Settling into a room in Church Stretton, we stared from our window as a thunderstorm grumbled its way across the hills, lending a suitably atmospheric start to the proceedings. Sadly, in the valleys of the National Trust's land, it's a while since we've met anyone dressed in black wearing a white collar. I refer to the Ring Ouzel, of course.
Sunday was by far the better day and we wandered between Pole Cottage and Wildmoor Pool, taking in the fresh air and occasional burst of sunshine. There weren't many birds to speak of, singletons of Dunlin, Snipe and Stonechat, but the dragonflies put on a fantastic show. The blustery conditions made photography tricky, but we were able to record a varied amount of breeding behaviour. Honest, this is far less seedy than I've made it sound, and certainly nowhere near as irreligious as my normal background readings would suggest.
Golden-ringed Dragonfly (male)
Emerald Damselflies ovipositing
Recently-emerged Common Hawker (male)
Common Hawkers in tandem