Eighteen species of dragonfly and damselfly have been recorded at Natural Surroundings since 2014. They are on the wing anytime from late April, when the first Large Red Damselflies and Broad-bodied Chasers emerge, to November (or even December), when the last Common Darters can be seen enjoying the winter sunshine.
Abundant at Bayfield. Flight season May-September. Both male and female are unmistakable jewels, and one of the highlights of a visit to Natural Surroundings on a sunny summer’s day. Often seen sitting in prominent places on the vegetation in the meadows, but also visits the gardens.
COMMON EMERALD DAMSELFLY
Rare at Bayfield. Flight season late June-September. Occasionally seen in dense vegetation in the meadows. The wings are characteristically held spread, and the body is metallic green (but much more slender than a female Banded Demoiselle.)
WILLOW EMERALD DAMSELFLY
Very rare at Bayfield, this species has only recently arrived in Britain and has been recorded at Natural Surroundings just a few times in the late autumn.
LARGE RED DAMSELFLY
Common at Bayfield. Flight season late April-early September. The first damselfly to emerge in spring, and can be seen around the gardens and in the meadows.
Common at Bayfield. Flight season May-September. The slenderest of the blue damselflies, usually seen resting on the vegetation or around the ditch.
COMMON BLUE DAMSELFLY
Common at Bayfield. Flight season May-September. The blue damselflies are weak flyers and usually seen around dense vegetation. Has an ‘ace-of-spades’ shaped black mark at the top of the abdomen (compare with the black ‘H’ of Azure Damselfly).
Common at Bayfield. Flight season early May-September. Commonest in the meadows, in sunny weather large numbers of paired males and females may be seen over the ditch.
SMALL RED-EYED DAMSELFLY
Formerly common at Bayfield, but now scarce, with few recent sightings at Natural Surroundings (but should be looked for on the lake). Flight season June-September. Almost always seen resting on floating vegetation or flying low over the water. This species was commpn on the ditch in the first couple of years after it was cleared out (2015 and 2016) but has since declined, perhaps diue to the colonisation of the ditch by small fish or the larvae of the larger dragonflies.
Abundant at Bayfield. Flight season mid June-November (will hang on until the first hard frosts of the winter). Often seen sitting on the boardwalk, or on fences, posts etc., well away from water.
Common at Bayfield. Flight season late June-September. Rather like Common Darter, but note the male’s ‘pinched-in’ body and the jet black legs in both male and female. The two species behaviour is rather similar.
Scarce at Bayfield. Flight season May-late June. Usually seen patrolling up and down the ditch. Seemingly always on the wing and seldom found perched up.
Common at Bayfield. Flight season late July-late October. Frequently seen away from water, often patrolling in the less of hedges and on sheltered woodland edges and rides, especially later in the autumn. Only occasionally seen perched up.
Common at Bayfield. Flight season June-October. Often approaches humans very closely, coming to ‘check us out’, and frequently seen laying eggs in damp logs and timber around the ponds and ditches. Otherwise, only occasionally seen perched up.
Scarce at Bayfield. Flight season late June-late September. Always on the wing and often patrolls well away from water. The strong golden-brown tinge to the wings in distinctive.
Regular in small numbers at Bayfield. Flight season June-early September. Britain’s biggest dragonfly, with a long, slightly arched body. Patrols up and down the ditch and seldom seen perched.
Common at Bayfield. Flight season May-late August. Patrols up and down the ditch, but frequently returns to perches.
Fairly common at Bayfield. Flight season early May-early August. The earliest dragonfly to emerge in the spring, both male and female are noticeably ‘broad in the beam’. Frequently returns to perches.
Uncommon at Bayfield. Flight season late May-early September. Spends much of the time on the ground, preferring the bare, open margins of recently cleared ponds and ditches, and likes to settle on boardwalks and bridges.