Darter love

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This morning R and I went for what’s now becoming a habitual Thursday National Trust Walk – this time at Croome, which continues to be a place that soothes our souls. It was breezy but sunny, and after the unsettled weather of the past few days the dragons were out in force, including several Migrant Hawkers which have emerged since we were last there two weeks ago.

My photos weren’t generally much to write home about, but that’s often the case when I’m trying not to keep R hanging around waiting for me – I snatch at my shots and let myself down. Next week I’ll try to go for a solo dragon walk so that I can take all the time I need, and with luck get my eye back in on flight shots, most of which I muffed today. Luckily I did rather better with the dragon porn, despite the fact that the male of this Common Darter pair was unhappy about my attentions and kept moving the two of them to different perches. Eventually he found a place where I couldn’t get at them without walking into the lake, but by then I had what I needed and was happy to leave them to enjoy their moment.

We arrived back home to find more dragon activity going on: Three was ovipositing in the log pile by the wildlife pond again. I can’t quite believe how successful this feature has proved to be with the Southern Hawkers, but having put it there as a refuge for frogs and beetles, I’m absolutely delighted to find that it works for the dragons as well. Incidentally, if you’ve been worrying about Sunday’s mystery female, I’ve re-examined all my photos and decided that this was, after all, Blue – the difference I thought I could see in the markings being a trick played by the combination of different light and a slightly different angle. So now we can all sleep easy.