Monday, 1 August 2011


After having a late night and too many sherbets on staurday night, sunday morning was going to be an oasis of calm before a planned barbecue, with more sherbets, on the patio in the afternoon.
The first thing I saw from the kitchen window through bleary eyes was this Heron who was perched at the bottom of the garden. It looked great against the blue, early morning sky so it was straight out on to the patio to record it. As I edged closer I disturbed a Grey Wagtail which flew up from the grass where I hadn't noticed it, not a new garden tick but always so nice to see, albeit fleetingly on this occasion. Not a bad start to a slightly hungover sunday morning.

A bit later it got even better when this female Emperor (Empress?) dragonfly pictured above took a fancy to my pond and decided it would be a good place to deposit some of her eggs. I was really pleased to see this as it's a first for me in the garden. I was less pleased though when it eventually left the pond and was promptly grabbed by one of our House Sparrows, the cheeky little blighter. That's the second time i've seen a Sparrow catch a dragonfly at home, but at least this one managed to sow some seeds for the next generation.

I've been banging on recently about how I can never get a picture of a Brown Hawker, although I did eventually manage it at New Hythe last week. Then blow me down this one above, came into the garden soon after the sad demise of the Empress and settled on the vegetation on the side of the pond. I think it's a male and it stayed for about 15 minutes before being frightened off by a Wood Pigeon that called in for a drink and flew right over it.

Of course it was very warm by midday on sunday and this poor old Blackbird looked a bit uncomfortable sitting in the sun with his beak open. He sunbathed for just a few minutes......

.........before going for a quick dip in the birdbath and he looked a bit chirpier when he'd finished I thought.

My final and best surprise on sunday was the Treecreeper, above and below, who turned up and spent a few minutes in our old Laurel tree at the bottom of the garden. This is a mega first for me at home, the pictures aren't great but the bird is, and it's my 47th species to be seen within the garden, a further 29 species have been logged as seen from the garden. All this, plus a juvenile Coal Tit in one short day, without leaving home, how good is that!


Greenie said...

Phil ,
It would appear that 'Staurday' night's sherberts were still in the system when you posted today !
Great set of garden sightings , assuming that YOU saw them and it wasn't Carol on the camera .
I've seen Chaffinches take Darter sized dragonflies , but a female Emperor was a very large meal for a House Sparrow .
Does this mean no more New Hythe ?

Warren Baker said...

Thats a mighty fine Brown Hawker photo Phil :-)

A Treecreeper is a great garden tick, only ever occurred twice in my garden in 11 years of watching.

Alan Pavey said...

Nice bit of garden action there Phil, I was chasing another couple of Brown Hawkers today! Great pic of your one.