This blog is about my birding exploits, which mainly take place in the Weymouth/Portland area, in Dorset. Will also include stuff from elsewhere, plus some other critters too. Hope you enjoy. All photographs are © Brett Spencer, unless indicated otherwise. The above image is of a Siberian Rubythroat, taken in Holland in 2016.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Dragonflies In A Day In Weymouth

Yesterday I had noticed Small Red-eyed Damselflies at a couple of new sites in Weymouth. This got me fired up, to see how many species I could see in a day at the end of July, in Weymouth. My first destination was Upwey, where I saw 3 species. One of these was a Weymouth tick for me.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

This superb female was very obliging.

A little later, I saw this male. Due to a limited supply of suitable habitat, this is a scarce species in Weymouth.

Migrant Hawker

Always nice to see a female for a change. A common species in Weymouth.

Also added at Upwey was a Common Darter.

Having failed on one of my target species, I moved onto the River Wey, just downstream from Radipole Village, only to find the target species I had missed earlier. Another Weymouth tick too.

Beautiful Demoiselle

This stunning male was the first of this species I'd seen at this site, so was completely unexpected. A real bonus. For the same reasons as Golden-ringed Dragonfly, this is a scarce species in Weymouth.

Banded Demoiselle

A gorgeous male. This was the reason for visiting this site. A common species on parts of the River Wey.

Black-tailed Skimmer

Male. A common species locally.

The only other species added to the day total here was Common Blue Damselfly. So 7 species under the belt.

My final destination of the day was the local dragonfly mecca that is Bennetts Water Gardens. Here, 2 of the days tally of species, I failed to photograph. They were singles of Southern Hawker and Four-spotted Chaser. The latter is only ever seen in small numbers in Weymouth. 2 species seen earlier in the day, but photographed at Bennetts were,

Common Darter


Common Blue Damselfly


Bringing the days tally to a respectable 15 species, the following were observed at Bennetts.

Blue-tailed Damselfly


Emperor Dragonfly

Male in flight.

Female egg laying.

Azure Damselfly


Ruddy Darter

A cracking male. This species is scarce in Weymouth.

Red-eyed Damselfly

A beautiful male. The species stronghold in Weymouth is Bennetts, where it is doing well. This species has recently spread to Radipole Lake, albeit in small numbers, otherwise, it's only been recorded just outside of Bennetts, at nearby Granby Ponds.

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Male. It's fair to say that I have a soft spot for this species, as I found the first ever Dorset records at this very site.

This species is certainly having a good year locally and was super abundant at this site today, being the commonest damselfly species present. Here is a male in flight.

A tandem pair.

Another tandem pair, this time on one of the lily pads.

It's certainly not cheap to get into Bennetts Water Gardens, but it is a beautiful little place and just teaming with dragonflies and well worth a visit.

Back to last weekend now and a little saunter over to Abbotsbury Swannery to see a Black Tern.

Moulting adult with a Common Tern.
And whilst on the subject of black.

A Black-tailed Godwit outside the meadow hide at Abbotsbury Swannery.

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