Notes on Use of This Blog


1. I have a policy that I always reply to comments on my blog, even if it's just to say thank you.

2. Please don't submit comments that include your own web address. For obvious reasons, they will not be published.

3. I'm now on Twitter - @RichardPegler1

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Heather - on Thursday 25th May, 2017

Lindsay and I have been away on a 10-day holiday to Scotland. We've been back for just over a week, but I've been busy processing the thousands (literally) of photos I shot whilst we were away. I apologise to my friends out in Bloggerland and Twitterville if I've been absent for a while - I hope to catch up soon.   I shall soon start working on a blog post or two which will cover our holiday but, in the meantime, here is a post which I wrote before we went away.

Heather - in this context, no, not a girl's name, nor the name of a flower emblematic of Scotland, but the name of a village close to my home and pronounced 'hee-ther'.

John was scheduled to be on duty at Rutland Water, but had to pull out for health reasons, and the forecast had me not wanting to wander far from home, so I decided on a revisit to a pond on the edge of Heather that I'd first visited seven days earlier, and which looked quite promising for dragonflies. 

On the way, I called in at my Little Owl Site No.02. An owl was just emerging from inside the barn as I arrived, and ran along a beam in the remains of the roof. I thought he looked a bit guilty as he did so, and wondered what he'd been up to!



Little Owl (Athene noctua) (male)  - my Site No.02
On arrival at the Heather pond I immediately spotted a mating pair of Azure Damselflies.

Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) (mating) - near Heather
There were good numbers of Blue-tailed Damselfly around. The second one is an immature male as witnessed by the greenish hue to the thorax. On reflection, the first one looks is if it might not be that old either!

Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) (male) - near Heather
Blue-tailed Damselfly (Ischnura elegans) (immature male) - near Heather
There were large numbers of Common Blue Damselfly around the lake.

Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) (male) - near Heather
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) (teneral male) - near Heather
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) (mating) - near Heather
As with my previous visit here, it seemed that, with every step I took, two or three teneral damselflies took flight out of the grass ahead of me and flew up at 45 degrees into the adjacent trees. The number was absolutely astounding! I did try to photograph some of these, but for me the problem was that they'd not yet taken on any colour, and I couldn't identify the species. 


unidentified teneral damselflies - near Heather
My suspicions are that both these images are of Common Blue Damselflies, with the first being a female and the second a male.

The real stars of the show were, however, the Four-spotted Chaser dragonflies, of which I saw four. One, in particular, was relatively obliging. Yes, I missed that damselfly exuvia until I came to process the photos!





Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) (male) - near Heather
It had been a most rewarding and enjoyable hour spent by the lake, and I intend to return here to see what else turns up during the season.

Hopefully, my next post will be Pt.1 of my account of our  Scottish holiday.

Thank you for dropping by.


30 comments:

  1. World class Chasers. I enjoyed these as I've yet to find a reliable spot for Dragonflies within walking distance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Adrian. I also reckon I'd have to take rather a long walk from my home to find a decent dragonfly pond.

      Best wishes - - Richard

      Delete
  2. So incredibly beautiful pictures. Hope you had a wonderful vacation ;-))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anne. Thank you for your kind words. We had a splendid time in Scotland, although the weather was not good.

      With my best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
  3. Hello Richard!:) Ah! Now I know why I hadn't seen a post from you for so long. I hope your holiday was everything you were hoping for, and I look forward to seeing your ever beautiful photography. Your captures of the Little Owl are lovely,....such a super little owl.:) It's also been such a pleasure to see all your superb Damselfly and Dragonfly images.
    Best Regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sonjia, for your very kind words. The holiday was extremely enjoyable, but we didn't get the weather we hoped for. It was cloudy and windy for most of the time, and wet for rather a lot of the time too.

      With my best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
  4. Cracking set of Odo photos Richard. I would agree that they are both Common Blue Damselflies, probably males as I cannot see a spine on any which would show on a female although the angle might not show this. A lovely post to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Marc, for your kind words and your advice - much appreciated.

      I visited this place again last week and it was totally different - so many dragonflies (mainly Emperors) in skirmishes that it put me in mind of The Battle of Britain!

      Best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
  5. Ha ha the Little Owl does have a guilty look about him.

    Love your macros, and I so often see something new in a photo that I did not see before I took it. Interesting what pops up sometimes.

    Hope you had a great time, I loved Scotland, all but the midges which seemed to follow me everywhere when I cycled the End to End. Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Diane. I'm forever finding things in my photos that I didn't notice at the time of taking them. I guess it's because I'm too much focussed (please excuse the pun) on the main subject, and getting the settings right, and so miss the ancilliaries.

      Scotland was wonderful again, in spite of the weather. I'm extremely impressed and totally in awe of you cycling the End to End.

      Thank you for your much-appreciated kind words. With my best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
    2. I was in awe of the friend I cycled with - he only has one leg!!! Cheers Diane

      Delete
    3. I saw a one-legged cyclist recently, close to my home. I thought then he was doing extremely well, but the End to End - WOW!!!

      I put a tongue-in-cheek note to your comment on David's blog about Scrabble.

      Best wishes - - Richard

      Delete
  6. Hi Richard I told you I was put onto a good place to visit by Arthur, however I have never had the numbers you have seen, will try for another visit soon. All the best and see you soon. John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a pity that Arthur lost the plot, John. He had more local wildlife knowledge than anyone I know. Weather forecast for tomorrow is cool and cloudy, but not too much wind and maybe the odd shower - fingers are well and truly crossed! I hope that you are still over the worst of your ills - - Richard

      Delete
  7. Wonderful post Richard.
    John.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, John. Sometimes a quick trip out is all it needs to keep the spirits alive.

      Best wishes to you both - - - Richard

      Delete
  8. I am sure you were a happy man, Richard - Little Owls and dragonflies, two of your most favourite things. Congratulations on fine pictures of a great day. Just goes to prove that even a quick trip or spur of the moment decision can bring success. Love to you both.
    David and Miriam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's always good to have the odd local patch to pop down to when the opportunity arises, David. This one is nice and convenient for me - and not many people get there to disturb things.

      With love to you both - - Richard

      Delete
  9. Stunning images with really good light on them. I hope you're feeling better Richard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Doug. I'm fine thank you - it's pal John who's been having a rough time of it lately.

      My best wishes to you - - Richard

      Delete
  10. Hello
    First-class shots, superbly photographed dragonflies are something else like owls ... but the owls like me the best ... :-))
    Greetings Frank

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words, Frank

      With my best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
  11. Beautiful images of the best of nature, thanks Richard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Bob. With my very best wishes - - Richard

      Delete
  12. Hello Richard!
    A great post indeed, 'Hee-ther' pond seems to be a wonderful place to take dragonfly pics, especially for someone who has ' thing' with water!! ;-)
    I love your comment about the owl looking somewhat guilty.... The only bird I knew with this kind of feeling was our Sulphur crested Cockatoo when we caught him plucking his feathers! He would look at us with the innocent expression: "who? meeee???
    Yes, the islands of the Indian ocean are fabulous, quite exotic and different from what we're used to in Europe, especially Mauritius and Madagascar.
    All the best Richard, share hugs with Lindsay :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Noushka. I'm looking forward to more posts from you on your Indian Ocean visit.

      With my very best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
  13. Delightful that you went to Scotland for a moment. A beautiful country and lots to see. I am very curious about your pictures.

    The little stone owl is great to see and also beautifully photographed. The many juffers and the dragonfly also have a great time to photograph you. Beautiful all those colors.
    I enjoyed this blog.

    Very nice weekend.
    Greetings, Helma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Helma, for your kind words. There should be some pictures from Scotland in my next post which will be in a day or two. Your 'juffers' had me confused for a while, but I see it is a Dutch word for damselflies!

      With my best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete
    2. Sorry, the word juffers brought you a little bit.
      Juffers is Dutch for this kind and it must indeed damselflies

      Delete
    3. Dear Helma. I wish my Dutch was even one hundredth as good as your English. It is my pleasure to work out what was intended when someone writes something that I don't immediately understand. I am extremely grateful that you are kind enough to write your comments in English.

      Thank you. With my very best wishes - - - Richard

      Delete

I'm pleased to report that the anonymous spam problem seems to be solvable without using word verification. I'm now just using the 'Registered Users - includes OpenID' option in Blogger settings, and I'm not getting any spam - touch wood! I've also not received any contact from people saying that they are no longer able to make comments.