Friday, 11 November 2016

Review - June 2016

An early morning walk to Far Pasture on the 3rd almost presented me with some dew-covered damsels to photograph, though alas just a bit too late, plenty of dew on the grass but the damsels were just warming up, though the pallid colours in the cool morning air was something strikingly different to photograph.

Shame it had been such a dull morning, those photos could have been a lot better.

One thing I do look forward to each June is a walk along the Derwent for Banded Demoiselles, one of my all-time favourite creatures, but this year proved very disappointing. Reports from Lamesley had many a demoiselle showing on the River Teams, but the Derwent was totally different, with just the occasional brief and distant sighting at the Hagghill hotspot, and none to be found anywhere else on the 7th and 8th.
The rains came after that, and the middle part of June was a mix of showers and overcast conditions, so I didn't manage another outing until the 23rd, when temperatures soared as the sun appeared again after a two week absence. Stargate was the venue, Chasers were my target, and a cracking session it turned out :

Emerging Common Darters, this one a female

Broad-bodied Chaser, this female having a rest after ovipositing

Profile view of same individual

Males were more flighty but posed for a few more 'arty' shots

Four-spot Chasers were even more flighty but this one stayed still long enough to snap

More mixed weather followed but a bit of good luck on the 28th when a chance visit to Thornley Woods Pond brought a couple of emerging Southern Hawkers early afternoon. Conditions worsened by the time I left, and it also rained most of the next day as well. So when I returned on the 30th I was surprised to find those same two hawkers still in the same positions as I'd left them 48 hours earlier, but with the temperatures now soaring again, there were a total of six southern Hawkers in various stages of emergence, plus a handful of unattended exuviae from those already flown.

Southern Hawker male on the 28th

Southern hawker female on the 28th

Same Southern Hawker male on the 30th 

Female on the 30th

Male again on the 30th

Close-up of male again on the 30th

A superb end to the month, just as well, as both weather-wise and sightings-wise June had been a bit of a damp squib.

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