24 July, 2020

I Just Happened To Be In The Area..

Last Friday I just happened to be in Exeter with some time to kill, and rather than go covid-baiting in the shops I took a wander down by the canal. Quite a way, as tends to happen when the feets get going..

I was hoping to see some nice odonates, with White-legged Damselfly and Banded Demoiselle of particular interest, what with not getting many [or indeed any] pictures of them, as you may have noticed.

It was rather warm, despite a nice breeze, and the hordes were out, but I persisted, and eventually saw a thing or two. First up, an educational dragonfly, which was defending an angling bay on the canal;

Black-tailed Skimmer

Wait.. whaaaaat?? You may be asking. You see a dark dragonfly with a blue abdomen and a v mark...
But look closer... That thorax is olive, not black. Those eyes are blue-ish jade, not blue turning grey, there is still the hint of a yellow costa, no black patches on the inner hindwings, and are those touches of orange spots down the abdomen sides? [They are]

Mature BTS acting in an un-BTS mode [should be basking on a nice exposed path and jinking about the place]. It wasn't alone, either. I counted another 6 doing the same thing. Not one actual Scarce Chaser from the overflow to the swing bridge. [Yet, we can hope for the future!]

What are up the canal as high as the bridge to Double Locks are these;

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Not to be confused with..

Blue-tailed Damselfly
Or, of course;

Large Red-eyed Damselfly

There's damselflies on them thar slime mats...


Further down, I found a likely spot [once I was finally clear of the hordes] and waited. A single White-legged Damselfly jinked over, settled, got buzzed by an Azure and vanished. That was it. Slightly better luck with these two;

Banded Demoiselle

Banded Demoiselle

Green tinge to the wings makes separation from Beautiful [brown tinge] easy. Note the obelsik position, used in hot weather.

Male in obelisk

[As opposed to the Obelix position, in which they carry a menhir...]

[Oh dear]

Wonder why they call then Banded...

Demoiselle means 'utter poseur', btw.

Speaking of posing..
teneral Azure Damselfly

This one had me going for a moment [or two]. Only when I got home and saw the pictures on a big screen did I go.. 'ah..'

Green-veined White

The Munch Bunch


Wild Teasel


Common Comfrey

Common Knapweed 
plus Harlequin ladybird

White Dead-nettle

We are legally obliged to show some gulls, especially as I spent some time - both ways - checking the overflow mob for anything interesting..

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Que-est que c'est?

2cy gull sp.

Hmm, what's this monstrosity???
The closest thing I could find to a decent gull, that's what. Always sat at an angle [it turned as I moved, the rotter], it's at least got the odd interesting feature to practice on, anyway...

Back to a bird that knew how to behave.

Grey Heron strikes pose

Right after I took this, a couple on a 2person kayak went right through that reflection [which is why it isn't mirror-perfect] and the heron didn't even twitch..

Despite the WLDs defeating me again, I think a few of those pics make the long amble in the blazing sunshine worth it. [Getting a free icelolly from HC helped, I must admit :D ]

Be Seeing You...

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