Friday 5 June 2009

A Superb Lifer.....No, Not a Plant!

At 7.50 this morning I got a phone call from Ian M, he had spotted a large pod of Common Dolphins off The Yacht Club. I just had to see them! I rushed around the house throwing on whatever discarded clothing I could find and once my highly fashionable 'dragged through a hedge backwards' look was completed I made my way to the seafront. Ian got me onto them straight away, they were pretty distant, at least a couple of miles out, but that didn't matter because they were quite identifiable. They were leaping and jumping, sometimes high out of the water, spinning and splashing down, there were easily thirty, probably as many as fifty. We watched them for over half an hour until they finally began to disappear over the horizon. A first for me and easily one of the best things I've ever seen!! Thanks for the call Ian :-) .

At around midday I made my first visit to Bruckland Ponds for some time, I was hoping to see some nice dragonflies, especially Red-veined Darters. The place was teeming with dragonflies and damselflies, millions of small blue ones, hundreds of immature darters, scores of Black-tailed Skimmers, about a dozen or so Emperors, two Four- spotted Chasers, six male Red-veined Darters and one male Scarce Chaser. I saw a couple of nice birds too, I did, really! Anyway, here are a few photos from today, none of the dolphins, which were a teensy bit too distant, but two featuring BIRDS!!

Four-spotted Chaser my favourite dragonfly- don't ask me why! This one's a fine example of the form praenubila

A fine male Red-veined Darter

The same in flight. I don't know how I managed this!!

Large Skipper on some lovely Ragged Robin.

Yes it's a bird.
I'd better tell you it's a Hobby coz it's naff.

Two of these were knocking about the whole time I was there, periodically hunting dragonflies, one flew down and caught one just metres away from me. I also saw one catch one of the male Red-veined Darters. I suppose the RVD's habit of aggressively patrolling the centre of a pond along with its vivid colour make it an easy target for the Hobby. So if anyone wants to see a RVD, get there soon, while stocks last!!


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