Saturday 4 September 2010

Wild and windy Wicken

A Bank Holiday trip to Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire, on a blustery, showery day, turned into a tougher gig than anticipated. Due to the weather, we had to work rather hard to find any Odos at all, but by being in the right place at the right time, i.e. lucky, we managed to locate eight species.

Six of these were found in one small patch of sunlight, in a glade behind the East Mere Hide. Damselflies (Common Blue, Blue-tailed and Emerald) were roosting low, out of the wind, and even the darter (Common) and hawker (Brown and Migrant) dragonflies were flying close to the tops of the vegetation to minimise encountering any turbulence. This calm, warm oasis, in a sea of waving reeds and trees, even had a few Common Lizards basking on a fence rail.

During one heavy shower, our lass spotted a Migrant Hawker out hunting, which seemed like an extreme sport for an insect.

In the pond dipping area, we were fortunate to see a female Southern Hawker ovipositing in the moss growing on one of the platforms, and several Ruddy Darters were basking in sheltered hollows in the grass, tucked away out of the wind but enjoying a spot of full sun.

Cloud streets over Wicken

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