Thornley Woods Pond first stop, dunno why as it's been so poor this year, and apart from a common darter foraging along the path, no dragonflies at all showed on the pond, another mega-disappointment, though I'm wondering if maybe I should have tried mid-afternoon when the sun was at it's strongest rather than the cool late morning with shadows still covering half the pond.
Only the bird-life kept me interested for the half hour I gave it before moving on. A chiffchaff singing heartily, four mistle thrushes moving through the treetops, a couple of goldcrests flitting through and a GS Pecker bounding from tree to tree. A Speckled Wood was the only butterfly on view.
I walked down to Far Pasture hoping for better there, and a good start, as opposite the wood yard four Migrant Hawkers were on view, including a pair in the mating wheel, rising into the trees from the long grass.
Not much else along the road so I nipped into the hide after a chat with Roly in the car park. A good few tandem pairs of common darters was a welcome sight, maybe 20 individuals in all, and brief intermittent sightings of male migrant and southern hawkers but nothing remotely photographable.
|Blue tit from the car park - significant only because it isn't sporting a ring.|
Out of the hide again and the sun was stronger now in the early afternoon, though still a chill when the clouds came over. Nothing much along the road so I decided to have a look on the Forbidden Pond.
It's looking decent now with the late summer rains and a dozen or so common darters were present, mainly males but 3 or 4 ovipositing pairs, and two male southern hawkers skirmished briefly, the victor patrolling the pond unsuccessful in his search for a female.
|Best of the forbidden Pond - a couple of the more photogenic darters|
Back on the road again I checked out the corner area for Ruddy Darter, and lo and behold, found one on the fence.
|Ruddy Darter in the usual area|
|Had to take pics into the sun but some arty effects to be had|
|Liked this one as the wind tipped his wings|
I spent the rest of the time trying to get decent pics of common darters, but I don't know what it is about this year, all the pics are on the fence or on the road, getting one perched nicely on a tall plant stem with an uncluttered background has been nigh on impossible.
|Male sitting on the fence|
|Sitting on the side of the Fence|
|A tandem couple - also sitting on the fence|
|Close-up of the coupling action|
|The female, looking a bit past her best|
Final sighting was in the woodyard itself, just beyond the gate a male southern hawker was foraging very successfully in the sunshine. I watched him for a while in hope he would settle, but again nothing doing, and that was me lot.
Good session for observing, exceeded my expectations, but not too good for photos.