Yesterday, I cycled 30km around the back lanes of Stapleford Wood and Collingham on what was a glorious day for cycling; light winds and pleasant warmth, and quiet roads to enjoy them on. Once again, I resolved to break my journey at Langford, to have a little sit and a drink, and to see what was going on nature wise.
Once again, I found myself on unknown roads, including a slightly unnerving encounter with a level crossing where I had to operate the gates myself. Luckily pretty coloured lights helped me decided when there was no chance of getting walloped by a train.
Langford was wonderfully still and quiet, with only one other visitor, an older chap who had headed out there on an electric bike. There weren't many birds to be seen on the water however; the autumn arrivals obviously haven't made their way over yet, and the bittern and marsh harrier were keeping a low profile in the reeds somewhere.
What there were in abundance were dragonflies. All the damsels may have now gone, but common darters are still numerous, low level flyers often flushed up from basking on the paths. They do like to settle on posts or bushes however, and so do present a photo opportunity for the cameraman with any degree of subtlety whatsoever, like I haven't got. Luckily, they were kindly disposed yesterday.
No chance of that with the other species present however. The migrant hawkers operate rather higher off the ground, flying in relentless angular patrols and chewing up smaller insects in flight with ease. Less curious of humans than the larger southern hawkers, they nevertheless will give you a close flyby from time to time, a very audible rustling flutter from their wings as they do so.
I've seen migrant hawkers at rest a couple of times, and a couple of years ago managed to get a really up close film of one on my old mobile, accompanied by some awful cod wildlife commentary from the writer. But today, with the sun warm in the sky, all they wanted to do was fly.
Because there aren't many flying days left for them.
All pictures and images copyriht CreamCrackeredNature 29.09.15
|Lovely sight upon arrival|
|Warm shone the sun|
|Lovely Langford greens|
|CLose up greens on a baby oak tree|
|These are irridescent water beetles or larvae of some kind.|
|Harder to hide here!|