Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Summer evening insects and insect-eaters

Here are a few pics from Sunday (yes, it's taken me THAT long to get round to sorting them out). We just spent a couple of hours down at Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, on a still and sunny evening. I borrowed the D700 again as I wanted to try it out with my big macro lens, and I was pleased with how the two got along together (though unfortunately I didn't notice til we were nearly finished that ISO on the camera was set at 3200 - whoops).

Anyway, some photos. There were lots of Common Blue damsels out by Long Lake, and smaller numbers of Blue-tailed. I saw one Red-eyed too (didn't get a pic) but sadly no dragons.

This Blue-tailed Damselfly (or maybe these Blue-tailed Damselflies - I lost track of whether they were the same individual or not) was by the little pond in the wildlife garden, going to sleep on a head of Purple Loosestrife. The first pic shows the vulvar scale at the abdomen tip, showing this is a female - the coloration is male-like which makes this an example of the andromorph form. Looking like a bloke means that these females don't get approached as often by actual males, which can be a good or a bad thing, depending how many males are around.

While I was here I had a good look at the marigolds in the 'corn meadow' bit, hoping to find a yellow Crab Spider. I didn't. Instead, here's what I guess is a green capsid bug of some kind, and a Soldier Beetle scanning for enemy troops.

Also here is one of my favourite flowers, Viper's Bugloss. This one had attracted a small monochrome hoverfly.

The feeding station by Grebe hide was quite busy with Blue and Great Tits, both species represented by cute juveniles and knackered-looking adults.

I walked straight from there to Long Lake, seeing very little on the way, and the only thing of note that I heard was a half-hearted Willow Warbler by Willow hide. The meadow at the far end of Long Lake was full of Common Blue Damsels - here are two of them.

While up there I couldn't resist firing off a few hundred shots of the Swifts that were feeding over West Lake. They have well-grown young by now and all were sporting football-throats as they collected insects for the kids.