This was a long overdue visit to Middleton Lakes, the bird life was a bit on the quiet side, but the damsels and dragons were very prolific, oh, and so were the midges and horseflies....
Ok, note quite a bird or insect, but this filed of barley is almost ready for harvest, just a few green heads to view.
A soldier beetle having a wander
Not the same soldier beetle, but another one, and I can't quite make out if it was feeding on another insect, most likely a bee as there were plenty on the teasel, or just on a wander. Sadly, I couldn't locate it again to try and get a closer shot.
Little Egret having lunch
Banded Damselfly, probably one of the most attractive of damselflies, of which there seemed to be hundreds of them!
Little Ringed Plover, and boy, was I pleased to see this one. I thought I'd spotted one earlier that day, only to find out it was a juvenile black headed gull! Miffed!
Small White Butterfly, quite a few of these around as well.
There were plenty of bees on the teasel.
Coming in to land, ready or not....
OK, perhaps it might not be a wise idea, this time.....
A solitary great crested grebe
And finally, a lapwing
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superb set of photos Mike, hard to choose a favourite but love the damselfly and the colours on the Lapwing and Barley field photos.
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
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Lot to learn
In reply to TeeJay:
TeeJay said:BTW, the flower is not a teasel but for the life of me I can't remember what it's called.
the only thing I can think of is Knapweed but not entirely sure !
x-post edit: duh ! I didn't see Nige's post lol blame it on tiredness and lack of sleep ha ha
Great pics Mike, plant look likes Common Knapweed to me... lovely Thistle in first picbut can't give you the variety ........ just googling & found there is one called 'melancholy thistle' Lol
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In reply to HAZY:
HAZY said:superb set of photos Mike, hard to choose a favourite but love the damselfly and the colours on the Lapwing and Barley field photos.
Thank you Hazel.
I have to agree with you as to which is the best photo.
TeeJay said:Well worth the visit, Mike. Birding can be a bit quiet at this time of year but insect life can often make up for it. However, the star of the show must go to the Little Ringed Plover. Gotta love those yellow rimmed eyes. Great capture of the Little Egret with its little fishy (on a little dishy), remember that song. LOL BTW, the flower is not a teasel but for the life of me I can't remember what it's called.
Ha ha, yes I do remember that song:
"Come here, my little Jacky
Now I've smoked my backey
Let's have a bit crackey
Till the boat comes in
Dance to thy daddy, sing to thy mammy,
Dance to thy daddy, to thy mammy sing;
Thou shalt have a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shalt have a fishy when the boat comes in."
A reet ole Geordie toon tha were, and program....
You're showing your age now, and making me feel old!
Always worth a visit TJ, not just Middleton, but any reserve. Nature has it's own agenda, and as I've always said, on the quiet days, it makes you look around you a bit more, there's always something to see. Unfortunately, for many folk (unlike ourselves) because they've become to distanced from the outdoors and nature, they expect everything to on ceremony 24/7.
I'm always appreciative of any corrections, I think I read in another reply, the plant is knapweed
In reply to gaynorsl:
gaynorsl said:Great photos of your day out Mike, nice to see the Red Admiral and the Little Ringed Plover too, great shot. My favourite has to be the Banded Damselfly, gorgeous.
Thank you Gaynor, always a pleasure to see the red admirals, though other species are just as colourful. The banded damsels were in abundance big time, and very active, so I played around trying to get one in flight, so as to capture those bands on the wings.
Sadly I failed, but in my defence, and not one to blame the camera, I really need access to a faster shutter speed. Mine is 1/4000 max, and I've since learned that 1/8000 is probably what I need.
The banded in flight, well, almost in flight, can be seen in my RSPB Middleton Lakes Album.
The little ringed plover was pure chance, it appeared from the reeds alongside the pool and quickly went around the mini island out of sight.
In reply to Nigel O:
Nigel O said:A great series of photos. The bees in flight are probably my personal favs, although nice to get close views of the Egret and Plover. I think the flower in question is one of the Knapweeds, possibly Common. Mind you, I'm useless at flowers so don't believe me without checking :)
Thank you Nige.
I think the bees in flight are honey bees, but I'm far from being a beginner, they look so similar which makes identification hard, well, for me at this stage.
I did manage a better photo of an egret with fish in beak last year (included below), but I was closer and the light was a lot better.
Like you, I'm no botanist, but I'm inclined to agree with you and others, knapweed after looking at many photos.
But, it any one knows better, I'm always eager to learn.
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