The first known Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis) for Bexley, a male, has been found and photographed at Footscray Meadows today (September 24th) by Ian Stewart, a week after he recorded the species at nearby Ruxley Gravel Pits, which was Bromley’s first ever record. This takes the number of species of Odonata in Bexley to 19 out of the 46 resident and regular migrants in the UK, and takes the Meadows back level with Crossness as joint best site with 16 apiece.
Although not all the photos are pin sharp, the colour pattern, pale brown wing spot edged black, apparently pale outer genital segments and their length relative to the shorter inner pair, confirms the identification.
Ian commented “There were a few Common Darters and a couple of Migrant Hawkers around the middle (of 5) pond when I caught sight of an emerald damselfly (species), wings open at rest. Frustratingly the wind moved it on and I lost it but re-found it after about 10 minutes and it performed well, landing on various reeds and grasses and allowing a few pics to be taken. I wasn’t sure at first but I am now, it’s a Willow Emerald, Bexley’s first. Stoked anyway …. “.