Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Repeat Performance

Much the same as yesterday, duties done this morning, sun started to shine, needed to go out for another try for the Banded Demoiselles.
Walked up to Hagghill Demoiselle Viewpoint (my new name for it) which took just over half an hour from home (expected a lot longer) but in the heat I was pretty knackered by the time I got there around 1.15pm.

Sadly it was pretty much a wasted journey, the only sightings were on the opposite bank of the river, of 3 males and 2 females. Nice to see but no good for photos, as my only record shot will prove :

Yip, best I could do from distance :-(

Avian highlights while I stood vigil were a flypast kingfisher, the discovery of a grey wagtail nest, feeding common terns and assorted hirundines dipping in for a drink.
Disappointing really, it was just a few days later last year when there were many demoiselles here, not sure if the floods have had an adverse affect on the larvae (i.e. washing them away) or it's the two year cycle effect. In both 2013 and 2015 there were very good numbers at this stretch of river, in 2014 it was a bit like so far this year, though it's hard to get a true picture from just a couple of visits each season. But I'll give it a couple of weeks and have another look I think :-/
It was around 2.30 before I decided it wasn't going to get any better so began to head home, taking in Clockburn Lake on the way.

Common Tern fishing here too, and a couple of Sedge Warblers singing but not showing. Once again plenty of damsels on show, more than yesterday in fact, but no demoiselles. A few of interest though :

Blue-tailed Damsels in the mating wheel, the female is a mature rufescens-obsoleta form

Azure damsel mating wheel with green form female

Teneral male Common Blue damsel, first time I've photographed this stage I think

A very striking violacea form Blue-tailed female
Can't remember ever seeing one such a deep purple colour
The photograph doesn't do it justice.

From above, such a Deep Purple I almost expected to see Smoke on the Water 

Another cracking example of rufescens immature form

A teneral Blue-tailed female of the rufescens form  
Quite a nice selection of different forms there, Clockburn Lake meadows delivers again.
Getting late now so power-walked (sort of) the rest of the way home without any further stops. Not seeing much new this week but getting plenty of exercise, so not a complete loss :-)



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