Mid-summer update

As we approach the end of June most of the dragonfly and damselfly species that are known to be breeding in Hertfordshire have now been reported during 2018, although we may have to wait a bit longer for the first records of late summer/autumn species such as Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) and Willow Emerald Damselfly (Chalcolestes viridis).

Sighting of some of the earliest flying species, in particular Hairy Dragonfly (Brachytron pratense) but also chasers like the Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) shown below, will now start to tail off, but many of the more obvious species such as Brown & Southern Hawkers (Aeshna grandis & A. cyanea) and Ruddy & Common Darters (Sympetrum sanguineum S. striolatum) will become more numerous during July and August.

Exciting news this year is that the Green-eyed Hawkers (Anaciaeshna isoceles - also known as Norfolk Hawkers - but that name doesn't seem appropriate any more) that arrived at Amwell four years ago seem to be expanding their Hertfordshire distribution and have so far been reported from three additional Hertfordshire sites, all close to Amwell.

Beautiful Demoiselles, which established a population just outside Hertfordshire a few years ago, on the Turkey Brook at Forty Hall, Middlesex, also seem to be spreading into Hertfordshire, with two reports of what were presumably wandering individuals in the east of the county and reports from Cuffley Brook in the south-east (not too far from Forty Hall). If anyone wants to see this species locally it is best looked for at Forty Hall with the bridge over Turkey Brook at TQ342987 being a good spot. To see them in Hertfordshire the points where public footpaths cross Cuffley Brook at TL315009 and TL310015 seem to provide the best opportunity, but they are at very low density along the brook. More on the Beautiful Demoiselles and Green-eyed Hawkers will follow in the next few days.

Please submit records of any dragonflies and damselflies that you see, including common species, using the record submission form on the HNHS website (http://www.hnhs.org/submit/dragonflies-and-damselflies), via iRecord, or by email to the following email address: dragonflies@hnhs.org  


New 'Hertfordshire Dragonflies and Damselflies Facebook group

I have set up a Facebook group that anyone with an interest in the dragonflies and damselflies of Hertfordshire, who uses Facebook, may like to join to share sightings and photos.

A link to the group can be found here: Herts dragonflies Facebook group   


HNHS / Herts Bird Club Autumn Meeting & AGM

HNHS members and non-members are warmly invited to join us from 2 to 5.30pm on Saturday 7 October for the Autumn Meeting and AGM. We are once more grateful to Affinity Water for agreeing to host the meeting at their offices in Tamblin Way Hatfield AL10 9EZ

This year's programme of wildlife talks includes news of the positive part that anglers are playing in nature conservation in the Colne Valley and a landscape-scale assessment of Water Voles along the River Lea. A popular community approach to conservation being applied in St Albans will be described by its founder.

Please note that AGM papers, including proposed constitutional amendments, were emailed to members on Tuesday 12 September (or posted to those not on email). There will be a £5 entry charge for the whole meeting, but no charge for members attending the AGM only. 

Celebrating the life and achievements of Trevor James (1947 - 2020)

The many natural history achievements of outstanding Hertfordshire naturalist, Trevor James, were celebrated at a conference on Saturday 9 September.

Despite exceptionally hot weather, an audience of more than 50 HNHS/Bird Club members and friends enjoyed a day of talks at Redbourn Parish Centre. These related to Trevor's national contribution to biological recording and his particular areas of wildlife interest.

For those who were unable to attend, links to video recordings of the tributes paid and the main presentations can be found below.

Hertfordshire 'Wild Snaps' wanted!

Calling HNHS / Herts Bird Club photographers. Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust is inviting entries for its 2023 Wild Snaps competition for anyone who has captured a special wildlife moment on camera this year.