Saturday, 7 June 2014

A Day of Dragonflies and Orchids.

With a brilliant forecast it was too tempting not to get out today.  I was keen to get to Saltfleetby/Theddlethorpe NNR to see if the Emperor Dragonflies had emerged yet; as it happened I was too early and will return in a couple of weeks.  I needen't have worried though as there was masses of other wonderful wildlife to enjoy and photograph.  I parked at Rimac and my first port of call was the near pond which was buzzing with four spotted chasers.  I even found one newly emerged from it's larval case or exuvia.  What a magical experience!  Next up was the bee orchids that flower in the dunes near the car park.  Rather early for them really but I was informed that they were already in flower.  I love these flowers, so difficult to see at first but so intricate.  As a large school party turned up I decided to leave the pond to them and wandered down through the dunes to the next pond.  Here there were even more four spots and the air seemed thick with them.  There was a frenzy of rivalry, mid air-copulation and ovipositing.  They perched up well, though, so there were plenty of opportunities for photography.  There were also some hawkers about smaller and less bulky than the the four spots.  They didn't perch at all so there was no opportunity for photography or identification.  Interestingly the water was also alive with good sized roach swimming close to the surface.  A pair of cuckoos were also very active with lots of calling.  An excellent morning.

I decided to drive up into the Wolds to Red Hill for my lunch which I enjoyed before exploring.  Things were much quieter here with only a few butterflies on the wing and flowers seemingly behind.  Butterflies included common blue, small heath and large skipper, all of which I successfully photographed.  I also managed shots of both pyramidal and common spotted orchid.

To view large, Please click on an image.
Tandem pair of Azure Damselflies ovipositing.
Bee orchid
Bee Orchid
Common Blue Damselfly
Newly emerged four spotted chaser.
Newly emerged four spotted chaser.
All the next images are four spotted chaser.

Southern Marsh Orchid
Common Blue
Common Spotted Orchid.
Large Skipper
Pyramidal Orchid
Small Heath
Lincolnshire Wolds at Red Hill
Lincolnshire Wolds at Red Hill

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