Thursday, 26 June 2014

In Your Face, damsels . . .

Must admit I'm a bit lost without Far Pasture to scuttle down to when I have a couple of hours to spare, but only two weeks to go before the roadworks are finished (according to the signage) and so making do with Thornley Woods pond at the minute, which has produced just Azure and Large Red damsels (and a single blue-tail) to date, but just waiting to catch some Southern Hawker emergence, and with about half a dozen exuvia scattered about it shouldn't be long.

Today the damsels (along with the sun) were in hiding most of the time I was there but there were plenty to be found on the pond-side grasses and brambles, with the overcast conditions keeping them grounded for long periods.

A bit of searching revealed plenty of damsels

With a bit of synchronized perching thrown in

But this enabled me to get close-up to a couple of individuals and potentially some cracking shots. Unfortunately (sorry to keep harping on) the Kodak just isn't up to the job and I'm a bit disappointed with the results, which I have to say looked a lot better in the viewfinder at the time.

An aggressive-looking Large Red

Wing-spreading seems to be a sign of aggression
but I managed to get right in the face of this feller. 
Don't often get up-close face-on with a blue, they're usually
more wary than the reds. 


But this one was quite happy for a close-up,
shame my camera wasn't.

There wasn't much else doing but the sun got out just before I was about to leave so I hung about a bit longer, and saw a teneral hawker making its maiden flight from the rough at the back of the pond. I tried to track it through the trees as it slowly fluttered off but despite thinking I had it pinned down, I was unable to relocate it when I moved around. Shame that.
I presume it was a Southern Hawker as to my knowledge they are the only (hawker) species which breed there, though Common Hawker males have been seen patrolling the last couple of summers.

A pleasant enough little session then, though my jinx continued on the way home as the top came off the kids water-bottle I had borrowed in my backpack, soaking my hat, notebook and binoculars (no harm done), though the camera escaped a wetting this time.    

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