder for Oxfordshire, I am again planning 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 . 

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

Topics for 2017

Club-tailed Dragonflies (or Common Clubtail)
Hopefully most with an interest in dragonflies in the county are aware by now of the BDS organised Common Clubtail count. There are a reasonable number of squares that have now been adopted by volunteers but there are still plenty of gaps to fill, especially upstream of Oxford.

So if you haven't done so already, and are interested in taking part, it isn't too late to get in touch with the BDS who are still looking for volunteers to 'adopt' 1km squares (or monads) which need to be visited at least three times between now and the end of July. 

For further information on the count and contact details for the organisers, see 

I am also maintaining a dedicated webpage for 2017 Oxon Clubtail records on my website here

Club-tailed Dragonfly  (c) Stephen Burch

Variable Damselflies
Variable Damselflies have already been reported this year from the pool at Barton Fields near to Abingdon and last year another colony was found by the Thames at Iffley Meadows. Perhaps there are new sites to be found in 2017 - so all Clubtail counters should keep an eye open for Variables! 

Variable Damselfly, Barton Fields (c) Stephen Burch

Willow Emeralds

Willow Emeralds continued their spread westwards last year, and have now reached neighbouring Berks and Bucks. It can be only a matter of time before they reach Oxon. This is a late season species - so please keep an eye out for them from August onwards - you could find the first ever recorded in Oxon! 

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 

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 Dragonfly Recorder for Oxfordshire (VC23)

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Holly Blue

Beautiful Holly Blue which we found in the garden on 27th March. Obviously freshly hatched from our holly tree. Courtesy Mrs Mary Clifton

Farmoor ducklings

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Otmoor 13th March - Grass Snakes

37 Grass snakes seen basking early afternoon on Otmoor. We saw one group of 4, another of 3 and quite a few couples curled up together.


Courtesy of Pete Roby

Above & Below courtesy of John Workman

Friday, 24 February 2017

Update on BDS Clubtail count 2017

Clubtail (c) Stephen Burch

With the first signs of spring appearing, now is the time to start thinking about the upcoming dragonfly season!

As many of you will be aware, the British Dragonfly Society (BDS) is planning a nationwide Clubtail count this year, which includes the full length of the River Thames in Oxfordshire.

For further details, please see this BDS webpage. The survey will be at a 1km x 1km (monad) resolution and three visits are needed between May and July. So a considerable number of volunteers will be needed if the survey is to be anywhere near complete in the County!

The BDS is taking the lead in organising this count, and now has an information pack available to send to anyone who makes contact with them. I also know they are currently allocating specific monads to volunteers. So if you are interested in participating, please get in touch with them without delay - especially if you would like to cover a particular, convenient local stretch of the river.

I’m also planning to include updates as the season progresses on my website – so I would much appreciate any reports you can provide on Clubtail sightings. I will then aim to add promptly to this page. This should provide useful feedback on how the count is going and hopefully maintain interest and a sense of involvement among counters.

Note this Clubtail page will be in addition to the one I usually maintain on current sightings – for which I’ll still be looking for as many records as possible throughout the season. So please continue to send all your other Oxon Odonata records and photos in to me, as previously.

I know from personal experience this is an elusive dragonfly and perhaps there is a better chance of locating exuviae than adults. Either way I don’t expect this count to be easy and so the more counters the better!

Clubtail exuvia (c) Stephen Burch

 I’d also appreciate it if you could let me know if you are planning to participate in this count. For my contact details, see my website.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Otmoor Otter 4th February

Otter catching frogs early Saturday morning.

In ditch alongside the bridleway.

All photos courtesy of Derek Latham.