With heavy hearts, we finally dragged ourselves away from the Tithe Barn in Sisland, but with definite thoughts of returning in early Spring next year, for a bit of quality Hare time.
Meanwhile, the plan for the journey back to MK was to stop off at Wicken Fen, north of Cambridge, for a bit more natural history before finally returning to Tense Towers.
The skies were clearing, the temperature was rising and by the time we arrived at the National Trust reserve, it was shaping up to be a positive Odonata day. Indeed, as soon as we approached the pond dipping pools, there were damsels and dragons aplenty. Walking along the lode, was an odofest too, with Variable and Red-eyed Damselflies mating and egg-laying, whilst Scarce and Four-spotted Chasers were patrolling the water's edge.
|Mating Red-eyed. He's keen, but is she?|
|More Red-eyed Damselflies, now ovipositing|
|Variable Damselflies mating|
We ate our picnic lunch on a bench beside another ditch teeming with odes, then wandered around the north side of the fen, where several Hairy Dragonflies were having their own feast, one individual polishing off a damselfly and another, a bee. There were orchids aplenty, but without a suitable ID guide to differentiate between the various species and their numerous hybrids, we didn't try full identification. However, one species was sufficiently different to allow us to have a reasonable guess, a Common Twayblade.
This appeared to be a particularly good year for orchids at Wicken Fen, as we don't recall seeing so many specimens during previous visits. Perhaps we just hit upon the best time to see them.
Oddly, our walk back to the car just happened to pass the tea shop, with the inevitable calorific consequences. Good times.