I have spent the last 3 days camping with family and friends at Nethergong campsite, just north of Grove Ferry. I have driven past here hundreds of times and have spent many an hour listening for Golden Oriole in the Spring in the Poplar trees which has occurred here. We camped under the Poplars and I was lucky during the time to have a good wander around this excellent place, not only for camping but also for the birdlife and dragonflies. The campsite hosts a big frog pond which the kids spent hours at catching frogs and also supplying me with endless dragonfly nymphs, as did a lot of kids in the end! There are also 2 lakes which can be fished and provide some great habitat which until now I didn't know existed. With the owners permission I was able to walk around with the camera and happily snap away at the dragonflies, or in the case of the Brown Hawkers, not snap away. I just cannot get a chance with this species but I suppose if it was too easy I would get bored with the lack of challenge. I saw a good number of species including Common and Ruddy Darter, Black tailed Skimmer, Common Blue and Blue tailed Damselfly, Broad bodied Chaser, Southern Hawker, Brown Hawker, Migrant Hawker, Banded Demoiselle, Emperor Dragonfly and one of the highlights was finding an unknown colony of c7 Willow Emerald Damselflies near my tent. I'm sure with more time there are many more around in this area. I took a few photos of dragonfly nymphs, I think the first is a Common Darter and the second a Black tailed Skimmer although please correct me as I am not too sure.
Common Darter Nymph
Black tailed Skimmer Nymph
With the help of the kids we were able to catch lots of these nymphs and even they were interested in what happens during their life cycle. At night in the tent I was sent to sleep with the sound of Tawny and Little Owls calling in the distance whilst Foxes could be heard. Plenty of bird life with Turtle Dove, Marsh Harriers, Kingfishers as well as many Warblers filling the bushes. All in all, a superb place for camping and wildlife and we have already booked again for the end of August, everyone's happy, the kids looking for frogs and playing around with their friends and me wandering around looking for the wildlife to photograph, and the wife happily chatting and drinking lots of wine back at the tent!
Male Common Darter