Saturday 29 August 2009

A Really Brief History of Time

Wildlife watching opportunities have been a bit thin on the ground since my previous post. I did spot a Common Darter in our garden last weekend, "obelisking" into the sun during a brief hot spell. It's a very striking pose, which reminds me that, this winter, I should make the time (no pun intended) to design a dragonfly sundial. Later the same day, we ventured to the local reserve for an hour or so and recorded our first Migrant Hawker of the year. A nice male, roosting in the low afternoon sun. That brought my year list (sad, I know, but I'm a slave to my hormones) to a total of 25, which is my usual figure. Missing that Broad-bodied Chaser sighting now, eh, my lad?

Today being the first day of the Bank Holiday, I somehow managed to wake up at the normal time. How does that work? Monday to Friday, I'm rudely awakened by the alarm clock, wrenched from a pleasant somnolence by its strident tones. On a day off, Dink! my eyes open at exactly the same time without any explanation and I'm back in the land of the conscious. Grrrrr!

As the forecast was for sunny spells, we drove to Clifton Reynes and pottered about for an hour or so through the village, along the hedgerows, down to the river and back again. This produced a few Southern Hawkers, Migrant Hawkers, Common Darters and Banded Demoiselles, so we felt that we deserved a pub lunch. I can whole-heartedly recommend The Robin Hood Inn, excellent nosh. Now rather full and not a little tipsy, we wandered vaguely over the fields to Newton Blossomville, encountering more Common Darters, Migrant Hawkers and a Brown Hawker on the way. Our return, via Clifton Spinney, was enlivened by the flypast of a Spitfire and a Messerschmidt, aerial predators of 70 years ago, rather than the ones from 350 million years ago that we normally watch.

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