The weather pretty much played ball but it was a slow start at Dry Sandford Pit, and I was wondering if there were any dragonflies around at all. Then a common darter appeared and perched beautifully for me.
|male common darter|
Soon afterwards I spotted the first of my "Big Three", a male keeled skimmer. The male was sat perched on marshy vegetation, then took off and patrolled across his small territory of a few square metres, then returned to the exact same spot. About three metres away another male was doing the same thing. I took some pics with my 400mm lens. Noticeable how the wings are held forward when resting.
|male keeled skimmer|
|male keeled skimmer, wings held in forward position|
Next up was a blue damselfly that had me chasing around and realising I need to wear my glasses to see the close-up detail these days. Fortunately the long lens helped confirm identification of southern damselfly - now it was two down, just one to go.
|male southern damselfly|
|common darter pair|
|small red damselfly - all too brief, but conclusive!|
|Parsonage Moor - the tiny stream home to the Big Three|
|grass of Parnassus about to flower|
I also had time for a quick walk around Lashford Lane Fen, the third wildlife trust reserve in this cluster. A couple of southern hawkers were new for the day, but not enough time to look for scarcer species - the fen is less accessible here too. It is exciting to see ponies grazing here, helping to manage the fen and keep marshy areas more open. There are also a couple of colourful meadows full of greater knapweed and field scabious.