Monday, 31 May 2010

Birthday trip

To mark our lass's imminent birthday, I thought I'd take her out on a jolly jaunt to a National Trust property, complete with teashop, restaurant, craft shops, park land and gardens. Pushing all the right buttons, just not necessarily in the right order.

The fact that this particular site was in Buckinghamshire, in a previously unrecorded 10km square for Odonata and that the Admiral and his notebook were in tow, was purely coincidental.

So, shortly before lunch, we found ourselves at Claydon House, wandering around the gardens which included this rather uninteresting-looking pond...


however, it had very recently contained 50, that's five, oh... fifty, of these creatures...


the exuvia (or discarded larval skin) of an Emperor dragonfly. The emerged adults had dispersed to who knows where, because we only spotted one, very briefly, much later on.

There were also a dozen or so pre-emergent larvae, waiting their moment to move from the aquatic world to the aerial one.


After a pleasant lunch in the Carriage House Restaurant, we wandered out into the park and down to the lakes. Here we found several Four-spotted Chasers emerging...


along with a bazillion Azure, Red-eyed and Blue-tailed Damsels. A few Common Blues and Large Reds completed the haul of a successful day's odo-ing, er... I mean, birthday celebrating, obviously.

Back in the garden, a sunny bank full of wild flowers produced several Common Blue butterflies, this male...


and this female.


A pair of Pied Wagtails were busy with beakfuls of insects and dodging tourists to feed their nestlings in the vegetation above a doorway. Which can only mean one thing... Springwatch is back tonight!

1 comment:

John said...

An ode way to spend ones birthday :0)