22 August, 2011

I Didn't Expect That...

Well, I was going to get up this morning and most likely toss a coin on the Bonelli's. Unfortunately forgetting to turn it on a technical issue caused my alarm to not go off, so by the time I awoke it was far too late to make trolling west for 21⁄2 hours [plus traffic, and oh the traffic...] viable. Still, the sun was sort of shining it was warm and not that windy and while my not-going-twitching choice of Smallhanger was also not practical, I could still go looking for dragons closer to home.

Stover was, as you'd expect, full of people walking their dogs and⁄or kids, but I still managed to see some good stuff and it was worth the trip. :) Bird-wise the undoubted highlight and so very good to see was the pair of GC Grebes accompanied by a juvenile! :D I'm just over the moon for them - they're gorgeous and so confiding, its great they've finally succeeded!


Odonata-wise I did pretty good too, with 10 species getting my Not-Being-Chased Yearlist up to a creditable 25. What looked and flew very like a Ruddy Darter lost me on the canal before I could get a look at the thorax sides to confirm, so the Dragon of the Day award and blog title-giver goes to a lovely female Golden-ringed, which I was delighted and surprised to watch ovipositing [and the books do not prepare you for the sight of a Golden-ring ovipositing, they're like flying pneumatic drills!] in the little pondy bit opposite the Dragonfly Pond! Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but Golden-rings are dragonflies of gravel-bottomed streams, they like overhangs and cold flowing water, not shallow muddy heat-trap ponds full of weed?!? A male Common Darter [lots about - the most common dragon] tried to have a go at her [["Git orf ma' pond ya varmint!"]] and almost got eaten for his efforts...

A Migrant Hawker lurked about the far end of the canal, along with a half dozen Beautiful Demoiselle, which looked fabulous in the dappled sunlight. A smart Southern Hawker paid a few visits to the Dragonfly Pond, and a few Common Hawkers roved around. Emeralds were the most common damsels, with a few Blue-tails and just the odd Azure and Common Blue remaining.

On a less pleasant note, my big lens has seemingly jammed solid - its always been prone to sticking when knocked, but I've previously been able to straighten it out; now it just won't move at all, to zoom or focus... Drat. So I have a choice to make - get another one [ if I can find a manual Pentax-fit lens that's good for shooting dragons and very slow birds but doesn't cost a fortune] or say "Ok, time to put film behind me and spend far too much money on a digital setup..."

What to do, what to do.....

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