Hampshire Dragonflies
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Index Shapwick Heath
Grid Reference ST 42388 41112
Westhay Moor

This was the site of my first visit after a tip off from Stewart of Dorset Wildlife Trust. Park at the Information Centre rather than at the side of the road. A short walk will bring you to the Reserve Entrance.

Follow the wide path taking time to explore the area just inside and to the right of the gate. You should spot your first Hairy along with damsels aplenty, including Variable, Banded Demoiselles and Red-eyed. Also perching here are Broad-bodied Four-spotted and Scarce Chasers.

Further along there is a path leading off to the right. Follow the path around left before branching off right along a small leat. The area at the end should throw up a good few sightings before turning left and continuing to the main intersection. Turn right and follow the path to the Otter Hide. After a few more turns you will reach a clearing. This is a prime spot and enabled me to get my first real chance of a perched female Hairy on our first visit. You can continue to the hide or return with a slight diversion.

Any route you take should result in more sightings than you are probably used to.
Key Species
Southern Hawker Brown Hawker Migrant Hawker Emperor Hairy Dragonfly
Ruddy Darters Common Darters Broad-bodied Chasers Scarce Chaser Four-spotted Chasers
Black-tailed Skimmers Banded Demoiselle Azure Damselfly Variable Damselfly Common Blue Damselfly
Red-eyed Damselfly Small Red-eyed Damselfly Blue-tailed Damselfly Large Red Damselfly
Index Westhay Moor

All Content   Paul Ritchie 2010