15 July, 2013


I'm going to keep the moaning brief;

It's just too hot and too dry. Pleeeeease can we have some nice seawatching weather for the weekend????

Right then.

Saturday saw - yes, you guessed it - Another Bug Hunt. Not taking my utter dip of Southerns the week before lying down, I tried Somewhere Else. Hopefully the pics will come out, because I scored Big Time!  :D  Never mind one or two, they were the most numerous odonate present! Also on site in good numbers were Keeled Skimmers, with a few Black-taileds also. A couple of Broad-bodied Chasers held onto the only proper water bodies and at least 3 Golden-ringeds were very mobile. I had hoped for other scarce damselflies, but aside from one Scarce Blue-tailed - which settled next to a pair of Southerns as I was lining up on them, making me miss them as I went "!", then lose it as I looked for them... - I struck out. Large Reds, yes, and a pool covered in Azures, too.

Speaking of Azures, when I got home I found a poor male Azure dead in the greenhouse... He'd desiccated and become almost black, making me wonder quite what species it was; at first sight he looked like a Blue-tail! Good light and my handlens the next morning revealed the truth.

Getting back to the day out... The relentless sun eventually drove me to give up my hunt after about 3 1/2 hours and seek shade. I found some with a view [bonus!] and stayed put a few hours more, hoping something might fly past. 2 Kestrels, 2 Buzzards, 3 Ravens, a whole heap of immature large gulls, and a paraglider twice! The latter at point-blank range [just before he crashed landed], then climbing past me to fly again. That's dedication in 31° heat.....

On my way home, following a delivery van gave me the opportunity to go "!!!" at the thermometer hitting 36° in more than one sheltered sunny spot, with the worrying phenomena of melting tarmac to go along with it... The road looking shiny in the heat is nothing new, but hearing what seemed to be the sound of water under my tyres at the same time was. Then noticing said van was leaving tread marks! I backed off a long way [not wanting a car covered in tar, thank you very much..] and wondered to myself just how many corners they cut to make the road surface dissolve in, let's face it, not entirely unlikely temperatures.

After all that excitement, I couldn't face more heat and spent Sunday cowering in the shade... I do have Garden stuff to report; odd visits by Green and Gold finches being good, but the early morning sight of at least 17, yes 17 juvenile House Sparrows [must be simultaneous fledgings] was brilliant! It's been a long while since a Sparrow count went over 20... :D

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