Wednesday, 22 August 2012


 After the excitement of the Osprey seen from my garden last week, Carol and I had a few days at Rutland and saw three more. Two were on the nest platform on the reservoir and the third was fishing (unsuccessfully) in one of the lagoons, I know how he feels. We watched this one for some time as it hovered, legs down, into the wind as it scanned the margins, but it didn't get close enough for a picture unfortunately.
This morning I had a couple of hours at New Hythe looking for dragons along the sunny west bank of Abbey Mead lake. Most of the paths on this side of the railway are still impassable as I found to my cost suffering third degree stings and scratches to my legs even through denim jeans. That was just along the mound and the (ex) footpath that continues from it, to Abbey Mead. The sunken marsh is absolutely impenetrable, I shouldn't think anybody has been round there for months now.
Anyway, the dragons, particularly the Migrant Hawkers were performing well along the west bank, so I stayed for an hour or so and filled my boots.

While I was in Rutland I got a text from Terry Laws to say he'd had a Southern Hawker in the corner of Brooklands lake. This is not a common dragon for New Hythe, he had only recorded three I think in several years and I'd recorded none. So I was chuffed to little mint balls to spot this one (below), hanging on a thistle deep in the undergrowth along the side of Abbey Mead. The trouble was I couldn't get a record shot of it (which I knew would be required). I managed to find a scaffold board nearby and having leaned it against the steep bank between myself and my quarry, proceeded to gingerly walk up it, arms akimbo, trying to get nearer. This was when Ron, one of the friendly fishermen who frequent the lake turned up on his trusty dumptruck, (he was delivering roadstone to repair the car park), only to find his way blocked by a plank on a plank. I explained my predicament and being the gentleman that he is, invited me to stand aboard the vehicle while he manoeuvred me to the best spot to get the picture below. Thanks Ron, job done.


Jason K said...

Superb Migrant Hawker photos Phil....especially like the first flight shot!

Mike H said...

Great migrant shots Phil. I had visions of you trying to remake Eric Sykes masterpiece with that plank!!

Alan Pavey said...

Nice one Phil, i like the lengths gone to get the photo!! and well worth it, it was too ;-)

ShySongbird said...

Really lovely photos Phil! The ones of the dragon in flight are brilliant, not at all easy to capture!

So glad you got your Southern Hawker, the comment you left on my post must have put the spell on, if I say that the Migrant Hawker eludes me...

I could just picture the plank incident...well both planks actually... ;-)

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Great set of in flight MH shots , and well done with the SH too .
Shame you didn't ask Ron to take a few shots for the post whilst you were in the dumper .
So pleased that your mint balls are well chuffed now .

Warren Baker said...

Like Greenie, I too was hoping for a photo of your exploits. The dragons are very nice though mate :-)

I saw Grant today, he sent on your regards to me, thanks Phil :-)