Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Wind and the Willows . . .

Very windy this morning but otherwise not a bad day, probably not the best for a dragonhunt but I thought I'd have a look at Thornley Woods pond as I haven't been up for a few weeks, hoping for a bit of hawker action.
As I walked up, the sheltered part of Paddock Hill Woods held 2-3 common darters and possibly a migrant hawker but by the time I got to TWP the sun had disappeared and there was very little shelter as the wind whistled through.
First hint of sunshine and a couple of common darters appeared, but soon disappeared again with the sun. I then found a single azure damsel (m) sheltering in emergent vegetation but the wind and cover made it impossible to get a photo before I lost him too after a particularly bracing gust.
Wasn't much fun at all really and I was just set to go when a female Southern Hawker came in and began searching for places to lay eggs. I chased her around the pond margins in vain until eventually she settled on a floating log, where I was able to rattle a few shots off, but with conditions not exactly ideal no more than a record of the event.

Southern Hawker (female)
She was still hanging around the pond as I left, and I decided to call in on Far Pasture on the way home. The wind was just as bad here, in fact it must have been gale force during the night as a set of drawers seems to have blown out of someone's house and were now scattered along the side of the road :-(
Not much showing at all on the way down, so just a quick look on the pond and a chat with the ringers in the car-park, who were also having a poor day and were packing up early.
It looks like one of the home-made willow branch 'kingfisher perches' is taking root in front of the hide, which means that if someone doesn't remove it soon, there'll be a ruddy great tree blocking the view before long :-(
The ringers had netted a kingfisher this morning, and were just releasing a willow tit when I arrived, otherwise they'd only had a few chiffchaffs. I remembered to ask about the 'sibe' which had been ringed last winter, they said they netted six chiffys last winter, including a pale one, and put them all down as nominate race :-O

A few common darters showed on the way back up the road, and in the sheltered part of the saw-mill field at least three migrant hawkers (all males) were foraging but coming nowhere near close enough for a photo. Only this common darter on the fence posed for the camera, so I duly obliged.

Common Darter (male)



  1. Someone lost their drawers down at Far Pastures. Surely that's happened a few times Alan.

    1. Ha ha, that's right John, a couple of years back it was well known for it :-O.