Eventually I got up for a drink of water and saw it was quite bright outside for once, so decided there and then I may as well go out for a wander to see what was about at this time, and hopefully find some damsels covered in dew to photograph (though a bit of a longshot, I've never found any before).
The après-dawn chorus was in full throttle as I ambled along the Derwent Walk, many a common birdsong I recognised, resident and migrant, Blackbirds especially hammering out their woodwind warble at top volume.
A few rabbits in the fields, cock pheasants also, and at Far Pasture a small roe deer at the far fence.
|A distant and blurry Roe Deer|
|Wonder what the conversation here was ?|
An early morning dog-walker ensured there wasn't much else to see, I let them pass me before climbing the fence to look at my 'damsel patch' in the cow-field.
Alas the misery moos have found it too, the lush vegetation only half the size I expected it to be, tops all neatly bitten off, and a large glistening chod smack in the centre left as a calling card.
|Oh no! My lush damsel patch has been half-eaten and trampled :-O|
|Spot the steaming great chod|
I jumped back to the road and headed for the pony-field gate for a search there, but found my dog-walker stood there gazing over the fence so continued past and had a look on the pond.
Tufty, dabchick, mallard and ducklings, reed bunt, grey heron flew in. A fairly quiet 10 minutes then back-tracked to the car park to listen to the warblers, all in fine voice. Couldn't make up my mind whether a gropper was reeling or was it just my tinnitus kicking in. I'll never know.
|Grey Heron was the only action on the pond|
I saw matey boy and his mutt disappearing back along the track so finally sauntered along to the gate, where a quick scan of the thick veg over the fence revealed a little cluster of damsels, gettin!
Unfortunately the early morning dew was now just mainly on the grass, a couple of individuals still had a slight covering which admittedly looked splendid, and I was fascinated to see another change in colour of these cool, pallid specimens.
I filled me boots with photos without capturing any of the glistening dewdrops, all the best ones just out of range over the barbed wire for decent photos, but viewing them through the Papilios still gave a few wow moments, and the closer docile damsels allowed me to reach out with the camera and get some unusual shots of this glistening early morning show.
|Plenty of dew on the first one, but the bugger crawled out of sight before I could reel a shot off|
|At this point the colours were baffling and ID was tricky, but mostly Azures|
|Salmon pink thorax on the female left, one of just a couple of Blue-tails (centre)|
|As you can see, the Blue-tail had a hanger-on|
|From this angle a male Azure, which fell off just after I took this shot|
|Very pale male Azure with female below|
|looks like a rufescens Blue-tail from this angle|
but was a female azure
|Had I got this female a little earlier it surely would have been covered in dew|
|Different view of the first female, superb colours|
|Scattered group shot|
|Pale grey male and pale green female|
|Spotted this feller later on, seemed to be fully warmed up but still docile to allow a close shot.|
|A few droplets on the leg, unusual angle|
|Here he is again, waving goodbye.|
Very happy with what I'd seen (as I really wasn't expecting to find anything) I started my way back home, my enemies showed well at the pond -field, now revealing they had a calf with them, that's all I need, a protective mother the size of a . . . , well, large cow, to contend with.
|Two cows and a calf, Jerseys I reckon, and the big 'un on the left was giving me some very dirty looks.|
|Enemies at the gate, hmmm . . . good title for a film|
Another Roe Deer in the bottom field, different from the one earlier, this one a little buck with his little antlers on show; then another large doe along the Derwent walk.
|Young buck judging by his size and the antlers|
|Large, fit looking doe about three fields away from the others.|
Back home by 8 o clock, wondering if I might have got some dew shots if it wasn't for that pesky dog-walker delaying me for about 20 mins, but really I couldn't have missed some potentially cracking shots by much, and I reckon getting out at least an hour earlier might be the best way. . . . if I can be arsed to get out of bed that is, 'cos I'm shattered now. Have to try it one morning soon though ;-)