Continuation from Thursday am. Yesterday afternoon I headed to Riverside Country Park on the outskirts of Guildford.
The vegetation on either side of the Wey Navigation has grown so high I nearly needed stilts to get a clear view along the water and across the water meadows. There were a few gaps that enabled me to see what was going on on the other side.....
A horsey huddle.
Young foal keeps close to mum for protection.
I followed the path out to the main lake listening to the chattering of Reed and Sedge Warblers calling from deep within the lush marginal vegetation. A young Great Crested Grebe continually called to its parent as they drifted the other side of the reeds and always out of sight of the lens. I then sat for a while watching a male Black-tailed Skimmer (blue with yellow spots) patrolling and defending its territory while a female (yellow with black abdominal bands) oviposited nearby. Then a scurry of activity as two individuals fought
frantically in the air and flew away in tandem. When they eventually came to ground I managed a single shot before they moved off again but was totally surprised to see what appeared to be two males locked together in the courtship wheel! How unusual is that?
Resting on the muddy margin was a Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and I found it very difficult to get a really clear detailed shot of its pale blue, black spotted underwing so this will have to do for now.
A Damsel finds a small island to rest within the vast ocean!
A flotilla of Egyptian Geese (15 in total) headed across the pond towards the watcher.
Presumably looking for a free handout!
Mute Swan silently drifted over and gave the watcher 'the eye'.
A Robin called to me as I walked back through the small area of woodland.
Walking back to the car along the towpath I spotted a few Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) and eventually got a shot of this male, distinguished from the Banded Demoiselle by its broader wings but the iridescent dark brown-black pigment covers the whole wing although sometimes paler towards the tip and the base. The very striking metallic blue-green body is similar in both species.
Finally a 'summer' view of the iron bridge that I have posted throughout the different seasons.
Wherever you are ...have a great wildlife watching weekend....FAB.