Well, the car park Pennington has re-opened so I thought I'd go. I knew the hides would still be closed but I thought I could occupy myself looking for insects and dragons ... but first, a stop off at the reed bed as I've not seen a Reed Warbler yet this year. Ah, there we go!
It was still early, so my first dragon, a Broad-bodied Chaser was still warming itself high up and nothing was flying over the ponds
At least my target was present, but I thought I'd give them more time to become active so went butterflying instead. Loads of Common Blues about sampling the vetch.
The colours really glow in this backlit Large Skipper
I couldn't get the Meadow Browns to sit up and pose. I did find a bunch of Peacock caterpillars
And loads of other insects, like this Potter Wasp
The lustrous metallic green of a Swollen-thighed Beetle
And a pair of hoverflies ... making more hoverflies. This is one of the species, Anasimyia Lineata, were both sexes have separated eyes (if you were wondering)
There's no delicate way to put this but the male is getting quite enthusiastic!
Well, it's nearly lunchtime, so the dragon's should have warmed up. I can't figure what happened to this immature Azure Damselfly, unless the exuvia is still attached to the bent tail.
However, there were at least four or five male Broad-bodied chasers on one small pond - too many, to give the females any peace. I found another pond with just the one male.
A nice enough perched pose. However, the reason I was after this species was to up the stakes ...
That's better, dragons in-flight ... and with Chasers, the females are the ones to go for.
Chasers in-flight is a bit of challenge but it helps if you understand their behaviour and when it becomes a lot easier to get them. I didn't quite nail the next one, the egg-laying shot, as they just move too quickly, but time yet for another bash at it.
Super set Nige, and as PB Tony said, the detail is great
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In reply to Nigel O:
Nigel O said:Hazy, I thought Summer 2018 was dry but we are already way past that with scrapes drying out more than I've ever seen and it's still only May, despite having the highest water levels ever during Feb/Mar. Unless we get some serious rain in June I wonder if it will damage some smaller wetland sites.
It is hard to believe after such a wet autumn and winter and birds must be struggling to dig out the worms and other insects in rock hard ground; I think we only get a light shower this week but anything is better than nothing and farmers are desperate. I buy bottled water for the birds in the courtyard to drink and bathe in and the mealworms and waxworms provide extra liquid. Got to start easing off the live foods and sun-hearts as we have less than two weeks to go here and I want to eek them off provided food so they go back in search of their own; the main thing is the House Sparrows have done really well with their broods and the House Martins x 4 pairs are busy with their nests (uninterrupted by the sparrows). Hopefully all will remain well once we leave. Once again Nige, a lovely set of photos which I thoroughly enjoyed viewing. Now I've got to go outside and do a rain dance lol
Brilliant collection of photos Nige.
We don't get many damsels or dragons in the garden, mainly because the pond has netting over it, to protect the fish from preying herons, so I've given up on seeing any damsels or dragons this year, unless reserves open soon.
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