Friday, 3 June 2011

Thursday - Clockburn Lake recce

A bit of a reconnaissance mission today turned up trumps, the wind finally dropped, bright sunshine and a red hot day, we’d promised to take the kids out for a scooter ride (they all have micro scooters and love to get out in the open on them, rather than just zoom up and down our patio out back.) so we motored on up to Winlaton Mill car park and headed off along the Derwent Walk to Clockburn Lake. Forgetting though that the good weather and school holidays equals masses of families, dog walkers and cyclists all along the route. We negotiated the path without too much incident, loose and over-excited dogs were the main worry with the kids, but I was not to be put off as I know from past years that the outlet stream here leading into the river Derwent can be good for both Blue-tailed damsels and my particular favourite, the Banded Demoiselle.
On arrival at the little bridge over the stream, most noticeable was the number of tadpoles in there, it was absolutely wick with them. Good size as well, many with rear legs well developed I noted as I quickly scanned the waters. Looking around the vegetation I noted my first blue-tail, then another and another, but then the holy grail of damsels, a resplendent male Banded Demoiselle fluttered into view. Unfortunately the family had moved off due to a pack of dogs (some I was even scared of) running around and my 6-year old is really nervous of them, and my camera was in the little ’uns buggy. So the return journey I made a point in stopping here again, not so crowded now but the kids were tired, grumpy and restless, I took these record shots of the two new species but really just snaps, must have a trip along here and the river in the next week or so (on my own) when I can spend a bit of time to get some better shots from better angles. They’ll do for now though.
Blue-tailed damselfly  Ischnura elegans (male)
 another blue and black damsel but much different in appearance from the common blue and azure.

Banded Demoiselle Calopteryx splendens (male)

Superb creature, nothing to confuse it with in this area, my photo just doesn't do it justice. 

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