Dragons and Damsels
Today the sun was shinning and I only had a couple of hours spare, so I decided to have a stroll around my local patch. Its been a warm day in the twenties, with little or no wind and very little cloud cover. For me this meant one thing, Dragonflies and Damselflies. These have become my new obsession, so I set my self the challenge of looking down, instead of looking up which I invariably do on most of my walks.
Within the first 15 minute of my walk I came across this Dragonfly. This was about as far away from the Lakes as I could be without being sat in my home. I spent a while watching its activity in a woody area just behind the latest housing development. It eventually settled long enough for me to get a few photos before it vanished into the distance over field of barley.
I continued my walk to the lake, and on route I was distracted by numerous butterflies. Tortoiseshell’s in large numbers, Meadow Browns and one Large White, and there was also a Five Spotted Burnet posing nicely on a thistle. This has now got to be the most photographed day flying moth in the county.
When arriving at the lakes I notice plenty of activity in the water, with Carp rolling on the top with lots of smaller fish jumping. There was no sign of the local Kingfishers but there were lots of Damselflies and Dragonflies. Around the lake there were plenty of Azure and Common Blue Damselfly, many of which were in the process of reproducing. I Also had the pleasure of seeing Male and Female Broad Bodied Chasers patrolling the margins. I have seen Large Reds before and there were a few today, but I also added some new species Red-eyed, Blue Tailed Damselflies to my newly created Dragonfly and Damselfly list.
I also had the pleasure of the elegant Banded Demoiselle which are stunning when seen in the right light, the colours are truly amazing.
On the walk back I stumbled across a small patch of long grass in and amongst the nettles which had several Essex Skippers, which kept me amused for several minutes. Once they stopped battling with each other and settled they were suitably snapped for possible several frames too many.
Now this is where I thought the highlights of the walk would be over, but there was one more new tick for the patch list and this was the Common Blue butterfly. This took the total butterfly count to 8, which matched the Damsel and Dragonfly count for the day as well.
When someone next says there’s nothing to do. I would suggest getting up and going for a walk. There’s plenty to see and even better its free!