Thursday, 6 June 2013

The weather today was identical to yesterday, after a cool, windy and mostly cloudy start, the sun broke through and it became sunny and warm  :-)

The coolness of the morning kept most of the birds very quiet, my early morning visit to the College Grounds once again producing very little of note. A pair of BULLFINCH was seen along Ashes Lane, and a LITTLE OWL flew from the old shack that is in the Ashes lane Field, another was on its usual perch on the Greenhouse roof, two SPARROWHAWKS and a KESTREL were up hunting over Migrant Alley, where the female MANDARIN DUCK flew over heading for the Wet Woods.

I had a long breakfast when I got home from the early walk, and waited for the day to warm up a bit before going over to the Lakes and Scrubby Woods. I arrived at 10:00hrs and was soon hunting for Damsels as the birding is so slow at this time of year, mind you I did see a BUZZARD up overhead, and heard singing from CHIFFCHAFF, BLACKCAP, and SONGTHRUSH. I also came across the first fledgeling BLUE TITS of the spring, another successful breeder confirmed for my patch this year  :-) A JAYS nest was found with 5 eggs in, hopefully they will hatch out sometime this month.

The Damsel and Dragonfly search produced lots of Azures, Large Reds and two Broad Bodied Chasers, also a single Common Blue Damsel, my first of the year  :-)
Common Blue Damselfly
Common Blue damselfly
Later this afternoon I had another look for the Beautiful Demoiselles at the Wooded Headland, and found at least 10 again, I couldn't resist yet more photo's, especially of these now maturing females  :-)
Lovely Bronze coloured female Beautiful Demoiselle, Note the white spots on the wing tips
Female Beautiful Demoiselle
Not sure about this beastie, could be a May Fly ?
Here's a few Odonata shots from yesterday  :-) I'll post more during the coming week!
Mating Azure Damsels
This almost mature female Beautiful Demoiselle had two legs missing
A closer look at the missing legs!
It still caught and ate lunch though  :-)


Greenie said...

Warren ,
Getting good at this ID bit .
Your 'beastie' , according to my book , is the largest Mayfly - Ephemera danica . I read that those long front legs are to hold the female during pairing .
Of interest , the Ephemera part of the name comes from the Greek - ephemeros / living a day .

Warren Baker said...

Thanks for that Greenie, it must have flown over from the river Bourne, just 500 meters away. :-)

Chris Rohrer said...

Glad the sun cooperated a bit:) I remember last year being one rain storm after another:) Sounds like it has calmed down a little.

ShySongbird said...

Sorry not to have commented for a few days Warren, I struggle to keep up with you prolific bloggers. Lovely photos in all the posts though, you're certainly seeing lots of damsels and dragons now. The Beautiful Demoiselle is well named. I usually see a good number of those along the local canal.

Hope your mum is bearing up.

Jason K said...

A cracking set of damsel photos there Warren

Warren Baker said...

Chris, you have a good memory :-) last year was just awful!

Warren Baker said...

Hi Songbird,
Not surprised you cant keep up, not enough hours in the day at this time of year :-)

Phil said...

Nice Mayfly pic Warren. A lot of them about at the moment.. Trout fishermen call it duffer's fortnight when they are on the wing as the fish are easier to catch during prolific hatches.

Lee Dingain said...

Mayfly is definitely Ephemera danica. Nice shot!