Sunday, 18 September 2011

Dragon's pond

I had an interesting expedition to Wharncliffe Heath nature reserve in the steel-making valley of Stocksbridge the other day. I got thoroughly lost which is always an interesting experience in our crowded little island. Because of the crowding, it never bothers me as you're bound to find a house, road or slightly suspicious local soon enough; and in the end I got the complicated landscape sorted, saw a stoat, possibly one of its victims (gruesomely non-Beatrix Potter photo left), millions of Speckled Wood butterflies and a fine dragonfly pond.

The dragonflies were extremely restless and a big reddish one with notably clicking wings, which particularly interested me, kept far beyond the reach of my camera. By dint of just pointing and shooting from my sunlit perch on the old dam, I managed to get this blurry Southern Hawker in flight, though, plus the red damselfly (I think) right, which did have the courtesy to stop.

The stoat was far too clever for me, so here's a Speckled Wood instead.


Cyren said...

Hello Martin,

always a pleasure to read of your adventures. The red insect on the right is in fact a dragonfly, not a damselfly. They are quite common here too, although I am not sure if they are the same species.


MartinWainwright said...

Hi Cyren

Thanks very much. One of the nature reserve's experts is giving my faltering attempts at identification a hand too

All warm wishes


Banished To A Pompous Land said...

Hi Martin it looks like your dragon is likely a Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum). Can't tell all the details from the new "improved" (HA!) Blogger picture viewer but thats by far the most likely candidate. For dragonfly IDs I'd go with

It was invaluable when I was starting out.