Friday 20th June
After the disappointment of wasted time Thursday I needed to redress the balance. No walking uneven ground to dead-ends, no traipsing boring gravel tracks for no reward…just a Friday afternoon’s pleasure contained within the basin of Crockford Bottom.
I had barely reached the stream before encountering the first Golden-ringed, followed shortly after by another. The Bog Myrtle was festooned with Southern Damselflies and the occasional Beautiful Demoiselle, Large and Small Red and Blue-tailed. The southern clearing produced Keeled Skimmers, Common Darters and Broad-bodied Chasers.
Conspicuous by their absence were Four-spotted Chasers and Emperors. Not one stopped by to join the fun. I took a short walk upstream to the sheltered bush favoured by the Southern Damselflies.
Back at the main basin I took up camp at my usual grandstand seat and watched the main feature; popcorn substituted by an apple and fizzy drink replaced with water. Soon I was alerted to the sound of a female Golden-ringed ovipositing in the darkest corners of the bank.
I had found several more males on my walk upstream, and took a few half-hearted shots of them perched on the usual ‘busy’ stick or worse. The resident male at my feet provided a splendid show, circling me and bouncing back and forth along a short stretch of territory and just the once opted for the perfect perch.
Crockford has still to reach it’s peak for numbers, especially Keeled Skimmers which are usually so populous as to become annoying – not because they’re so familiar, more because they have a habit of pushing any Golden-ringed off his perch before you click the shutter!
They were mostly behaving themselves today though, and deserved a snapshot too.
Monday 23rd June
I called in again on my way back from an unsuccessful foray around Keyhaven, but numbers were significantly down compared to the previous Friday. Only a few GR males patrolling small territories upstream.
The clearing on the way out provided a male Broad-bodied Chaser this time, already showing signs of wear.
It’s always unforgivable not to call in when passing, but to get the best out of Crockford you need to spend a good few hours.
You never know what might turn up…
Coming up next- Highlights of Latchmore Brook from three recent revisits.