27 July, 2013


A very pleasant surprise this week, with not one but two Common Darter emerging from the Pond! An interesting exuvia appeared yesterday and then this morning a female was caught in the act. Hopefully, some nice photos will appear at some point.

Common Darter and exuvia

How's that for a textbook shot?
[If they were properly sharp..]

While the darter got away, rain intervened and took out her exuvia while I was putting my camera away - drat! I did get the other one, and had lots of fun trying to confirm the ID - Common vs Ruddy is not easy [especially when the dratted thing has the temerity to not conform to what the book says it should..] and without seeing the dragonfly I needed to be sure.

Another nice surprise was my first ever Swallowtail Moth, in the canteen at work! No phones allowed, so not even a crappy shot, alas, as it sat wonderfully and was a nice intact one.. Ah well.

On to today, with nice overcast weather with enough breeze to put a crimp in my plan to go chasing odonata. Well, I decided, as it was about 10° cooler [at last] I ought to do some of the other things I gave up on during the heatwave.. I went for a wander up on't Moor!

This took in both river valley, and high moor. The reason I'm not being specific is because of this little beauty [the bird, not the shite phonebinned pic!];

Dipper strikes a pose

Being S1 as well as wonderful, and it still being breeding season, you're not even getting a river! [Sorry]

I did see a few hardy dragons and butterflies - Golden-rings and a female Common Hawker, with no butterflies beyond the standard - and met a few Horseflies [bastards] causing me to be a little more rapid now and again than I would have liked. Star bird was a Peregrine! [[This 'no places' thing really has it's uses]] Which I encountered twice, both times perched! Utterly beautiful... :) I even got a photo, but alas it's a place-identifiable one [if you know t'Moor very well] so you're spared it [[It's also awful, but when does that stop me ;) ]]. Coming a very close second was a cute little juvie Whinchat, in a new Whinchat location [for me, anyway].

I covered a bit of ground, got some much-needed exercise [oh those hills hurt too much..], and generally had a good time. If not for the humidity, it would have been perfect walking conditions, and if not for the wandering showers, perfect viewing conditions. I can say that at one point I laid eyes on Fraggle Rock*, which isn't bad going! I also didn't get bitten by anything [though a mozzie got me last night - bastard!] or stung by the mob of jaspers that descended upon me at one point.

Now, if only that Swinhoe's would turn it's pretty little face this-a-way...

Let's see.. 'Petrels Night and Day', check. SWBCM, check. All I need is a waterproof portable CD player and I'm in business!  :D

[[*So that's 9 possible rivers - I think that's cryptic enough :) ]]

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