Friday, 9 October 2015

Darting About in the Sunshine . . .

A return of the sunshine meant a return to Far Pasture after an almost two-week absence. It always amazes me (especially at this time of year) how after a period of bad weather and cold overnights lasting a few days, the minute the sun shines again the late-season dragonflies are back out in force. No specific target today as at this time of year you never know what you'll get so more of a dragon-safari than a dragon-hunt.

Though the forecast had been good, the reality today was a mix of sunshine and cloud, and a lot cooler than promised, but the darters were still out in good numbers. The heavy rain from the early part of the week meant the flash pool in the pony field had filled up again and several pairs of common darter were busy ovipositing when I arrived on site.
On the main pond a few pairs were doing likewise, and the Forbidden Pond was also busy while the sun shone.

Not many hawkers around though; a mig on the Forbidden Pond, a southern in the pony field, and a further 3 migs in the top field including a female.

Today was just a matter of enjoying whatever was on show, the late season mating frenzy of the common darters always brings opportunities for photos, so I just tried to get as close as I could to any darters along the fences, and with the cooler atmospheric conditions a few decided to put up with the intrusion of having the x-s1 shoved in their faces far longer than usual.
Results, some nice close-ups and a few where I could manipulate the actual shot, rather than shooting best I could from the angle of approach before the subject tires of me, which is what usually happens when the dragons are less docile in higher temperatures.
So here you are, possibly the last batch of the season, only time (and weather) will tell :

One of many mating wheels - not a great technical photo, just liked the colours and the composition 

This courting couple stayed put longer than usual, allowing me to vary the shots . . .  

. . . like focussing on the female . . .

. . . or focussing on the male . . .

. . . and moving in close . . .

. . . and closer . . .

. . . and even extremely close :-O

Lovely blue skies above this male on the fence

This feller seemed a tad shy

Looking happy to be out in the sunshine

just a beautiful day for basking

Older males showing a bit of wear and tear on the wings

Even this late still the odd immature male

Some pleasing results there, it always helps when I can actually balance the camera lens on the fence itself, and the good October light (not too strong like in high summer) aids in sharpness and exposure.
Another productive little session, hope it's not the last I see of the dragonflies this year, I'll keep trying 'til the end. :-)