Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Full scale emergence

I had decided that in order to capture some images of the so far rather elusive Mr/Mrs Water Vole that perhaps an overnight stay on site would be in order. With my pitch selected and all kit stowed I took a recce around the site to see what was about.
The delicate blooms of Field Vetch (Vicia sepium) were in abundance in amongst verges as I passed. Having walked some of the paths a detour around Borrow it was called for.
A visit to my favourite spot - the pond dipping pontoon, allowed me some shots of the numerous blue tailed damselflies (Ischnura elegans), on closer inspection many exuviae were present of damselflies as well as a few Emperor Dragonflies (Anax imperator), though none were seen in flight!
On returning to the tent I found this little chap chewing away on Sea Club Rush (Bolboschoenus maritimus), no idea, (yet) what he is but he seemed happy! After much waiting alongside promising looking grazing I eventually turned in for the night, fully expectant for an early morning.
Despite much searching, sitting and waiting I was still unable to lay eyeball on a Water Vole (Arvicola terrestris), there were many signs from the darker hours with many a trail being visible amongst the duck weed but sadly still no sight! So a decamped to the Pit again and was greeted by a Pyrochora serraticornis going about his morning business.
A wander amongst the numerous runnunculus revealed an Oedemera nobilis, this handsome green chap didn't like hanging around for some random photographer to take his picture and so was followed through a couple of plants!
The Oxeye Daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) looked splendid and having settled in to photograph one a Damselfly decided that it would rather like to be part of the picture and so quickly plonked itself on top of the target bloom, so not one to pass up an opportunity I continued to click away.
A walk around the pit revealed many more pleasures several Speckled Wood butterflies (Pararge aegeria) rose up before me as I intruded on their territory, before resuming there sunbathing upon open ground.
Further into my amble I wold come across clouds of damselflies rising before me as I disturbed them from the deep Rush and Reed Mace stems, it was amongst these clouds I noted several tandems amongst them, where the male clasps a female atop the thorax to encourage her to raise her abdomen to his end of thorax in order to mate and thus complete the "wheel"
It was not only Blue Tailed Damselflies engaged in this mating orgy but also Azure Damselflies (Coenagrion puella) were found in good numbers adding to the plethora of insects finally found amongst the mass emergence of the site.

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