Hidden Depths

Saturday 9th June
At Bramshill the shore of Long Lake had enough going on for observation and I had a few half-hearted attempts at the Emperor patrolling, but he was too far out and unpredictable.

While Sue took a rest I explored my usual circuit without much joy and returned to the shore of Long Lake to see if anything had changed. It hadn’t, so we decided to take a walk. After all, way too early to call it a day.

We decided to walk to the north-east pond in the hope that we’d find a few feeders on the way. We did, mainly demoiselles and damselflies holed up in the gorse and grasses bordering the paths.

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) - female violacea form
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) – female violacea form

On arriving at the pond the usual sight of battling Chasers and Skimmer’s, an Emperor or two and a Downy brightened an afternoon which had become dull under cloud.

At the far end however, patrolling a small area of the murkiest section was a reward for the day – an early patrolling Brilliant Emerald.

Brilliant Emerald (Somatochlora metallica) - male
Brilliant Emerald (Somatochlora metallica) – male

In view of the light a record shot is all I managed, but it was the icing on the cake of a disappointing day.

Monday 4th June
I returned to Bramshill with a sense of hope and the added advantage that I could move and loiter at my own pace; taking in the north-east pond first and continuing along a new found path and a new diversion along a wonderful sunny ride with Meadow Brown and White Admiral joining the Demoiselles.

The type of sunny ride it would be wise to camp out at, as you never know what might turn up. Not today though, I wanted to cover as much ground as possible, calling in at the center ponds and following familiar paths hoping for a moment.

I had a long moment on the shore of Long Lake just watching the action, because sometimes you just need to take it all in. Pretty much the same as cast as Saturday only much more to enjoy.

Once I broke free of the reverie I continued along the path, festooned with Black-tailed Skimmers; always on the ground and supposedly out of reach.

Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) - male
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) – male

At a little inlet I found a teneral Common Darter – my first this year.

Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) - teneral male
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) – teneral male

A little further down the path a female Emperor rose at my presence, hesitated and perched again, allowing me a cautious go with the macro.

Emperor (Anax imperator) - female
Emperor (Anax imperator) – female

The hidden ponds were a little disappointing today so I continued to the far shore of Long Lake to catch a female Keeled Skimmer having a snack.

Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) - female
Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens) – female

I returned to those paths I followed earlier, just in time to watch a male Hairy flying low down and back & forth before perching to eat his spoils. Who knows who else paid a visit while I was away.

Food for thought.