The Keeled Skimmer.

Keeled Skimmer populations are found in North Wales and Cumbria, so it is a little surprising that the species wasn't recorded earlier than it was in Lancashire, being a county well-endowed with suitable habitat for the Keeled Skimmer which is a species of bogs and mires in western areas where it is found on moorland heaths and bogs, often in areas frequented by the Golden-ringed Dragonfly.

The first Keeled Skimmer in Lancashire was found and photographed by Allen Holmes 7 years ago at Grindleton Forest Pond on 8 August 2013, unfortunately it was a one day wonder and had disappeared the following day. The second Lancashire record came from Birkdale Dunes, it was a male found by Pete Kinsella on 3 July 2015.

Keeled Skimmer At Birk Bank Bog.

I've found the Keeled Skimmer at Birk Bank, Quernmore, on the outskirts of Lancaster for four years following my first here in 2016, but the first record at Birk Bank, was of two - possibly three - male Keeled Skimmer seen on the bog by Steve Graham on 12 August 2015. 

Keeled Skimmer Birk Bank 22 July 2016 Pete Woodruff Clik the piks

The next and fourth Lancashire record of Keeled Skimmer was of a male seen at Birk Bank on 22 July 2016 (PW), followed by the species seen again at Birk Bank by Steve Graham on 6 July 2017, then three males there six days later on 12 July (PW).

Keeled Skimmer Pairing Birk Bank Bog 22 June 2018. Pete Woodruff.

Five Keeled Skimmer were found on 22 June 2018 (PW) and included a pair seen pairing. A pair were seen at Birk Bank Bog on 5 July 2019, with a male seen here on 15 July, followed by a pair 23 July (PW).

 Keeled Skimmer/Large Red Damselfly Birk Bank Bog 17 June 2020. Pete Woodruff.

This year, there was a bit of dragonfly magic for me when I visited Birk Bank on 17 June to find my first Keeled Skimmer of 2020, a male with a female seen later ovipositing. 

Southern Migrant Hawker Female Marc Heath 

Dragonflies In 2015.

More remarkable than the Lancashire Keeled Skimmer records, was that of a female Southern Migrant Hawker, found at Birkdale by Chris Storey on 10 July 2015. 

This was another first record for Lancashire and North Merseyside, and at the time believed to be the most northerly British record of the species. Even more remarkable, was that it was a female, made remarkable because it is almost always the male of all species of dragonflies that are prone to wander.

Many thanks to Martin Jump for his excellent header image of the Tawny Owl which was achieved following an invitation to a private photo shoot. Thanks also to Marc Heath for his consistently excellent images.