Friday, 9 July 2010

The newt pond

The afternoon was free, so with the sun shining I set off for the newt pond, stopping off close by to investigate a farm track that I thought might have butterflies along it. Parking up I saw a buzzard swirling low over a field, but by the time I had the camera ready and got out of the car it had gone. Typical. There were a couple of small tortoiseshells on the path but nothing much else.. When I got back to the car the sun had disappeared like the buzzard. It was threatening rain too.

At the gate to the newt pond I chose to head the other way and have a look over the railway line into territory unknown. Although the public footpaths were obviously used there was hardly any signs of civilisation to be seen. It was like entering another world of little valleys and almost rolling hills. Unusual for this flat part of the county.

Another world

There was little in the way of wildlife at first glance, although I'm sure spending more time there would reveal it. There was an ex-hedgehog lying in a field of maize, flies of many sorts busy laying eggs upon it.


Turning back I set off for the pond, which I knew would be sheltered and maybe there'd be a damselfly or two around. There were biting flies if nothing else. Although it was cloudy the air was muggy and I was sweating, my bare arms being a magnet for the blood suckers. The first insects I disturbed were meadow brown butterflies which proved as flighty as always. Flitting away as soon as I would make a move towards them from yards away. The gatekeepers were more obliging. Some settled with their wings spread, but always at awkward angles or behind leaves, making photographs a bit naff. One eventually settled, wings closed, long enough for me to sneak up on it and get a decent shot.


Making my way along the flattened path round the lake, avoiding the various droppings along it, I put up some damsels. Mostly they were blue-tailed, but some looked like azures. One, which I almost got a shot off but didn't, looked a little larger and decidedly less blue. That'll have to wait for a positive ID. I wasn't too bothered about photographing  the blue-tailed damsels but the azures I put some effort into. I got a couple of half decent shots, but the one I liked best was spoiled by a blurred blade of grass or something. It was interesting to watch one perched, arching its abdomen to, apparently,  brush its wings.

Azure damselfly

After spending some time inspecting deer droppings and looking for their tracks and paths around the pond, wondering if I might be able to hide up some time and photograph them, the rain arrived. Only a light, refreshing, drizzle. Quite welcome but not beneficial to camera equipment. Having nothing to protect the camera and flash with I hurried back to the car.

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