Monday, 29 June 2020

Skimmer Sunday

I arrived at a breezy but sunny Nethergong yesterday morning at 6am where I spent a couple of hours at the pond looking for emerging dragonflies and any photo opportunities that might arise. A brief walk around the pond produced 1 Emperor Dragonfly which has emerged early morning and was getting ready for its maiden flight and many Common Darter exuviae within the reeds and grasses. Further exploring in the vegetation also provided me with a number of Black tailed Skimmer exuviae. With the sun not quite over the trees yet and on the pond, I thought I would walk through the long grasses and see whether I could find any dragonflies and damselflies to photograph. There were plenty of Blue tailed Damselfly along with a few Azure Damselfly, Emerald Damselfly and Common Darter roosting. As I continued on and with the sun now shining on the grasses, I could see a male Black tailed Skimmer resting in a nice position and after a bit of stalking slowly, I was able to take a number of pleasing images of this species which normally I only ever see on the ground. My luck continued as nearby I also found a newly emerged female Black tailed Skimmer which must have made its maiden flight recently. This again gave me the excuse to get the camera out and take a few more photos of this species which can often elude the camera for me. With the warmth from the sun now coming through, it wasn't long until they took to the air and all around me, the grasses soon became alive with activity. A few more Common Darter were found emerging and nearby in the grasses, a few Variable Damselfly were noted. With July around the corner, that will mean the season of the Willow Emerald Damselfly and Southern Migrant Hawker. These are some of the best times of the year for me to get out and I hope I can spend a good few sessions in their company again and maybe obtain the odd photo or two.
 


 Black tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) - male
 


Black tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) - female
 


13 comments:

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    1. Many thanks Agnieszka for your visit and comment. Much appreciated.

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  2. Absolutely beautiful the Black tailed Skimmer, love them.

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    1. Thanks Bob. Nice to get them perching up for a change.

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  3. I suppose the only way I can compete is to floodlit the garden, build a hide and sit up all night with my cameras. Lovely pictures Marc. Stay safe. Mike.

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    1. Many thanks Mike. Now that's an idea. I was actually thinking of getting a hide for some bird photography this year. Take care.

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  4. You need little if any excuse to get the camera out to produce your latest brilliant images, and you should also certainly go ahead and get a hide for some bird photography Marc.

    I noticed you said 'after work' in one of your recent posts....Stay Safe.

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    1. Many thanks Pete. Yes back to work full time at school in my bubble with the children. Only a few weeks and the summer holiday is here.

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  5. As per usual-great pics BUT could I respectfully suggest that you advise us fans of your photos, that Nethergong is out of bounds to the general public.
    Being impressed by your continued findings there I took on the 140 mile round trip to have a look see, however, I was confronted by a very irate woman (the daughter) who said they were fed up (her words) with camera welding people trying to enter their site. She asked if I knew you, (I don’t) so I assume other like minded people who are inspired by your blog have also been turned unceremoniously away.

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    1. Thank you for your visit and kind words about my photos. I have mentioned a number of times in previous posts about the site being private. If ever anyone wants to visit with me, I always ask the owners first for their permission and especially with the circumstances we find ourselves in, its especially important to know who is on site.

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    2. Not noticed the private reference but then again I am relatively new to this. Perhaps the following extract from the latest sandwich bay sightings page is worth a thought:
      “A check on a private site produced at least 23 ………………………...”

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  6. Highly impressed by your shots of Black-tailed Skimmer, Marc. On my last trip out, a week ago today, BTS was, by far, the most numerous dragonfly, with only 6 Emperor seen at what is usually an Emperor hot-spot. Saw one other hawker-type which I spent ages trying to get a decent look at, and failed - didn't look right for anything I'm familiar with.

    It's a bit worrying to read 'appy ally's comment. I hope it's not going to mean that you too become unwelcome at Nethergong. I had a similar experience on a farm where I had five Little Owl sites, one of which was viewable from a public place, and people were parking and blocking the farmer's access. As the only person that had asked permission for access, and been granted it, I got the impression that the farmer thought I was responsible. However, after finding it for myself, I subsequently found that it was long-known to other birders. Although I never published the location, always referring to it as 'my local patch' even though it was 5 miles away, I suspect that other birders were less cautious!

    Take great care - - - - Richard

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    1. Many thanks Richard. I hope there are no issues as the owners are very much nature lovers themselves but even then, if people are turning up without permission, then their views may change. I've mentioned on my blog a number of times about the site being private. The owners have normally allowed me to take people on site as long as I'm present and you can imagine being a campsite and walking around with a lens, its important to know who's on site. Hopefully this will be the last slip up by people and they will contact me first rather than turn up. Stay safe.

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