For a birthday treat I took myself off to the quiet reserve of Watts/Monks Wood in Lincolnshire yesterday. I was fortunate with the weather which was by and large cloudless and 22C. I headed straight to the regular spot for broad bodied chasers but apart from a couple of four spotted chasers none were in evidence. The pink water lily in the pond, though was looking magnificent. I was pleased to see new for the year butterflies: meadow brown, ringlet and large skipper. I was suprised to find ringlet as they usually appear after the other two but maybe things are well behind on my regular Horsefield patch. Also unlike the Horsefield, there were plenty of common blues but all very worn so they have obviously been out for some time.
On the large pond there were large numbers of bright turquoise emperor dragonflies but they were constantly moving and gave no chance for photography. I think that they must have been perching up in the cover of surrounding undergrowth. As I was leaving the Co-op pond I heard and then had good views of a juvenile greater spotted woodpecker.
Back at the smaller pond I was delighted to find broad bodied chaser and, as usual were a delight to photograph. Having secured some images I moved on to Beatles Pond where there were more 4 spots and a retiring male banded demoiselle damselfly as well as a white water lily. From here I headed back to the car via the Watts Wood path, picked up my lunch and returned to the broad body pond for a last session. Just as I was preparing to leave another pair of males appeared and a three way territorial dog fight took place. An amazing sight.
Altogether an excellent day topped off with a BBQ in the evening.
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