Butterflies and Damsels at Messingham.

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Female Orange Tip, Messingham Sand Quarry
Despite the weather being cold with a cooling breeze from the north east I decided on an early start at Messingham Sand Quarry, a Lincs Wildlife Trust Reserve today. I arrived at 7.30 and although I was the first there it wasn't long before a few other early risers turned up. The bird life was very active this morning with plenty of warblers singing: willow warbler, chiffchaff, garden warbler and several reed warblers busy in the reed beds. I have spent some time trying to photograph the reed warblers but they are very reluctant to show themselves prefering to sing from the bottom of the reeds. Willow warblers and garden warblers are more obliging, sometimes singing from the tops of low trees. I did decide to try to photograph the garden warbler but became distracted by butterflies and damselflies. I spent the first couple of hours hunting for dragon flies and damsels finding one freshly emerged large red damselfly. Whilst wandering round to the second hide, however, I was delighted to come across a nesting colony of sand martins in the sand and gravel workings - brilliant. Other birds of note were the common terns that look as though they will be breeding and a female marsh harrier looking very tatty! It is also wonderful to note that there are otters on the reserve but I have yet to see them. Later on during the morning I had a pleasant hour or so photographing azure, blue-tailed and common blue damselflies along with orange tip, speckled wood and brimstone butterflies.
An excellent morning.