Wednesday 3 August 2016

Ode to joy

After a morning sat at a computer (as the forecast had been for a day of rain), I realised that the cloud had lifted, the mist had rolled away and the sun was shining.

Well, you can't waste that!

I drove across the Barriers to South Ronaldsay and along to Hoxa, where there are a few pools of odonatological interest. The first, an abandoned quarry, now flooded, was very different from my visit last year. In fact, I suspect it was probably very different from last week, as the ditch at the 'shallow' end which the damselflies normally frequent had been recently excavated to increase the water flow. Whilst the habitat wasn't totally trashed, it will take a while for it to return to prime damsel territory, and consequently I only spotted one very old Blue-tailed Damselfly.

The second site is a collection of bog pools either side of a single tracked road. Following last night's downpours, there were even more pools then usual! The sun was really quite hot, at least for Orkney, and it didn't take long to find a pristine male Black Darter. This gave me much pleasure, as I hadn't personally seen this species at this site before. In previous years, I had been facing the wrong way when Our Lass spotted one. Twice.

There were also a few Blue-tailed Damselflies here too, who must have had a pretty rough night with the weather, being such slender creatures.

But it was the dragons that made me smile...

Before long, the clouds rolled in again, the temperature fell and normal Orcadian service was resumed.

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