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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Dainty Damselfly: welcome back!

male Dainty Damselfly Coenagrion scitulum

Once, while sitting in the famous Nancy’s Café in Cley, I asked Nancy about a horizontal line marked at about head height on the doorpost with “1953” written next to it. This would have been in about 1986 but she still remembered the ’53 flood in harrowing detail. 307 lives were lost along the coast of eastern England that night. I can only imagine what impacts it had on wildlife but we do know that it wiped out the Dainty Damselfly Coenagrion scitulum, then known from a couple of sites on the Essex side of the Thames Estuary.

So I feel very privileged to have been able to go and see Dainty Damselfly on Saturday, back on British soil and seemingly breeding in the brackish borrow pits on the Isle of Sheppey just west of the two bridges. It has been slowly expanding northwards on the continent so it looks like it has naturally re-colonised Britain: an amazing feat for such a dainty creature!