On Saturday, Rob and I went to Goring to have a walk along the Thames there. Our goal was to see Club-tailed Dragonfly, aka Common Clubtail. I was worried we were already too late for this spring dragon, and so it proved (or else we were really unlucky, or in the wrong place). However, there was sunshine (at first, anyway), and other wildlife around to see.
This stretch of the Thames is quiet, lush and devastatingly pretty, and it winds along from expensive-looking village to even more expensive-looking village. We found a place to park past Goring station and found our way to the riverside in short order. We'd already seen Common Buzzard and Red Kite from the car window so were hopeful of photographic opportunities.
We settled down on the river bank by the railway bridge, supposedly the Club-tail hotspot (unless I misunderstood everything I'd read about it) and waited. From here we saw a few Red Kites.
The Thames here is very busy with boat traffic. Little motorboats, canoes, and bigger, grander things with balloons and waving, champagne glass-wielding passengers. Whenever one of the bigger boats went by, a few moments later its backwash would slap hard into the bank. This constant disturbance explains the paucity of emergent vegetation along this river, bad news for some Odonata though not, according to my dragonfly book, a problem for Club-tailed.
With the clouds getting thicker and the breeze stronger and chillier, it was clearly time to give up. We wandered back the way we'd came, with a brief pause to negotiate with a herd of cows that had blocked a narrow section of path.