The Arrival of Summer

Monday 18th July

OK – now thankfully back online and, most importantly, being able to access my photos, I have a little catching up to do.

Those of us old enough to remember the legendary summer of ’76 always hanker after a day or two to remind them exactly what summer is. Naturally the younger generations wish we wouldn’t bang on about it, but then I wish you old buggers would quit banging on about our only legendary sporting achievement of ’66!

At least we can repeat 1976 occasionally with beautiful ‘scorching’ days like today; and the savvy can enjoy it in true fashion by avoiding the parks & beaches and associated traffic delays by disappearing into those little wild spaces we have left.

That’s exactly what I did!

Mid-July was the ideal opportunity to get a better perspective on Crockford. I won’t bang on about it any more; you can read through my thoughts by doing a search of the blog or taking a look for yourself.

If you had visited for the first time today you wouldn’t grasp what all the fuss was about because thankfully most inhabitants were showing to some degree, albeit in the lower sections of the stream.

The basin is still sadly lacking, although we did have one Golden-ringed taking up residence along with a couple of Southern, Small Red and Beautiful Demoiselles. There was even a Broad-bodied Chaser at the pool.

Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) - male
Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) – male

Walking upstream there was more of the same, only in better numbers. After connecting with a second Golden-ringed I made my way to the top away from the roar of the traffic to my favourite spot where an Emperor was predictably patrolling the pool at the ford.

Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) - male
Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) – male

Further along I set camp to concentrate on a Golden-ringed who by his behaviour could well have been the same individual from my last visit, except this time after a while getting acquainted he settled down a little.

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

Besides my main subject the stream had the usual populations of Southern, Beautiful and Keeled along with a few Common Darter and another male Broad-bodied. Thankfully my subject had chosen the perfect perch.

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

The wind was light, the sun was absolutely glorious and we even had a few hazy small clouds to cool us down a little.

Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) - male
Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) – female ovipositing

Absolutely perfect conditions to spend a couple of enjoyable hours escaping the rat race. Today certainly wasn’t a day to walk any distance.

Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) - male
Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) – male

Once I’d exploited all opportunities I made my way back down to the basin to see if there were any improvements, but the main basin still disappointed. Again it was nearer the road where most of the action took place, with another three Golden-ringed, a fair showing of Southern and Beautiful and the usual numbers of Keeled Skimmer.

If you haven’t been before and do want to pay visit, choose a day like today with plenty of sun and very little wind and, if you’re prepared to wander a bit, you should be rewarded.

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