The front garden is like the proverbial jungle at the moment. I don't dislike gardening that much but to be honest I've a lot of better things to do with me life than keep it perfect, and whereas the bloke next door has mowed his four times in the last fortnight (get a life man), this was the first cut this year for our front lawn.
But karma paid me back for my pains when sweaty and aching (too much information sorry) I heard a croaky screech up in the sky which woke me up as it suddenly registered as being a common tern, I looked up just in time to see it weave its way over the trees at the bottom of the road. Gettin! A garden lifer!
I finished about half one, and with the sun still beating down I had a quick cuppa (there's always time for a cuppa) and biked off to Clockburn Lake outlet stream with the target of Blue-tailed damsel in mind, as this is the best spot for them locally and in previous years they've been out by the end of May. The smell of wild garlic along the derwent walk track was really strong in the muggy heat of the day, loved it.
First look at the stream drew a blank. I tried the outer stream which to be honest is no longer a stream as the latest floods have damned it up so it no longer reaches the river. Loadsa tadpoles in it still though. I searched the riverbank for banded demoiselle but no surprise its a bit early still for those.
I next tried the inner stream and after a bit of searching finally found my first Blue-tailed Damsel of the season, a teneral male :
|Teneral male blue-tailed damsel|
Males all start off this colour whereas the
females have a few variations.
As usual that opened the floodgates and before long I had about a dozen individuals, mostly immature or teneral but finally a couple of mature males with the bright blue tail band. A cracking little damsel.
|Looks like an immature male but is in fact a female, told by the |
appendages at the rear and slight difference in segment markings
|Another teneral male|
|At last, a bright blue mature male|
|And another, the tail-band |
doesn't half stand out in flight
So after I'd reeled off enough photos I went back and sat on the bridge while I had a drink of much needed water (really hot here with little breeze to cool down) and couldn't believe my luck when I got my eyes on a flying damsel which turned out to be a Large Red! Bonus. It perched too distant for photos from the bridge so I walked stealthily along the bankside and got a cracking snap.
|First successfully hunted Large Red damsel of 2013|
Turned out to be a great day, a garden lifer and now three of the Gateshead super-sixteen successfully photographed.