Tuesday, 29 September 2009

No dragons but.....

'Trapped' at head office today in Devizes, but coming back from the car mid morning I disturbed a Hummingbird Hawkmoth which was nectaring on a clump of Valerian by the office wall. It flew up just above the first floor window level and proceeded to sunbathe. Luckily I had my camera with me and got some distant [even for my zoom!] shots. Some interested colleagues saw it too. Unfortunately it flew off before giving the opportunity for in-flight feeding shots. Amazingly this is my first sighting this year! No repeat of the fly-by Southern Hawker there a couple of weeks ago.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Late dragons and predators

As you may or may not have noticed I haven't posted for some time! A combination of a torn shoulder muscle and crushed nerve, starting a new job and unsuitable weather when on my days off!
Anyway, today I managed to squeeze in a short 1 hour visit to a local pond I only discovered this year at the Woodland Trust's Warneage Wood at Lower Wanborough.
It's a small round pond approx. 8 metres across.
In the glorious Autumn sunshine [20degC!]I watched 3 male Southern Hawkers battling it out for territorial rights over the limited surface area while a lone female quietly sneaked in to lay eggs unseen and unmolested [but unfortunately too obscured by vegetation to provide a decent image]. These males quite often approached me so close that they were inside my closest focussing distance!
Also present was a lone male Migrant Hawker and two male Common Darters.
Another male had unfortunately become lunch for one of the bankside spiders!
While on the subject of predators; I was pondering the absence of any damselflies when what should drop in but a fabulous Grey Wagtail - the arch nemesis of all damselflies [and some dragonflies if they aren't careful...]. So I'm guessing that this bird may have 'hoovered up' all the remaining late damsels!?
A supporting cast of calling Buzzards overhead and a fly-by Comma made this a delightful short tranquil interlude in an otherwise hectic weekend.
Make the most of the sun - it's changing by the end of next week...