Thursday, 28 May 2015

For a bit of a change I had a day away from my patch, as I had the chance to visit both Stodmarsh Nature Reserve and Westbere.

I went with a new found friend, John, from oop north, whom I had shown round my patch yesterday, thanks for day out John! We set off to Stodamarsh first off, arriving at 06:30hrs, when it was quite cool and cloudy at first, but it brightened up a bit by 09:00hrs. The highlight here was seeing an OSPREY fly over, as well as watching 2 -3 MARSH HARRIERS about the reed beds, plus a KESTREL was also seen hunting, to make the raptor threesome.

The main course for the day though was to go and find some Dragons and Damsels at Westbere, where we arrived at 11:00hrs in some warmer but mostly cloudy weather, with just a few brief sunny spells. Our target species was the Scarce Chaser, and although one immature was seen by John, I failed to see it  :-(

We did see plenty of other Odonata though, in fact it was Odonata heaven!  here's some of the images that I got today.

 Almost Straight away we were treated to a Hairy Dragonfly eating its lunch, on the menu today was Banded demoiselle!

After it had munched through the head and Thorax, it dropped the wings, and pushed the abdomen into its mouth like log going through a timber mill!

In goes the Abdomen

It took less that a minute for the Hairy Dragon to scoff the Demoiselle

Gratuitous close up  :-)

One more  :-)

I was eager to get some Blue Tailed Damselfly images, a species that isn't common on my patch

I got more than I hoped for when I not only found these males, but also 2 of the 5 variant forms of females...........

............ these two images are of the form Rufescens.

..........this is the form Violacea

Right at the end of the visit we found a couple of Black tailed Skimmers, which we wrongly thought may have been Scarce Chasers, we also saw a freshly emerged Emperor Dragonfly, which I narrowly missed getting a photo of  :-)
EDIT:  Ive been reliably informed that the above is in fact a Scarce Chaser after all! A lifer for me  :-) Thanks Mr Heath  :-)


Marc Heath said...

A great day out at Westbere, I thought you would like it there. Sorry I couldn't meet up, family stuff!! your photo is an immature male Scarce Chaser. A lovely set of shots mate, well done.

Johnnykinson said...

My blog
Alan Mould

Great day out. Can't say any more than that really.

Warren Baker said...

Thanks for these John :-)

Fleetwood Bird Observatory said...

Stunning Warren, simply stunning!



Warren Baker said...

Thanks Seumus mate :-)

Mike Gould said...

Some great shots Warren, good to meet up this morning.

Pete Woodruff said...

Excellent day, images, and knowledge of what you were seeing and photographing Warren. I'm all round impressed despite MH having to put you right on the Scarce Chaser.

Wilma said...

Lunch with the dragon - great series. I am a sucker for the gratuitous closeups. ;-)

Warren Baker said...

Mike, yes it was good to see you ''for real'' LoL

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Pete, yes a lot to lean yet, thats what makes it so enjoyable :-)

Warren Baker said...

Wilma, I'll keep putting them up then :-)

Johnnykinson said...

That immature may have been a female. Will have to look closer at the anal appendanges.

Warren Baker said...

Good luck with that one John!

Alan M said...

Just to say what an outstanding set of photos Warren, no doubt I'll find a lot more hidden gems when I take a look at your galleries. Cheers

Warren Baker said...

Cheers Alan,
Very kind of you :-)