Monday, 1 June 2020

Hull Dragons 2020: May summary

We are running a Hull and surrounding area dragonfly and damselfly survey (Hull Dragons for short) in 2020, for comparison to 2019. I will post a monthly summary of the progress. This year is starting quite strong. The first flying Odonata weren't seen until the 2nd week of May. During May, 60 records have been submitted to iRecord, from 9 species this year (compared to 23 records of 6 species recorded during the same time period in May). The increased number of records and species might be due to the favourable weather during the spring: we've had the sunniest spring and warmest May on record. This has not only provided ideal conditions for dragonfly watching, but might have also speeded up emergence. For example, the Emperor dragonfly records this year are almost three weeks earlier than in 2019.
My first Odonata record was on the 13th May, when while working on my desk by my front bay window a dragonfly, most likely a broad-bodied chaser, flew past. A tandem pair of blue damselflies was observed at St Andrews Quay pond on the 21st. Broad-bodied chaser are having a good year, with 4 records from 3 locations. The most common records were from Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies. A very exciting record is that of a Large Red Damselfly at an ornamental pond in Willerby on the 25th May, given that we had no records for this species last year.
Finally, a Hairy Dragonfly was a very nice addition to the May list, on the Beverley and Barmston drain on the 31st.

First dates (as in adult identified species in iRecord submitted by 1st June 2020):
  1. Blue-tailed Damselfly, 20th May
  2. Azure Damselfly, 20th May
  3. Banded Demoiselle, 23rd May
  4. Broad-bodied Chaser, 25th May
  5. Large Red Damselfly, 25th May
  6. Four-spotted Chaser, 21st May, Paull Holme Strays 
  7. Common Blue Damselfly, 29th May
  8. Emperor Dragonfly, 29th May
  9. Hairy Dragonfly, 31s May

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