Wednesday 21st June
With the many reports of migrants entering the country over the last few weeks; Red-veined Darters and Lesser Emperors blown over from the continent with the current warm front, I would have been foolish to act on a report of both present at Longham Lakes on Tuesday.
I try to pay a visit every year or two if I have time and given good reason I headed out early to be greeted by a Red-veined Darter halfway around the lake. Skittish as usual I managed a record shot before carrying on to the group of eager twitchers who had also seen the report.
After exchanging greetings and hearing reports that they think they’d had a sighting I carried on over the causeway intent on having a look at the small ponds where I know RVD have frequented regularly in hopes of getting a better opportunity, but it wasn’t to be. The most dominant species here and around the lakes were hundreds of Scarce Chasers.
Back at the throng there was still no news so I carried on a little further to where a (Blue) Emperor was patrolling, eager for a rest and a good drink in the increasing heat & humidity. Mid-swig I saw my quarry come in for a brief battle with the Emperor and return for more shortly afterwards. A couple of brief glimpses and I was surprisingly content.
Knowing I had a meeting after lunch I decided to take a slow walk back to the car when I bumped into Chris Dresh who was also here on the promise. I confirmed I had a couple of sightings and while he made his way to twitcher corner I continued my slow walk only to be halted immediately by the prize giving a good display over a small fishing stand.
Calling Chris over we watched and attempted some shots glorious in the long moment that was obviously just for us. After a marvelous display he disappeared out of site and we carried on walking in different directions until I looked back and noticed Chris and the group doing the dragonfly-dance.
About turn – I’d be foolish to leave now. Sure enough, when I rejoined the group there was the Lesser putting on an even better display than our earlier one. Magnificent, and unencumbered by the resident Emperor who had sodded off I presume for a siesta.
Eager shooting and this time I knew I had a shot in the bag.
As if this magnificent flying display wasn’t enough our merry migrant even perched among the reeds briefly.
Alas not close enough or long enough to get anything better, but I didn’t mind. For once a plan had born fruit, and when our prize left us I reluctantly called it a day. Duty called.