One of my many passions with wildlife is photographing the Dragonflies of Milton Keynes, these aerial monsters can be a challenge but when you get a really good photograph they can be really stunning. With that I have a goal:
To photograph (at least once) every species of Odonata that has been recorded in Milton Keynes (Buckinghamshire).
Dragonflies of Milton Keynes
I try to updated this page once a year at least, and rather than the 19 species with expansions the list is (to the best of my knowledge) 23 regular species plus 1 that has only occurred once (so isn’t on the list below).
If anyone spots I have missed one from the list please let me know (or if you have sightings of any that I have not photographed and might be able to help me achieve this project I would be very grateful to hear from you).
This is not a short term project as you can see I have been working on it already for five years (although only seriously since mid 2012). As you may note I have reordered the Dragonflies of Milton Keynes species list (below) to be correct, but haven’t done the photos, as quite frankly that is just too much work, sorry, although I might try soon if I have a spare hour or so.
I have also spent some time updating my spreadsheets (which are also now in a better format) for Flight times and locations, now if I have missed some vital sites or some species at sites please let me know I can easily make changes now.
The Species List:
- Southern Hawker [Aeshna cyanea]
- Brown Hawker [Aeshna grandis]
- Migrant Hawker [Aeshna mixta]
- Emperor Dragonfly [Anax imperator]
- Hairy dragonfly [Brachytron pratense]
- Banded Demoiselle [Calopteryx splendens]
- Beautiful Demoiselle [Calopteryx virgo]
- Azure Damselfly [Coenagrion puella]
- Variable Damselfly [Coenagrion Pulchellum]
- Downy Emerald [Cordulia aenea]
- Common Blue Damselfly [Enallagma cyathigerum]
- Red-eyed damselfly [Erythromma najas]
- Small red-eyed damselfly [Erythromma viridulum]
- Blue-tailed damselfly [Ischnura elegans]
- Emerald Dragonfly [Lestes sponsa]
- Willow Emerald [Lestes viridis]
- Broad-bodied Chaser [Libellula depressa]
- Four spot chaser [Libellula quadrimaculata]
- Black-tailed Skimmer [Orthetrum cancellatum]
- White-legged damselfly [Platycnemis pennipes]
- Large Red-Damselfly [Pyrrhosoma nymphula]
- Ruddy Darter [Sympetrum sanguineum]
- Common Darter [Sympetrum striolatum]
The Dragonfly Photographs
|1. Red-Eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas) photographed at Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes (2014)|
|2. Red-Eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas) photographed at Tattenhoe Park, Milton Keynes (2017)|
Small Red-Eyed Damselfly
Common Blue Damselfly
|Male Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) Willen Lake, Milton Keynes, 2013|
|Female Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) Willen Lake, Milton Keynes, 2013|
|Banded Demoiselle Female (Calopteryx splendens) photographed by the river Ouse in Old Wolverton Milton Keynes|
|1. Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) Photographed in Loughton Valley Park, Milton keynes (2014)|
|2. Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) Photographed in Loughton Valley Park, Milton keynes (2014)|
|1. Broad-Bodied Chaser Male (Libellula depressa)|
photographed in Linford Wood, Milton Keynes (2012)
|2. Broad-Bodied Chaser (Male) (Libellula depressa) Photographed in Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes (2014)|
|3. Broad-Bodied Chaser (Female) (Libellula depressa) Photographed in Howe Park Wood, Milton Keynes (2017)|
|1. Black-Tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) female – Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes (2014)|
|2. Black-Tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) Immature Male- Loughton Valley Park, Milton Keynes (2014)|
|Brown Hawker (Aeshna grandis) – Manor Farm, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, 2015|
|Blue-tailed Damselfly male (Ischnura elegans) at rest, photographed on lodge lake, Milton Keynes, 2013|
|Blue-tailed Damselfly female of the rufescens colour|
form (Ischnura elegans) at rest,
photographed on lodge lake, Milton Keynes, 2013
|1. White-Legged Damselfly Male (Platycnemis pennipes) – Teardrop Lakes, Milton Keynes (2014)|
|2. White-Legged Damselfly Male (Platycnemis pennipes) – Teardrop Lakes, Milton Keynes (2014)|
|3. White-Legged Damselfly female (Platycnemis pennipes) – Teardrop Lakes, Milton Keynes (2014)|
|4. White-Legged Damselfly Immature (Platycnemis pennipes) – Teardrop Lakes, Milton Keynes (2014)|
|1. Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa) – male, photographed in Howe Park Wood, Milton Keynes, 2015|
|2. Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa) – male, photographed in Tattenhoe Park, Milton Keynes (2017)|
|3. Emerald Damselfly (Lestes sponsa) – male, photographed in Tattenhoe Park, Milton Keynes (2017)|
|Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense), Photographed in Bancroft Park, Milton Keynes, 2014|
|Four-Spot Chaser Male (Libellula quadrimaculata) Photographed in Loughton Valley, Milton Keynes 2013|
|Four-Spot Chaser Male (Libellula quadrimaculata) Photographed in Tattenhoe Park, Milton Keynes (2017)|
Large Red Damselfly
|Large Red Damselfly, Male (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) Photographed Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes 2013|
|Large Red Damselfly, female (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) Photographed Howe Park Wood, Milton Keynes 2013|
These are a select few photos of each species (where I have any) but more of my Dragonfly images can be seen in my Dragonfly Set on Flickr, and of course all over this blog in the warmer months.
Beyond those listed there are several that may occur as immigrants/migrants or are possibly heading our way, If I am ever lucky enough to see one of these I will add them here but until then these few remain a pipe dream: Variable Damselfly (now seen in good numbers), Scarce Chaser, Yellow-winged Darter and Red-veined Darter (the latter two have been recorded but are far from regular).
Dragonflies of Milton Keynes Flight Times.
With dragonflies it is important to know when to look and so I devised the below chart to help me with this (the light green reflects possible early/late flight times, dark green is peak, and pink is none, pretty much, of course there will always be exceptions):
Below is my confirmed site guide to Milton Keynes Dragonflies (I’m sure other areas will have some and I may have missed some from certain sites). All this information is already available in the public domain so I’m not putting anything sensitive out there. [Green = confirmed; Red = Not known]
If you would like to read my advice on photographing Dragonflies here is the link – Photographing Dragonflies and Damselflies. – Happy to hear other peoples tips or if I have missed anything.I normally use the photographic guide, Britain’s Dragonflies – Wildguides to identify my dragonflies, damselflies, darters and their kin, I find it an invaluable resource for knowing what I am looking at.