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Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Making the most of my lunch hour

I never forget how lucky I am to live and work in this part of the world. So much natural beauty so close to home, enough to completely immerse yourself in.  

Just take today for example, when I actually managed to get a full lunch hour at work. I spent it alongside the River Axe just below the A3052 road bridge...

Not somewhere I visit often


The whole time I was there, despite the fact it was 1pm, there was a constant chorus of singing Reed and Sedge Warblers, Blackcap and Lesser Whitethroat - the latter presumably the apparent unpaired male that is popping up all over the river valley. Part way through my wander a Hobby zipped through low north west, causing mad panic among the lingering 30+ Sand Martins.

I spent most of the time looking down though, thanks to the several hundred White-legged Damselflies on view.  This species distribution is fascinating, they seem to be so site faithful - hundreds in one spot, a rarity just a few hundred meters downstream. For example, Lower Bruckland Ponds is less than 1km away from where I was today, with a small stream linking the two sites, and is by far our best Dragonfly site - yet I've never seen one here.  Among the hundreds of White-legs I saw today there were just five Common Blue Damselflies present.

White-legged Damselfly male

Same as above!

White-legged Damselfly female


Great to see four male Scarce Chasers on territory here too, my highest count away from Lower Bruckland Ponds. This species really is on the up, with numbers increasing here every year - just amazing to think they weren't here at all in the early 00's!

Scarce Chaser male

Scarce Chaser - a different view!


As to be expected, there were plenty of Banded Demoiselle about...

Male Banded Demoiselle


Then I went back to work...  And that's how you do a lunch hour! 

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