Hadn't been to Thornley Woods Pond for a while so made the 20 minute trek up there just in case an early southern hawker might be emerging (more in hope than anticipation).
There wasn't; but there was a good count of Azure damsels, though only a couple of females seen. Large reds were present in smaller numbers but a better ratio of males-females. The pond here is changing as I've said before, emergent grasses starting to choke the surface now and a tree poking out in the centre. Only time will tell what effect this has on the pond-life overall but I'm still hopeful for hawkers later in the season.
Best of the Large Red photos:
|Note the tiny water mites attached to the underside of |
the male's thorax, first I've noted since I wrote a piece on them
a couple of years ago, fascinating creatures in their own right :
There must have been 50+ azures on the pond, but only a couple of females seen, both attached to males. One couple in particular were continually pestered as they mated in the mat of emergent grasses :
|Nosey male having a furtive look at proceedings|
|This one having a good old gawp|
|Now a 'Peeping Tom'|
|Eventually the couple lowered themselves further into the grasses where it was a bit more private|
(apart from the dodgy-looking bloke with the camera).
|Standard male posing shot|
With only two species on site I decided a change of scenery was in order and trekked over to Far Pasture. Glorious sunshine all the way but alas, my jinx here continued as the cloud cover returned after only ten minutes, meaning the three male four-spotted chasers disappeared once again without coming to the perching sticks. Apart from that first visit I've had no luck here at all with the four-spots :-(
So it was another case of spot the damsel, plenty out in the marginal vegetation but I just concentrated on getting the best shots I could of the few individuals in decent view.
|Male azure in profile|
|Blue-tailed couple in mating wheel|
|Blue-tail making a nice contrast with the buttercup|
|Same Blue-tail seems to be making a naa naa na naa naa gesture|
|Tandem azures deep in cover waiting for the sun to shine again|
|"Typical bloke, always keeping me hanging on."|
Another pretty disappointing session in the end. It's all a bit samey at the moment, beginning to sound like a scratched record. More hopeful after seeing the forecast for next week, though I'm a bit busy so might not get out 'til early July now. At least there should be some new dragons out by then :-/