I called in at the first hide, the name of which eludes me as usual although it might be Tyler? Anyway, from here three Little Ringed Plover chased each other around the islands, along with Lapwings, Egyptian Geese, Greylag Geese and Canada Geese, plus broods, together with Shelduck, Pied Wags and Moorhens. And in the shallow water between the islands I watched large bow waves, topped by shiny dorsal fins as some of the lakes Carpy inhabitants cruised nonchalantly below the surface while the birds swam, unconcerned, on the surface above them.
It wasn't long before the great outdoors beckoned again and I left the hide to walk around the main lake. My attention was soon drawn to the piping of a Gt Spotted Woodpecker coming from a dead tree. A quick look revealed this little chap calling impatiently for his hard pressed parents to provide more food.
I retreated to the cool shade of some nearby trees and waited for one of the parents to show up. I didn't have to wait long before meals on wings turned up, Mum I think, I didn't notice a red nape.
Junior was very pleased to see her, as was I, and he immediately took the beakful of delicious, wriggling grubs that constitutes grub to growing woodie woodpeckers.
Time to retreat and leave them in peace so I made my way to the nature trail area adjacent to the River Darent, a delightful, shallow, fast flowing piece of water which was obviously to the liking of the local Banded Demoiselle population.
This is one of those creatures that for me, is impossible to walk past without stopping to marvel at, and if I have a camera about my person, it demands to be pointed at them..........
..........so as you can see I did, lots of times.
There's a small lake nearby and here again I was drawn irresistably to the myriad of damsels, especially the Red Eyed pictured above, who for once seemed happy to leave their beloved algal rafts to settle on the reeds along the fringes. It was here that I also found some dragonflies of the non perching type. They steadfastly refused to stop their constant back and forth patrolling so there was nothing for it but to spend a long time trying to capture them in flight.
I managed a couple of frames from the dozens I took, most of which contained a blurry shot of an empty sheet of water. I think (fingers crossed) that they are Downy Emeralds, but i'm still having nightmares and counselling therapy to try and get over my last encounter with this species (if there are any regular readers you'll know what I mean, if there aren't, forget I ever mentioned it).
The handsome little chap above is Nemophora degeerella, a day flying longhorn moth, sometimes referred to as the 'fairy moth'. Don't think i've ever seen one before.
My last stop was at another hide, the name of which I also can't remember. Why do they give them such forgettable names? Or is it me, memory span of a thingamajig. Anyway it's the hide with the Kingfisher perching sticks in front, except they weren't being perched on. In fact both of the little beauties absolutely refused to play ball and insisted on a spectacular synchronised diving display on the far side of the lake. Only coming slightly closer to take a bow on a bough. A good way to end a very entertaining few hours I think.