Friday, 7 September 2012

The Mysterious Obelisk

The second part of my dragonhunting adventure on Wednesday took me to Far pasture (again? well it was on my way home so a shame not to go on such a belter of a day) just to see if I could get some better pics of Ruddy Darter, and at last I found a specimen which didn't flee at the sight of me so was able to get some much improved photos on my earlier attempts :







No fewer than eleven Common Darters scattered around the area too (9m 2f), and this overcooked female not only allowed me to get right close up, she also flew up and landed on my shoulder!


I was also lucky enough to record a bit of behaviour not previously seen this year as one common darter, presumably overheating in the exceptional early afternoon sunshine assumed the 'Obelisk' position, ie pointing the tip of its abdomen directly at the sun, so vastly reducing the surface area affected by direct sunlight. And in such great conditions with the sun behind me I got some cracking photographs as it performed the manoevre on the roadside fence.

The Obelisk
You can see how high the sun was in the sky by the angle
of the abdomen
Giving it a sense of place with the ruin of
Gibside Manor in the background
Or was he just mimicking the Gibside Column of Liberty
also visible in the background?   
Just liked the overall look of this image

And a not often seen view of the underside of the abdomen, as well as
the red wing veins showing up unusually well in the bright sunlight.

Finally I spotted an immature male Ruddy Darter a bit further along the fence and got a decent shot of him too.


So a nice way to finish a good day all round, especially after starting early morning with an unexpected and unlikely garden bird life-tick when this beaut of a Northern Wheatear was discovered sitting on the top of the safety net on the kids trampoline. Amazing!  : )


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