Sunday, 11 August 2013

Rain almost Stops Play . . .

Last thing I expected when I went out in bright sunshine late morning was a soaking but another quest to find Ruddy Darter at Far Pasture resulted in three . . . soakings that is, not ruddys.

Short sharp showers meant rain stopped dragonhunting before it moved on to stop play at the Ashes test a few miles away in Chester-le-Street. So I spent more time in the hide than anticipated, spooking a Roe Stag in the car park on the way; a momentary stand-off as I approached the entrance, standing his ground in the centre of the car park, good set of antlers, probably the biggest I've seen on a Roebuck, but he soon turned and fled, no chance of a photo.

Only an Emerald damsel showed on the pond, but hirundines aplenty, a couple of green sands and a sheltering buzzard were the birdy highlights, and more ducks than an England scorecard at the moment.
In between showers I went roadside to try and track down the elusive ruddy, the area before the bend in the road has always been good for basking ruddys, but any sort of dragon was slow to come out today, maybe only 8 or 9 common darters along the whole stretch, a few more males today though, and a female with a big nose (?)






who are you calling beaky?

As suspected the forbidden pond is now fenced off, though still easily viewable from the new fence I suspect, but all the surrounding rough areas are being fenced off so the field can be used to house cattle I hear :O a much better deterrent than barbed wire I suspect.
A well camouflaged moth has caused another quandry for me, any pointers in the right direction welcome.

Another handsomely marked moth for my
unidentified collection

A good period of sunshine before I left meant a common hawker (male) arrived briefly on the scene, chased off by a butterfly of all things ! (the shame of it)
But the session ended on a high as my first Migrant Hawker started quartering the field in front of me, a pale-marked individual, not sure if because it was an immature or just affected by the cool of the day. Nice to see all the same, but as I lost it when someone pulled up for a chat, no photos of that one either.
Still, week 3 of the hols ends on a bit of a high, but ruddys will have to wait.            

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