Thursday, 5 August 2010

Wet bum, wet knees, wet feet...

On Tuesday evening the weather pattern followed the recent trend of dull and wet in the morning with fitful sunshine in the afternoon and evening. After tea I found myself drawn to the saltmarsh in search of meadow pipits. Sure enough they were still there. A group flew up and hung on the wind coming off the sea and a couple perched on the fence posts. I grabbed a shot or two to kick off then tried stalking them. I got reasonably close before deciding to sit and wait for them. The marsh lived up to its name and was wet. I soon found my backside getting damp. I shuffled around wishing I'd put my waterproofs on. But one of the pipits came close so I wasn't bothered and knew I'd soon dry out.

Posing pipit

An hour was enough with the pipits and I battled my way back through the sedge and drove to look for barn owls. For the second time the owl was  no-show.

Wednesday lunchtime saw me dashing out, camera in hand, to photograph a young hedgehog that was on a mission. Once more the angle viewfinder came in handy. If I'd had the lawnmower out recently I might have got some better shots! As it was I'd forgotten there'd been rain and my knees got damp in the long wet grass.


Thursday afternoon was free, the sun was shining, and I thought I'd go look for the darters I had been told about. Not yer average darters you understand. True to form the sun went into hiding when I got there. I did see a male common darter, which always seem to be well outnumbered by females when I'm out and about, but could get close enough for a good shot. Circling the pond for the third time a female common darter flew ahead of me into the reeds in the pond margin where it came to a sticky stop in a spider's web.


Seeing the darter's peril I snapped a shot and was about to lean out and free it when the web's spinner arrived on the scene so I let nature take its course. Watching the spider deal with the much larger dragonfly was fascinating. At first the dragonfly struggled, but within a very short time it's wings were bound and maybe it was paralysed by venom.

The web snapped at one extreme and the dragonfly swung down, where the spider made some kind of winch mechanism and hoisted it higher to a point where it appeared to bind it to the stem it was strung from. Then it looked to start dining. In order to get some real close ups with the Raynox on the lens I took a step or two too far and ended up with soaked feet. I think it was worth it.

Dinner for one

Butterflies are still around, but the dragonflies need more sunshine to get them on the wing. There were some fungi around now that autumn is approaching. A few leaves already falling from the trees and blackberries ripening on the brambles.

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