Wednesday, 16 July 2014


Two Weasels in fact. Terry and I came across them both on the footpath beneath the mound at New Hythe lakes yesterday. They were lying almost alongside each other and appeared to have died very recently. There were no outward signs of injury that we could see and one appeared slightly larger than the other, they could well have been two of this years young. I was saddened to see them dead, they and Stoats are a couple of my favourite creatures and this seemed such a waste. I am still wondering and puzzling about what the cause of their death was. 

On a lighter note, the reason we had met at New Hythe was because on monday I had found two male Lesser Emperor dragonflies alongside Abbey Mead lake. I watched them for quite a while but didn't get a chance to get a picture and was keen for somebody else to verify the find. Terry had found the same species there ovipositing two years ago I think, so I suppose these could have been as a result of that. I believe they have a two year year life cycle.
Anyway, the bad news is that after maybe three hours waiting, watching and searching with no sign of Lessers we had to give up. The good news though is that we did find this Southern Hawker, above and below, which is the first i've ever had at New Hythe. A site tick no less. 

Here are just a few pics of other species seen around Abbey Mead lake. Starting with Common Darter above and below.

Black-tailed Skimmers always present a challenge for me. Not because they won't settle, but because they insist on settling on concrete, or dry dusty tracks which don't make very good backgrounds. So here's one in flight. Not the greatest shot by a long way, but hey, it's not easy!

Which brings me to Brown Hawkers. They look so good in flight, big and commanding. And even better when the sun shines through those brown tinged wings. But will they allow a picture? Not usually. I mostly see them fly up from the undergrowth in front of me before i've spotted them. Then they are away, seldom in my experience, returning to the same spot like some of the more obliging species. Which is why I was a bit chuffed to get this shot, poor though it is, of a female Brown Hawker ovipositing along the side of Abbey Mead as we made our way back to the car park.
Nice Dragons. Shame about the Weasels.


Warren Baker said...

No Dragons are easy to get photo's of Phil ! :-)

Cant think what would have killed the Weasels :-(

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Very strange re. the Weasels .
If you remember I found one on the East Scrub a few years ago .
Any recognisable in flight shot of Odonata is good in my book .
Shame the Lessers blew out , I was just about to ask directions .

Phil said...

You're right about the dragon pics, that's what makes it satisfying I think.

Phil said...

Not sure the Lessers have departed. They came and went a bit last time. If you want to try your luck, head for the south west corner of Abbey Mead.

Steve Nunn said...

Weasels my favourites too . Very strange. Great to hear about the Lesser Emperor....sure they will stick around.

Phil said...

Great to hear from you. It was your blog which inspired me to spend more time at New Hythe and ultimately to start my own. I remember bumping into you for the first time on the Millstream path as the light was fading, waiting for the iconic NH Bitterns to show in the 'usual reedbed'.
Things are changing down there but in essence it's still the good, under watched site it used to be. Hope to see you there again sometime.

Mike Attwood said...

Sad about the weasels. I have my own thoughts on what could have happened and hope to say more soon.

Phil said...

I'm intrigued!!