Sunday, 10 June 2012

Dragonflies and another Bee

 I had intended to go up to north Herts again this morning, to see the Turtle Doves at Ashwell and check the Deadman's Hill area for Quail. However with it being sunny and warm for once, I decided to go to Amwell as there was a good chance that dragonflies would be flying.
 The usual Sunday crowd was present as I arrived, but soon dispersed, so I headed off to Hollycross. Found a few Common Blue Damselflies on the way, and decent numbers of Red Eyes on the lily pads in Tumbling Bay.
 As soon as I arrived at Hollycross, I ran into someone I knew who mentioned that he had found some Brown Argus and a Bee Orchid. I assumed he had been around   to see the plants that are out of bounds but no, this was not far from the gate.

 Bit of a struggle with the 300mm+1.7 converter due to it's focussing distance.

 On the boardwalk, there were several people present and the Sunday crew also turned up. A few Azure Damsels were flying and a number of Four Spotted Chasers. Eventually we saw several Broad Bodied Chasers-only one blue one though and then Tony and John picked out a female Hairy Dragonfly-I had feared that I would be too late for this early flier. It was ovipositing at the back of one of the pools and had flown out of sight. However I made my way round and got decent views. I then realised that I was standing beside a 3 foot Grass Snake sunning itself. I called the others over but the vibrations of their feet was enough to disturb it and it went as they arrived. despite searching we never found it.

 A male Hairy was seen on the way back, but apart from a single Red Admiral I never saw any butterflies.
 Back at the watchpoint the main item of interest were the two juvenile Little Egrets not long out of the nest. Seems like there are several active nests in the Lea Valley this year.
 The Oystercatchers are still present, as are several Redshanks. Otherwise not much-it's the early summer period when things start to go quiet and the ducks start to moult.

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