My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Sunday, 10 May 2009

A mixed bag!

It's been a busy working weekend. But before that, five days ago I'd seen my first pairs of Large Red Damselflies emerging from the pond. Prior to that there had only been singles. Pond life gets really exciting in the spring (am I a very sad person?) when first the frogs get it together, then the tadpoles ad nauseum are seen swimming in the pond, then the damsels emerge and now... well come on the dragons!!

I went down to Mum's yesterday and decided to call in at Warnham Nature Reserve on the way. Wanham is a small reserve and not too much to see in the way of birds. They do have Kingfishers but I'm still waiting to see one and would like NOT to hear "well, 10 minutes ago from the hide... there was one perching....just over there...about 12 feet'd have got a really good picture" Sigh!

It was late afternoon and very quiet. BUT one of the two common terns that I saw was perching on this barrier and...
(believe me, it is a tern!!)

the second, kept company by a Pied Wagtail was on Tern Island!
(again, please take my word for it, tern and wagtail they definitely were!)

Today - great excitement!! We went to the local refuse tip to dispose of Mum's garden rubbish; filled the bird feeders and generally pottered about.

Then off to a local garden to visit their garden centre; Mum wanted to add to some plants she'd bought on my previous visit.

We'd already been to another garden centre, but made a detour to check out a local lake. And, as I suspected, it was privately owned. But I did have distant veiws of a Great Crested Grebe with its one chick! Great! A "what's up there" trip along a "passing places only" lane (that was a dead end) produced a swallow preening high up on a telephone cable.

Travelling up a very busy duel carriageway (A24) to our next stop, the wheelchair was rattling in the back of the car so I pulled over into a lay-by to sort this out.

Just as I got back into the car, a Kestrel was hunting over a field and was being harrassed by a Swift!

I love these impromptu birding moments!

This was one of the views to the entrance where we were off to buy plants:

We were too early for the garden shop to open, so had a walk through the gardens but principally through the "greenhouse". I was using my Canon 20D and the macro setting (for a couple of pics) which I think performed reasonably.

We bought the required plants and headed off home for a welcome cuppa before I came north to home!


Phil and Mandy said...

Superb photos again Tricia, keep them coming.

The Early Birder said...

Tricia, the comments at Warnham must be a tape recording - I've heard that there a few times!
Great that you have Damselflies on the doorstep. Love hunting for bees on thistles (sorry probably Eryngium?).
I suppose I'll have to add Macro lens to the growing list then.

Tricia said...

Hi Phil and thank you - I shall try to keep the pictures coming.

Frank - In the interests of saving you money, the pictures were taken with the macro "setting" on the camera and the wide angle lens. The macro lens was in the boot of the car!! It was too windy for that sort of magnification unfortunately!

I can't remember what the plant was called but I don't think it was an Eryngium.

mick said...

I agree! Definitely a tern!! But oh I would love to see a close-up photo! We get Common Terns down here but they are in non-breeding plumage and it would be really nice to see full breeding plumage - although yours (I assume) is the European form. So "Please Terns" cooperate with Tricia next time!

Midmarsh John said...

Great shots of the damselflies, Tricia. Probably be next month before I see any.

Also like the close shots of the flowers. The wind is certainly a nuisance when getting in that close to outdoor plants.

I've fallen in love with that seat under the brick arch. I wish I had a garden big enough to fit in a feature like that.

Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
I love these red damselflies, they are beautiful. Our ponds do not come so agitated in spring and not even in summer. Only mosquisto-type animals come out of it, no frogs, no salamander, no newts, nothing but birds ;-) I sometime envy other countries, with a lot of diversity, but each of us has its own diversity around, and that's magic!!

Randy Emmitt said...


Great damselflies you have there! I use a 20D also for macro I use an 180mm macro lens. We just this weekend had Azure Bluets emerge in the pond here and the water lilies have opened.

Pete said...

nice damsels trish

holdingmoments said...

Don't you just hate it when you hear those words, 'should have been earlier, there was a ........' lol
Good shots of the Red Damsels. I'm hoping some Damsels and Dragons visit my little puddle this year.
I can see the Pied Wagtail! ;)
I agree, impromptu bird moments are great.
Another great post Tricia.

Tricia said...

Mick - I can assure you I was willing them to come nearer! The one on the barrier was there when I arrived and when I left - so it wasn't budging!! If I get a better picture, it will be on the blog!

John - it always amazes me how the timing of plants and beasties arriving varies up and down the UK.

The seat was on the wall of the greenhouse and I agree, it would be lovely to have an area like that!

Chris - thanks. Sorry you don't see the damsels - but just think of all your wonderful birds!

Randy - Hi and thanks for visiting! I must admit to not using the 20D so often these days. I've upgrade to the 50D which I use mainly for wildlife; and the 20D gets used mostly for landscapes.

The Azure Blues have amazing colours and I think I've seen one but it moved to fast! No water lilies that I've seen here have opened yet!

Pete - thanks! But they could have been sharper!

Keith - thank you and, oh yes! One of those most used phrases or sayings!

Glad you could see the Pied Wagtail, Lol - pity the two birds were so far away!!

Anonymous said...

You got some really nice macros there Tricia and that is some entrance to a garden centre unlike I have ever seen. You need to slow up a bit Tricia, all this life at 100mph all the time.{:)

ShySongbird said...

Lovely photos again Tricia and I loved the damselfly. I had to smile at your investigation of the lane which turned into a dead-end, we've done a lot of that in our time. :-D

oldcrow61 said...

Wonderful pictures. I'd love to sit on that seat against the wall among the flowers.

Anonymous said...

What beautiful pictures, Tricia. I've loved looking at your posts.


Tricia said...

Jan - thank you. Seems to be a favourite past-time of ours when driving Mum around the Sussex countryside! There' so much to explore.

OC - I'm sure you'd love it. Surrounded by wonderful plants and - peace and quiet!

Mara - Welcome to the blog and thank you for your kind comments. Glad to enjoyed the posts!

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