Monday 7 October 2013

I Keep Saying Every Visit is the Last...

...but today the weather was good enough to head out to Langford Lowfields for a visit. I think the raptors felt that it was the last decent day's flying they were going to get, as I saw a kestrel and three buzzards in the air along the Holme road, the buzzards struggling to find thermals even on this warm day.

As I approached the reserve along the N64 cycle path as usual, the number of Common Darters on the path had gone up since my visit last week. Today, I was practically inhaling dragonflies from the moment I turned off the road by the level crossing. There was a number of mating pairs on the wing too, reminding me of the aliens in the old arcade game "Defender" when they pick up an astronaut from the surface to turn into a mutant!

There were lots of them on the reserve too, but it seemed initially the migrant hawkers were over for the year, however as the weather suddenly became appreciably warmer at 130pm, the air became full of these beautiful insects too. There were white butterflies on the wing, as well as a very feisty looking pair of spiralling speckled woods.

Out on the reed bed, many tufted ducks seem to have arrived since last week, and the great crested grebes are now sporting their handsome winter plumage and look very elegant as they coast and dive upon the water. Mallards are now wholly out of eclipse, and I saw a couple of mid sized rather plain brown waders feeding on the water's edge, sifting their beaks through the water I think. The wardens always report sighting of godwit, dunlin and sandpipers, but me, well I find these sorts of birds incredibly difficult to spot.

The best birds of the day, were a white egret practically dazzling in the sun, and a very stately looking heron patrolling slowly along the very far side of the bed. Such an elegant bird, the heron. Makes flying into the wind seem an awful lot easier than cycling into it.

Common darter on the path by the hide
Surprised to see this common blue damselfly so late in the year
Very pretty, very tiny, and very unknown little white flower next to the hide

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