Luckily I had the wind on the way there! Surprised to see plenty of my fellow humans, a birder with big binoculars, a couple with a very friendly bike loving Collie, and a warden ranger guy of whom more later.
Even before I entered the reserve area proper, the 64 path was littered by "Common" Darters, both male and female. Seem to keep lower to the ground than other dragon fly, still can't photograph them for toffee though. I tried stalking one, looking like an idiot in the process to passing birdlife. Many Yellowhammers flitting in and out of the hedges.
On the path, more "Common Darters", only they might be ruddy! And some common blue damselfly too. As soon as I arrived at the hide and looked out, the Hobby did exactly the same dragonfly noshing scything flight along the bed as it did last time, but aside from that not a lot to be seen and a freezing cold wind blowing.
Then a nice warden gave me a heart attack by popping up as I had a look at the flowers and scanned the ground for damselfly. He was really helpful and listened to my imbecilic observations with a lot of patience. He told me that yes the Common Darters were Common, but could be Ruddy and they are damn difficult to tell apart, something to do with waisted abdomens that captain slow eyes here is never going to see! He also said that there were bigger Brown Darters, and Brown Hawkers common too - I'd thought I'd seen these bronzey metallic looking things and was glad to have it confirmed. On the way out, as I spotted a couple of Egrets and a Heron on Lake 1, and did I see a couple of bright blue Emperor Hawkers? Maybe...Also some quacking ducks flying in echelons round and about and I'm not sure they were Mallards either. Couldn't get the field glasses onto them.
One thing I noticed as I left the site. On the corner past the portaloos, on a big weedy bank of earth, a big flock of 50 plus little birds erupted startled by my bike and circled round and about. Don't think they were finches, maybe a flock of warblers getting ready to head off? No idea!
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