Cobwebby

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Apologies if you’re bored with ovipositing dragons by now – but if you are, you can at least look forward to the upcoming insect-free winter months in the UK. Personally, I’m already preparing to go into an enormous sulk.

I was still very sore and sorry for myself this morning, so after H had gone to work (he’s helping to run a week-long summer guitar school in Stratford at the moment), and L had set off back to Cardiff, R sweetly offered to take me down to Croome and to be my gear-carrier while I looked for bugs. I need to be cautious about this because it’s possible that he was just trying to help speed up the process of me getting some acceptable shots, but I think that he actually got quite into watching the behaviour of the various species of dragonfly that we saw as we ambled around the lake, and his spotting skills were certainly very helpful.

I’ve been quite torn over what to post this evening, because I have several photos that I like a lot, but in the end I’ve plumped for this Migrant Hawker ovipositing into a reed, because she was so very handsome. She was quite fresh, but looking at the state of her wings – especially the left forewing – I would say that she’d already had a close encounter with a spider web; luckily though these Hawkers are strong, and she’d managed to fee herself. I originally just looked at her overall colouring and put her down as a Brown Hawker (and there were certainly several of those flying around the lake today), but that turned out to be a lesson in not jumping to conclusions: when I looked more closely at her markings, the combination of the yellow golf-tee mark at the top of her abdomen, her very faint shoulder stripes, and the red-brown wing spots in clear wings, mark her out as a Migrant Hawker. I blipped a Brown here, if you’d like to compare the two.

My second-favourite shot of the day was of a pair of Ruddy Darters in cop, and I’ve put that one on Facebook. I also ran across quite an interesting short post today about the conservation work currently happening at Croome to help establish a colony of slow worms; the estate is doing a lot to improve its wildlife habitats and encourage an increase in biodiversity, and that only serves to make me love the place more.

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