Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Fizzling out . . . .

The dragonfly season seems to be fizzling out, though a bit of decent weather early week let me do a brief round of the local sites in hope of a decent send-off.
Thornley Woods Pond still had patrolling southern hawkers (3 males) and a common hawker. No females seen though and frantic searching by the males didn't help matters for photography.

A search of Kite Hill and Clockburn Lake for migrant hawkers proved disappointingly fruitless. Usually a good area to find them hawking the trees especially round the base of the hill but none at all showed in the time I was there, and sad to see the outlet stream now totally lifeless; the blue-tailed damsels which entertained me during the summer now just a fond and distant memory.

Far Pasture was more lively. Like late season last year a mating frenzy was in full swing on the main pond, must have been over 30 pairs of common darters ovipositing, by far the most I've seen here all year. A couple of migrant hawkers (males) also on the pond, plus a single southern hawker, also male.

Another migrant hawker provided good entertainment as he hawked the area outside the sewage-work gates, low down and offering cracking views as he buzzed me time and again, though wouldn't oblige for photographs. A common hawker also came through the car-park, and a southern hawker was patrolling the forbidden pond, but surprisingly few common darters here.
Common darters also less numerous on the roadside fences, (probably 'cos they were all on the pond doing what comes naturally) and another male migrant was hawking the bull field.
So plenty of dragons about at Far Pasture anyway, but once again no sign of any female migrants or ruddy darters so with little in the way of unusual or exciting I pretty much kept my camera in the bag for most of the day.

But a great bit of fox-watching last night as our front garden was visited four times in a short space of time around 11pm. Sightings were never more than a minute long and mostly in shadow, but at times were only a matter of six feet away through our front window. The last sighting involved the pair in a high-speed chase up the street, and a local cat also got involved with a bit of bravado, the fox exiting after a brief stand-off. Great stuff :)    

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