A Long Hot Morning, by a Meandering River

Week off, coinciding with a heatwave, "Fab" thinks I, long time since I've had some excursions, so Monday I decided to revisit the new bit of the river. It seems a long time since I've pootled along the bank seeing what I could see. With the forecast being so hot, and having planned to meet my sister Tuesday at Badbury Rings (That Post Here), I decided to head out at the same time for a comparative weather check, so 6am I began the 10 minute walk to the river

Jackdaws and terracotta against the blue, what a glorious combination

Fair warning, I did debate splitting this post into 2 or maybe even 3 parts as it is going to be long.... and I may run out of witty banter, or even any sort of banter as my brain has melted, sorting though and resizing all the pictures. Also, as is normal for me, there are several pics I could do with having ID's (clue: warblers )

Along the pathway through the wood to the river a glistening web caught my eye, and I wondered how long it would take to create something of this complexity

Along the path ahead of me a wascally wabbit scampered away

And at the rivers edge what looks a bit like a Caddis Fly type thing landed

A Small Tortoiseshell was warming up

Most of the action for the walk took place on the far bank of the river, starting with a Reed Warbler family

Simultaneously a Blue Tailed Damselfly caught my eye (careless of me to drop it, I know!)

And when I looked back, the parent had obviously been sent to get more bugs!

A short way away a Reed Bunting was singing

And further still the 1st of many Banded Demoiselle posed

Another Warbler perched briefly in the open

And a Female Banded Demoiselle glittered in the early morning light, on the dew laden reed

I didn't stop to count, but there were several Small Tortoiseshell Caterpillar "Clumps"

Some bigger than others

Another Caddisfly type bug!

Throughout this 1st part of the walk I could hear a Buzzard keening away in the distance... it turned out it was across the river, through a field and halfway along the next field, in a tree

I decided to loiter a while, in case it took flight, and came my way.... of course it didn't ... it went straight across the field to the left.

There was still a dampness to the ground (I discovered my walking boots are no longer waterproof!) and another web glistened in the light

Next appears to be some kind of Shield Bug

And an odd looking fly?

In the field the other side of the river a pair of deer were playing chase (although he did seem quite insistent!)

One of many Cardinal(?) Beetles I saw

And a Hover Bee ?

Some of the larger Dragons are out and about now, Scarce Chaser I think

Nearby a female Blue Tailed Damselfly

Around the bend in the river, and in the field next to the deer, a Hare

I don't know what colour leverets are, but the Hare and Rabbit/Leveret seemed on pretty good terms

Another of those tricksters... a warbler

And hanging about at the top of the reeds, a Stonechat

There's nowt so sweet as Thistle Nectar to keep the war wounded Tortoiseshell on the go!

A bee!

There were a number of Whites fluttering about, but few decided to land

The bonus of not having the big lens, is that birds in flight are easier to follow, however, the downside is image quality is severely compromised... there were martins, swifts and swallows hawking over the river, in 5 minute bursts and all I'll say is, I'm glad I don't shoot on film!!!!!

And a Warbler fulfilling family duties

The very rare Narcissus Warbler* enjoying it's own reflection a little too much

The latest NATO approved, intercontinental bug delivery system

Up the tree opposite was this little chap, also present were 2 or 3 great tits, a woodpecker, and some goldfinch, but I can't decipher what he is

A dark Gatekeeper, sniffing out the clover

And overhead a Herring Gull cruised nonchalantly by

Whilst I was perched right on the edge of the bank, hoping for better Hirundine action, a female banded demoiselle dazzled me

A White Legged Damsel briefly settled

Whilst a little further on, and a little higher up, a Reed Bunting preened, and did wing stretches, before settling himself down

A small Tortoiseshell fluttered by (one out of six roughly in focus....things are improving!!)

And nearby a Red Admiral enjoying the warmth

Further along were Emperor Dragonfly and Brown Hawker fizzing about, I didn't manage any decent snaps....

Thanks all, for wading through my drivel,

Stay Safe All (despite the relaxing of measures, be sensible!)

  • A lovely selection of birds, beasties and critters PB, you certainly have a lovely selection there, it must have taken ages to sort and re size those to post, thanks for sharing your morning out with us.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  • You certainly had a good day PB and brought us back a full reserve of goodies :) the flutterbys, bees, damsels and dragons are fabulous and seeing more and more of them around as this hot spell continues. The Reed Warbler family are such a treat to see and bet those parents were worn out fetching and carrying insects for them. Wabbits, Hares, Stonechat, deer, ......... what a place to visit !! wow !! Enjoy your time off work and look forward to the next set; can't be too many for us so keep 'em coming lol


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Great thread PB, so many creatures you have put up you have done us proud. I love the Demoiselles, haven';t found one yet, and the Buntings and Warblers too. Wish I could help with id but sorry.......... Do I see a Swift or two in flight?, don't know about Swallows being easy to follow, I'm fed up with empty fields when I try!! Great to get the Hare along with the Rabbit for company,

    Lot to learn

  • Thanks all,
    Yep, CL, a good couple of hours, but a nice way to cool down with fan on full lol

    Hazel, off to Worthing in a mo, so not sure what opportunities there'll be, but we are gong via Petworth House, so depending on the temperature we may potter around the garden there.

    The swallows are easy to follow, Gaynor, compared to when swinging a 4lb lens around and trying to keep up with them lol (that doesn't mean getting them in focus and snapping them is easy!!) And yep, a couple of Swifts flew into almost focus as I was looking through the viewfinder :o)
  • A very entertaining selection of photos PB I almost felt as though we had been alongside you, apart from wet feet, our slippers stayed dry all the way.


    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • Fabulous photos again PB, and good to see you making the best of this nice sunny weather.

    I've still yet to see a female banded damsel at my local reserve, they must have them, the males are very prolific every summer!

    Those swift photos are brilliant, even without the big lens, well done.


    Flickr Peak Rambler