Monday, 10 June 2013

Sunshine came softly.

Well, what a week. Fabulous sunshine, great company, my little grandson and family on the door step and a couple of lifetime firsts to boot.

In a week where I drove best part of 800 miles you might think I wouldn't have had chance to do much photography, but I did squeeze in two complete days with the camera, one of which was a day with Mr Carey. I drove up to meet him in Silverdale, Lancashire. He was up there doing orchids and butterflies.

We met at Leighton Moss RSPB reserve but were soon on the road to a couple of locations for orchids, one of which produced lifetime firsts for me of, Ladys slipper Orchid and Duke of Burgundy butterfly.

Back at Leighton Moss and refreshed with a brew we watched the Avocets and their chicks. Mr Carey kindly treated me to tea at the Silverdale hotel and I left him at about 8pm and headed home, chuffed at both seeing him for the first time for ages and for having had a great day.

As previously mentioned, my daughter and her family were holidaying at Rhyl for the week. I went down to Hereford to collect them on the Monday and on Wednesday I went and spent a few hours with them. We went to the Welsh Mountain Zoo at Colwyn Bay. Now I'm not a great lover of zoos. I do appreciate that they do a lot of species protection but it pains me something awful to see tigers, bears and snow leopards stuck in tiny little enclosures, along with other stuff that although not so magnificent equally should be in their natural habitat. However that said I do feel that the Zoo has the animals interests at the forefront of their mind.

Back to photography a trip to Burton Mere RSPB reserve produced shots of a Red Eyed Damselfly,

and Azure Damselfly,

and a smashing Cardinal Beetle

Having returned my daughter and co to Hereford on friday I was determined to make the most of the weekend and a trip on Sunday was to prove to be an amazing day. I decided to got to Whixall Moss Nature Reserve in Shropshire. Its not far from Whitchurch and is managed by Natural England. Its a peat bog area full of all kinds of species of flora and fauna. High on my list of hopes, infact top of the list were White faced Darter. A very rare dragonfly which occur in good numbers at the site. I had hoped for others too, I was hoping to add to the chaser list as well. Curlew, Cuckoo, Whitethroat, Reed Bunting, and Meadow Pipit were seen or heard, Green veined white, Large white, Brimstone, and Speckled Wood were seen. Azure Blue, Large Red and Blue tailed Damselflies were seen. 4 Spot Chaser were seen and photographed.

The stars of the show though were indeed the White faced Darter.

Seen and photographed for the first time ever, I was so chuffed. Such a stunning little Dragonfly.

One other occurence made the day brilliant, whilst on my knees getting wet trying to photograph a 4 Spot, I happened to look up and saw a Hobby circling the pool I was knelt by, it came closer and closer until it flew directly overhead. I have never had such close up views of a Hobby, it took my breath away.

I will definately be going back in the near future.

Other insects I have photo'd this week.

Top to bottom, Dung Fly, False Oil Beetle, Leaf Beetle and a Saw fly and most unusual shot is this of an empty Dragonfly larva, probably 4 spot Chaser.

My dog helped me find this, I was calling her back from the waters edge of a local pond when I saw it.

Looks like variable weather this week but I'll be out when I can.