Down By The River

Thursday 25th June

Many apologies for lagging behind, but once again this good weather has been spent in the field and that’s what it’s all about. Not that your missing anything, as everything should be better over the next few weeks.

Those jolly old souls at the met office would have us all believe light cloud would dominate the landscape last Thursday, with perhaps the odd sunny spell. That forecast postponed a return to Latchmore with Steve Covey, who quite-rightly probably uttered a few obscenities at the realisation that it turned out to be wall-to-wall sunshine.

A change of plan then, and an opportunity to indulge in some well-deserved peace and quiet at Ober Water. No politics, no crowds (not a soul) and a fine array to keep me occupied from Markway to Clumber.

Coincidentally the very first damsel I came across was a male Scarce Blue-tailed; notable for it’s close proximity to Markway Bridge – further upstream than they usually appear. Also in good numbers for the whole walk were White-legged; surprisingly outnumbering the Southern today.

White-legged Damselfly - male
White-legged Damselfly – male

As usual most of the unattached females and immature/tenerals were holed up away from the water.

White-legged Damselfly - immature male
White-legged Damselfly – immature male

These were joined by (common) Blue-tailed, Large and Small Red and reasonable numbers of Beautiful Demoiselles.

Beautiful Demoiselle - male
Beautiful Demoiselle – male

I stayed at a favourite spot watching a male defend his terrtory and winning the desires of a female. After a fine courtship dance, they paired for five minutes before she returned to the stream to oviposit while her mate protected her. Fifteen minutes later they paired again for another five minutes. A cracking piece of theater.

Keeled Skimmers were more abundant than last week, although still not at peak levels.

Keeled Skimmer - male
Keeled Skimmer – male

Again it was away from the water where you could find the females.

Keeled Skimmer - female
Keeled Skimmer – female

And the immature.

Keeled Skimmer - immature male
Keeled Skimmer – immature male

Of course it’s always a joy to see a Golden-ringed. This young male was patrolling the busy area around the reeds.

Golden-ringed - male in-flight
Golden-ringed – male in-flight

I find the majority of males rather friendly, and this one was no exception as he perched high in front of me.

Golden-ringed - male
Golden-ringed – male

Now isn’t a natural perch better than pushing a stick into the stream?

A pleasant, productive and peaceful day. Just what I needed…


Coming Soon:- A weekend visit for the Green-eyed Hawker.