16 August, 2013

That Friday Feeling!

Ah, the Joy of Nights..

I even got in a couple of hours shuteye this morning, before the sunshine arrived and I sprang into action! Time's been a' wasting and I needed to get to Smallhanger before the quarry and mine destroy it all* the temperature drops and the massed hordes of dragons vanish for another year. Yes, there's lovely wonderful Summer Shutdown coming in a week, but a week's a long time in many fields, so it made sense to use a warm sunny day while I had one.

Or maybe that should have been IF I had one.. Despite setting off in sunshine and it being sunny most of the way there, on arrival at Drakeland Corner it was very overcast, windy, and then it started raining! Undeterred [vexed and muttering, yes, but undeterred] I pressed on, and eventually the sun did come out to play and it got all hot and everything :)

Here Be Dragons, it says on my map, and this is true, with 13 species of odonata on display; not bad for Smallhanger, pretty damn good for almost everywhere else. My primary aim was the ongoing unsanity of trying to get photos of all of Devon's Dragons - Small Red and Scarce Blue-tailed were the targets. What happened? Well, after much hunting, many many near-misses [they do it deliberately, I'm sure of it], and almost as many near-sinkings, I have - I sincerely hope - got them both. Maybe. We shall see; this post may at some point sprout pictures...

And here they are!

Male Small Red Damselfly 
[Vaguely in focus - sod it, that'll do!]

Spot the damsel....

Here it is!
Male Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly.

I don't have time to go into as much detail as I'd like right now - this pesky irritation called 'The Real World' keeps getting in the way - so I'll cut short and only add that there were lots of butterflies too, including very nice Wall, Grayling, Small Heath, and Small Copper. Birds included parties of passing Swallows, an overflying Tripit, and a family of Bullfinches with at least 5 juveniles! :)

Ooh, yes, on Wednesday morning there must have been a fall in the gunky drizzle overnight, as a cracking Willow Warbler was in the Garden! :D Also 3 brand new juv Blackbirds, a juv Greenfinch, and the 20-odd juv Sparrows - quite a mix!

[[*The neighbouring clay pit has extended to destroy the best single pond - the one where I got those shots of Black Darters - and the mine, when it reopens, will apparently close the traditional access route.]]

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