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Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Back Out With The Camera - on 5th September, 2019

Due to illness, it had been eight weeks since I had ventured out with the camera. However, I was now feeling much-recovered and confident enough for a gentle trip out. For my first trip, I chose to visit Kelham Bridge. It offered the prospect of some birds and didn't require too much walking. It also has a couple of hides, which meant I could break the journey and sit down for a while if it felt necessary.

In the event, the visit was somewhat disappointing. I saw no birds of note, and none that were in a position to be worthwhile photographing. I did, however, find a few damselflies and dragonflies although that was not my objective, or even expectation, as it was quite cool and rather breezy, with the sun showing from time to time. The dragons, however, were not particularly obliging. There were also a few Speckled Wood butterflies around.

Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) (female) - Kelham Bridge
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum) (male) - Kelham Bridge
Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) (male) - Kelham Bridge
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) - Kelham Bridge
Usually I'd expect to see a few people at this place and, in fact, before I went I was concerned that the hides might be too full for me to find a seat. Clearly, not much had been happening here for a while and, encouraged by the dragons being around, I decided on a visit to the Sence Valley Forest Park which is nearby.

Although it was a fair walk from the car park there to the location I wanted to visit, I was not too bothered as there were benches to rest up on at approximately 200 metre intervals, including one beside the pool that was my target. To cut a long story short, although it was sunny, there was very little sun on the pool and absolutely no dragonflies or damselflies were seen there. However, I did see a few on my way there, and on my way back, and there were numerous Speckled Woods around too. Here are a few shots. For those of you not familiar with Beautiful Demoiselle damselflies, they can look very different, depending on the light shining on them and I hope the first two images, below, demonstrate this to some extent.


Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) (male) - Sence Valley Forest Park
Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) (male) - Sence Valley Forest Park
Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) (female) - Sence Valley Forest Park
In addition to these, Migrant Hawker and Common Darter were seen, but not successfully photographed.

In spite of the sightings and photography being uninspiring, it had been an extremely worthwhile experience and, although these locations were relatively close to home and I'd only been out of the house for two and a half hours, it had boosted my confidence for further outings.

I expect my next blog post will feature another outing, three days later, with better sightings and which included a 'county tick' for me. 

Thank you for dropping by.

25 comments:

  1. You may not have seen many species, Richard, but perhaps the greater purpose was to get your walking legs back and it seems that you accomplished this goal. It was a smart move to choose a location with lots of opportunity to rest if you felt the need. I would imagine that before long dragonflies and damselflies will be gone for the year, so you will have to have your birding lens focused and ready!

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    1. I'm expecting the dragonflies to be all gone from these parts next month, David, and I'm already turning my thoughts to birds. Until then, it will probably be mainly dragons as I managed to miss so much of this year's season. We'll see how things go! Best wishes - - Richard

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  2. Nice to see you back out Richard with the camera and getting some lovely results. I think I need some of your spirit and enthusiasm as mime seems to have left me as I appear to be going through a 'can't be bothered' stage. Hope the weekend weather allows you to get out.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling uninspired at the moment, Marc. It might be becasue you were having a truly remarkable time early in the year, and now things seem a bit flat in comparison. Maybe a change of scenery would help. Back to birds for a while?

      News of the first recording of Willow Emerald in this county earlier this week with up to 5 being seen at a location on the other side of Leicestershire to me. Hopefully it indicates a breeding colony. The forecast is good for tomorrow so I'll be off there with fingers crossed - all things being equal!

      Hoping you get your mojo back soon. Best wishes - - - Richard

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  3. My sort of walk. I sympathise though I would be happy to have seen the Demoiselle.

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    1. Those Demoiselles are stunningly beautiful, Adrian, and a pleasure to watch with their fluttering flight. With my best wishes - - - Richard

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  4. Great Richard, you're walking again, fantastic. And, beautiful shots as well.

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    1. Thank you, Bob. It was great to be out and about again! With my best wishes - - - Richard

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  5. Yes, good to see you back on the road. Not being out for eight weeks, and a disappointing trip when you did....I know the feeling on both counts, but the Dragons and Damsels did you well.

    I must one again thank your for your continued support for B2B Richard.

    My Kind Regards

    Pete.

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    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Pete. I feel very humbled, as my own incapacity was truly insignificant when compared to what you've been through.

      Rest assured that I get a great deal of pleasure from visiting B2B, even though I'm not a numbers-counter.

      My very best wishes - - - Richard

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  6. Great photos and glad the see that you are back out walking again. Sorry not visiting much. Just a very busy time for us with visitors and then off to RSA October/November. Cheers, take care, Diane

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    1. Thank you for taking time out of your hectic schedule to visit, Diane! I hope that you have a wonderful time in RSA if I'm not in touch before you go. My very best wishes - - - Richard

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    2. Thanks Richard we just hope that BA do not go on strike on our flying dates!! Re our visitors - in the two weeks before they got to us the had 'done' the whole of Paris, Rouen, Mont St Michel, Caen all the American war graves, beaches and several other places that I cannot remember - they were walking over 40,000 steps per day!!!!!!! Keep well and take care Diane

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    3. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you with you BA flights, Diane!

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  7. Hello Richard, Good to read you took up walking again and that means you are much, much better. I am very happy for you and your wife. The Dragonflies you did see are wonderful! Next walk perhaps some more.
    All the best from Belgium,
    Roos

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    1. Thank you for those kind words, Roos. The next walk did, indeed, come up with more, including birds! Best wishes from a warm and sunny England - - Richard

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  8. Beautiful report, Richard, congratulations from Asturias.

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    1. Thank you, Belén. Best wishes from a bright and sunny England!

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  9. So, Richard, you have been seriously ill, managed to be outdoors for over two hours, saw and photographed creatures that don't even exist where I live, shared your splendid images with the world and then apologize for your efforts being - "UNINSPIRING"???

    My friend, you need a better dictionary.

    I may be the only one, but I was DEFINITELY inspired by your post! How encouraging that you are even able to be out and about, considering what you've been through! (One might even say it is "inspiring".) Your sightings may be mundane to you, but I thrilled at seeing all of these pictures. (You could say I found them "inspiring".) The technical quality of your photographs of such small subjects is superb. (Dare I say, "inspiring"?)

    What a difference a change in angle or source of light can make on the appearance of the beautiful Demoiselles!

    In short, Sir, I found this entire adventure of yours to be incredibly "inspiring"! I can't wait to see what your next outing will bring. Please be careful not to overdo the physical exertion, however. You don't need any sort of health reversal!

    Gini says she needs to be certain Lindsay has approved all of this activity as she strongly suspects you may be sneaking out to harass innocent creatures without your nurse's approval. She's like that.

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    (Hope we made you smile a bit.)

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    1. OK Wally, so I'm not smiling - I'm grinning!

      Sadly, I now realise just how intuitive Gini is! I did not heed Lindsay's warnings last week, and yours came a little too late - and I overdid it a bit, so I'm suffering the consequences now, but hoping it will pass if I take it VERY easy for a few days. I blame it on the fear of missing the end of the dragon season, especially as there was a 'first county record' that I felt I had to witness - but more on that at a later date.

      Please learn by my mistakes and keep doing just what Gini says to do! With my very best wishes to you both - - - Richard

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  10. Hello Richard
    again and again I am amazed at your dragonfly photos, I try it again and again but worlds separate us .. ;-))
    very nice
    Greetings frank

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    1. Thank you, Frank. It's is probably a matter of having the right lens for the job - but an element of patience comes into it too (although, judging by your own photographic efforts, I suspect that you have plenty of patience!). My very best wishes - - - Richard

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