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I paid another visit to the lovely county of Shropshire today, and spent several hours exploring Carding Mill Valley. The weather wasn’t as good as the forecast had promised, and it was very busy with families and detached school children, but I still had a thoroughly good time.

My two wildlife highlights were watching a small flight of swallows skimming over the reservoir, and dipping either to drink or to scoop up surface insects; and catching a tantalisingly brief glimpse of a Golden-ringed Dragonfly hunting over one of the smaller pools – sadly it removed itself before I managed to get focus on it, but I’d never seen one before, and at least I now know that this is a site that will be worth revisiting on a sunnier day, to try to get some photos of this impressive dragon.

Creatures I did manage to photograph today included some pretty grey wagtails, which were searching the muddy edges of the stream and pools for insects; a nice Common Green Grasshopper posing on a gorse bush, and a Small Heath butterfly (always a challenge, as they’re tiny, fast and flighty). But I’ve surprised myself in the end by deciding to post this; R really liked it when he saw it, and I do too, because although you might not think it at first glance, there’s absolutely nothing in it other than water. If you’re interested in seeing the object properly, it features on this page.