Anyway a new Gateshead site for me as we visited Milkwellburn Woods where Steve had a singing tree pipit earlier in the week. No luck for us today though, but a good trek around the woods gave us pleasantly surprising views of an early Hawker dragonfly along one of the rides.
It takes a while to get your eye in after not seeing any for a long while and was difficult to make a positive ID as it was very flighty and windy too. A couple of brief fixes on it made us conclude it was a common hawker, certainly a pale blue/black mosaic though it looked rather small, but like I say it takes a while to get your eye in again on jizz.
It disappeared after a strong gust of wind (not from me) but this is the spot it was at :
|Common Hawker at Milkwellburn Woods?|
(looks similar to tree Pipit ;)
At the recently formed (by DWT) pond our luck got even better as a female Broad-bodied Chaser suddenly swept into view, settling for a photo opportunity close but semi-hidden in the tall grass around the pond. Got some fairly decent pics tho, and first B-b C (f) seen this year so a great find.
|Broad-bodied Chaser (female)|
Thought it was a giant wood wasp when it first came into view
|But it settled nicely for a few pictures|
|Just a shame it was partly obscured|
Also on the pond were a few large red and azure damsels, pick of which was this tandem pair of azures, the female being the uncommon (around 10%) blue form.
We decided to give Far Pastures a try (again for four-spot chaser) as the sun was shining but stars on the pond today were a family of three kingfishers (though we only saw two) and this time I managed to get some pictures of the actual bird rather than just its reflection.
|Kingfisher (male) |
same perch as the other day
|Now in front of hide for better views|
|Caught him just as he came out of the water and|
back on tothe perch.
|Best pose of the day, superb colouring in the sunlight|
Before we left I had a cheeky look at the Forbidden Pond and to my great surprise found a male Broad-bodied Chaser patrolling. Excellento! And I couldn't believe my luck when he eventually settled for some cracking pics just in front of me. Result !
|What a result, male and female at two different sites|
|Best shot of the year so far of this particular species|
So a day of surprises, and other things I learned today were ; It takes five years to grow a saleable xmas tree (don't ask) and some people will actually steal a bag of sh**e (ask Steve)
So turned out to be a cracking session. Cheers Birdman !