Tuesday 3 September 2019

A day of three halves

Towards the end of last month, there was a day which seemed to have many things going on all at once. OK, there weren't unicorns, but there was pretty much everything else.

It all began with an early morning haar, which was so thick that this Wheatear, migrating back to Africa, stopped off in our garden until visibility improved.

Throughout the morning, the sun gradually burnt off the haar, until by lunchtime it was a lovely warm day. An oil rig was being escorted into Scapa Flow and manoeuvred into place by a small fleet of ocean-going tugs. Presumably it is here for some maintenance work.

I met up with Eagle-eyed M at a dragonfly site near my last job of the day. We were hoping to find some Black Darters, but drew a blank. It took a while, but we did manage to find a few Blue-tailed Damselflies. Then, M did that thing which she is very good at, she found the first Emerald Damselfly for the site. It's happened so often now that I shouldn't be surprised, but I was. One particular insect would fly a short distance and land upon another rush stem. For the briefest of moments, it would hold its wings open at 45 degrees, then close them along its abdomen. The former action is indicative of Emerald, the latter is not. The bright sunlight was washing out the colours of the insect, so all that we could be sure of was that it had a different hue to the 9th segment of the abdomen and some of the thorax. Those features could describe either a Blue-tailed or an Emerald Damselfly. We watched patiently as the insect moved to different rush stems a few more times, repeating the wing movements again and again, as we murmured "Yes it is... no it's not... yes it is... no it's not."

We were too far away to be sure so, in the end, I gingerly waded nearer for a closer look. Yup, it was an Emerald.

In the evening, cloud rolled in, catching the light from the setting sun and producing some photogenic effects. I stood by our front door and played about with my camera, photographing the shipping in the Flow and the hills to the west.

I will look back fondly on this day of beneficent meteorology (in fact, probably quite soon as there's a Force 8 wind due).


Mark said...

Three of a perfect pair!

Coastal Ripples said...

Lots of great photos, love the last one..Good luck with the gale:) B

Imperfect and Tense said...

Mark, it could've been a Boots' 3 for 2 offer, but I was wearing sandals.

Barbara, it's rattling through as I type. The first autumnal gale is just to see who is paying attention and has put away the garden furniture!