First Red-eyed Damselfly of year, whilst ‘BBC’ puts Danson in third place

A single male Red Eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas), my first of the year for Bexley, was seen on algal mats on the south side of Danson Park lake this afternoon, May 28th. This adults of this species precede those of the Small Red-eyed Damselfly which also occurs here. The lack of blue on the sides of abdominal segment 8, and the lack of ante-humeral stripes, were diagnostic.

Bird specialist John Turner had flagged up Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly in his Danson list for August 2014, which is fairly late for this species to be on the wing. Today I finally saw my first specimen  of it here, a male, in the backwater at the north west corner of the lake, indulging in its typical behaviour of repeatedly coming back to perch on the top of the same stick poking out of the water.

Male Broad-bodied Chaser (Photo: Ralph Todd).

Male Broad-bodied Chaser (Photo: Ralph Todd).

This takes the confirmed Odonata list for Danson to 13 of the 18 species known to occur the Borough of Bexley, with Foots Cray Meadows on 15 (with at least 2 more species likely) and Crossness at Erith Marshes on 14. Thames Road Wetland has 12 so far.

There was also a single Large Red Damselfly nearby. John Arnold has also seen the latter at Danson since I first recorded it here a few weeks ago. It would seem that it is not very numerous at this site.

Chris Rose 

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