Tuesday, 22 December 2009

UK sites for spotting Odonata: Little Bradley Ponds

Little Bradley Ponds, near Bovey Tracey in Devon is a small nature reserve run by Devon Wildlife Trust. There are two large and several tiny ponds on old clay workings. The old pond:

and the new pond, created in 1991:

Despite the small size of the nature reserve (~1 ha of water, with parking limited to just 2 cars at the site with space for another 2 further up the lane), it is a nationally-important site for a number of rare species. In total it has 25 species of odonata including the scarce blue-tailed damselfly, red-eyed damselfly, hairy dragonfly, lesser emperor, downy emerald and keeled skimmer. The first Devon record of brown hawker was recorded at the new pond in 1999.

Some of the most frequently seen species are the emperor dragonfly (Anax imperator):

beautiful demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo):

golden-ringed dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii):

southern hawker (Aeshna cyanea):

and the four-spotted chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata):


  1. Helen am glad you are back posting here. I may be sad but honestly can't get enough of these. Some wonderful pictures to go with this post. Took me five hours to get an Emperor in flight this August even though he was flying away, made my month.

  2. I echo Adrian - good to have this blog back in action.

  3. Thank you both. I'm definitely going to have to devote more time to blogging in 2010.

  4. Fascinating. I carried out some surveying work last summer in the Cotswolds and my dragonfly knowledge is definitely shaky. This blog will help no end! Johnson

  5. Its a very interesting blog.. I am a learner of this wonderful insects & hope to visit your blog more in future to learn & see your beautiful photographs...
    Pls visit my blog...



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