Making The Best Of It

I was looking forward to an August sitting by a pond, engaging with a hawker or two and generally watching the world go by – which I have done on a couple of occasions when the sun decided to shine.

However the past week of inclement weather has put pay to my plans for the moment. No point staring at a pond under cloudy skies; better to take a stroll and find some action elsewhere.

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

A walk around Town Common usually produces a hawker or two along the paths, and sure enough there were a few Brown Hawkers rising ahead of me.

Down in the shelter of the scrub were the expected Emerald and Small Red Damselflies and among the heather a Black Darter or two.

Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) - female on heather
Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) – female on heather

Across the road at Ramsdown I hoped for a female Moorland taking advantage of the gloom to oviposit, avoiding the attentions of patrolling males, but in this weather even the Common Darters were noticeably absent.

In the clearing at least there was an immature female Southern Hawker resting up in the gorse.

Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) - immature female
Southern Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) – immature female

The Hill Pond was unsurprisingly quiet, a startling contrast to a week previously, however around the margins you could find a willing subject or two if you were prepared to hunt.

Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) - immature male
Black Darter (Sympetrum danae) – immature male

At my favourite pond the sun shone all to briefly to kick-start a little activity from the Common Darters – irresistible only in the absence of others.

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

Back at the clearing these all too brief but welcome late afternoon sunny spells produced a frenzy of feeding activity from the Brown Hawkers, teasingly gliding a meter or so from yours truly and never once landing in sight.

Low down in the heather a Golden-ringed provided the last opportunity of the day.

Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) - male
Golden-ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) – male

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