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Thursday, 27 June 2013

Broad-Bodied Chaser

Since I started to develop a passion for Dragonflies the weather for the past couple of years has not been on my side or more importantly in the favour of  Dragonflies, I have made a few outings this year  but not much activity so far the common species of damselfly are still in low numbers and I glimpsed my first Emperor of the year at East Cramlington . So the news of a Broad Bodied Chaser at Big Waters photographed by Alan J  had me up there the next day , a day of sunshine and cloud ,warm in the sun but cool in the shade John also keen to catch up with this  uncommon species at least to Northumberland ,was also present no sign of it at the small pools so we wandered around looking at the flowers till the sun reappeared and we headed back to the ponds and within a few minutes first a Four Spot then the male Broad Bodied Chaser which constantly chased the FSC if it came anywhere near its patch ,it gave cracking views as it posed on the overhanging vegetation but also disappeared rapidly if the sun went in . Alan J also arrived telling us how he first found and photographed it and getting the I.D. when he got home , also around my first few Meadow Browns of the year and a glimpse of a Small Skipper but some heavy cloud put and end to this and we wandered off for a walk. It was good to finally catch up with this species after about four years of trying .
Male Broad-Bodied Chaser
 Ragged Robin
 Broad Bodied Chaser ,I don't have a macro lens so can't capture all the detail I would like
 Again the sort depth of field leaves the tail slightly out of focus
 I find Dragonflies ever more fascinating and just love to preserve a moment frozen in digital pixels ,I'm sure they will become more common in the next few years.
 This had us puzzled at first , it was well over in the pond and I thought  fairly recently emerged and perhaps with a malformed wing or had it come into contact with the FSC as it definitely had pond water drops on it's wing . A Female Common Darter which just remained there
 The Four Spot Chaser one of up to three with a female ovipositing  briefly this is the only time it settled and in the grass and not on a Rush stem as is usual.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Coral Root Orchids

Today I  went to Gosforth Park nature Reserve to see the Coralroot Orchid as it has a good colony here.
I have mentioned "The Natural History Society" before and this is their site I have also mentioned it's well worth being a member for I think £30 per annum , If you read an advert  in a local wildlife magazine offering to show you Coralroot Orchid for a mere £30 you would think it good value, well join the society instead and you can visit the reserve as many times as you like ,plus their excellent library and programme of Summer outings and Winter talks.
Well the Orchids located but the day rather dull and me with only my large lens , most where in tight groups but spread over several yards, I know Orchids have a complicated life cycle but here the conditions must be just right ,will have to read up on these as I remember the ones I saw at Holy Island where in the open and not at the base of trees (unless there had been trees in the past.)
I walked around the path to the screen then onto the hide for my lunch several Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler ,Chiffchaff  and a couple of Blackcaps with a brief Garden Warbler singing , Jay GSW also heard and seen , along with Heron ,Blue Tits and |Great Tits and a Song Thrush giving it's fantastic musical repertoire . The nesting platform on the lake held about 6 pairs of BH gulls and I counted about 14 pairs of  Common Tern , several BH gull chicks around with three to the left of the hide which must have swam from the platform , 30+ House Martins with several Swallows and 3-4 Swifts all hawking the area  it's always worth an hour or so in the hide. 
 Taken with miphone4u
Taken with miphone4u

Coralroot Orchid

 That Shoveller can't be comfortable on that post ?
 Three BH gull chicks they spent there time swimming amongst the reeds  till the parent returned, but no insects for them to peck at !
 Common Terns fishing in front of the hide and very good they where to!

Monday, 10 June 2013

A 12 something Cycle ride

Another Sunny day that's a few days in a row just like the olden days , I took to the bike today  to both do some birding and look for dragonflies nothing exciting on the birding side although I noted the farmer seemed to be going to some expense to rid the field at Newsham of the large pond that had formed so that will put paid to the wader passage and the gull roost  again first site I checked for dragons nothing at all there are numerous Northern Marsh Orchids coming through though very small and stunted , but there was plenty of Damsels with Large Reds and Common Blues in tandem and numerous of both species in the teneral stage . My first Four Spot Chaser of the year but it would not settle and I had to wait till it did after about 15 mins , on the Butterfly side only a couple of Wall Browns (there was also a few out on the coast Saturday) ended up at East Cramlington  which is an odd place sometimes its good but very little there today , a pleasant day out my bike computer logged 12  but I'm not sure if it's miles or Kilometres 

Large Red Damsel fly which seems covered in Pollen probably why they don't often land on Buttercup
 Common Blue
 Large Red Male and the attached female (male grasps female around the neck with special appendages )
 Four Spot Chaser it can be common at some sites
 This Male Stickleback  using this curled leaf as a potential nest site

Friday, 7 June 2013

Swifts -Meet and Greet

A short video of the Swifts in the loft the usual scream as they meet , the quality is not good I am trying to record in different formats to improve the capture rate, working with video is a nightmare there are so many formats , you have to accept these are taken in total darkness,it looks as though they can see each other but they can't that's why there is so much "touchy feely", I may try and introduce a very low light source at some stage . Towards the end you can just see the egg ,how they don't get trampled and broken is purely down to egg design , ain't nature marvellous 

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Time to put something new on type post !!!!(2)

A run out on the bike the other day as it was sunny for a change my first Damsels of the year with Large Red  & Azure  and a Speckled Wood these where at an old reservoir yet a similar site held none but it did have a Common Tern drop in catch a fish and sit with two mallard while it digested it and preened  eventually lifting circling a couple of times and then dropped and came up with another fish which it flew off with probably for it's mate .
On St Mary's Island where four seal pups one of which was just released ,they put up a sign and cordoned off the area so as not to disturb it but this just attracted lots of people curios to see what was going on the other three where just lying well up on the rocks behind the Lighthouse, the wetland area held nothing at all which was a bit disappointing .So June is a good time to look for Dragonflies "if" the weather is right nice warm sunny days  with the occasional cloud cover  so that patrolling species such as Emperor rest up now and then so you can perhaps get the odd photo , not today by the look of it , another cool overcast day !!!

 Taken with miphone4u
 Taken with miphone4u
 Taken with miphone4u
Taken with miphone4u