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A Late Summer Day with Dragons

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Migrant Hawker
Today was probably my last day with dragonflies this year as next week we go to Barcelona for a few days and then the following week we shall be taking our daughter back to Bangor for the start of the new university term. It was not a sad occasion however as Roger and myself had a wonderful warm late summer day on the reserve and I look forward to returning to some bird photography. Although signs of the end of summer and early autumn are all around us each season brings its joys and new photographic challenges. As I drove out to Melton Ross to pick up Roger I drove through patches of fog which the sun was just beginning to disperse. As I passed through Great Limber the view cried out to be photographed. Once on the reserve things are changing rapidly with the season; it is becoming increasingly ‘back end’! The haws and rosehips are ripening rapidly and the brambles are heavy with large, glossy blackberries. The wardens are busily mowing the phragmites reeds that encroach onto the meadows during the summer and need to be cut back while still green in order to control them. It was good to see the devilsbit scabious now in flower. There were also large numbers of migrant hawker dragonflies on the wing, mainly in one small part of the reserve. Unusually they were very accommodation and allowed a close approach for photography. There were also common darters with occasional southern and brown hawkers. There were very few butterflies around now but it was noticeable that speckled woods were still on the wing and have been so since last April; a long flight period. The rosebay willow herb is now completely in seed and damselflies were notable by their absence.
Another wonderful day.