Saturday, 1 June 2013

Dragon Chaser.


I visited two locations today. Whilst the first, Fresham Little Pond didn't produce any avian photo opportunities, I was serenaded by numerous Reed Warblers, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Wren, Blackbird, Nuthatch and Willow Warbler. I also had resonable views of a pair of Great Crested Grebes and three Common Terns that have taken up residence on the 'tern raft'. The only butterflies on the wing were Brimstone and Orange Tip.
As the sun was shining I then decided to head over to Thursley Common in the hope that there might be the chance to capture images of  another species.



Since my very recent wander around the bog at Thursley Common the vegetation has got a little higher. Again not much activity on the water.

The resident Tufted Ducks were resting ... but high overhead I noticed the distinctive shape and aerial acrobatics of a number of 'dragon chasers', but would they come low enough for my lens?

Well I wasn't to be disappointed as eventually one or two individuals decided to hunt their desired prey at a slightly lower level. The HOBBY is a consummate predator, often gliding around relatively slowly before turning up the speed to chase, catch and eat its prey on the wing.

Both images are cropped and one day I might get a shot of it actually capturing its dinner ... but won't hold my breath!

Although it was quite breezy at ground level there were two species of Odonata in reasonable numbers flitting in and out of the waterside vegetation.
An immature Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)

 Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) resting on gorse.  FAB.

48 comments:

  1. beautiful raptors, and i like the red damsel!

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    1. Hi Theresa. Hopefully if the sun shines there will be more 'damsels' in front of the camera.

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  2. Nice to see that dragons and damsels are about. I keep checking my pond to see if any Damsels are emerging yet.

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    1. Midmarsh John. Definitely later on the wing around here but some more sunshine and less wind will help. Keep looking, I'm sure it won't be long before they grace your pond.

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  3. I like watching ducks :)Nice photos

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  4. liking that red damselfly and the boardwalk through the bog makes for a great space to tread; you got some great photos to share here, thanks Frank!

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    1. Carole M. Delighted that you enjoyed the walk.

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  5. Wonderful post, great photos and if I haven't said so before, your header is brilliant!

    Denise
    An English Girl Rambles

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    1. Denise. Thank you .... I'm sure the header must be due for a change, very soon!

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  6. Good sighting of the Hobby Frank and you are seeing Dragons as well which is more than I am so far.

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    1. Roy, just a few at the moment but hopefully if the sun shines there will be more around for the camera to snap.

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  7. Terrific post! Love your photography. I agree about your Header: Fabulous!!

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    1. Thanks Mona. At least the Heron stands still for a portrait shot!

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  8. Nice series! love that header of the heron - it's really eye popping!

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    1. Thanks Shelly and great to hear from you.

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  9. Excellent documentation of a productive day afield. I enjoyed the photos.

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  10. Cute duck shots! It almost looks like a Ringed-neck.

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    1. Thanks Cindy. Yes, they are somewhat similar.

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  11. What a magnificent place to visit and I always enjoy seeing the paths you have taken and what you saw. Those Dragons are brilliant. We have a special park that we enjoy for the Butterflies and Dragonflies. Guess what? The mowers completely mowed down all of the Cat-tails and vegetation from around the lake there. Now they will not come and the frogs have no where to hide either...

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    1. Hi Mary. I forgot to mention that it's a popular place for dog walkers who often allow their pets into the pond which doesn't help the wildlife!

      I'm amazed that they would cut it all down at this time of year ... definitely not a wildlife friendly approach.

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  12. Great capture on those dragonflies. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon Riuver, Canada.

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  13. Beautiful photos! I love the dragonfly.

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  14. With regular Hobby I think I too would spend lots of time at Thursley Frank. How lucky you are to just have the chance of photographing this creature.

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    1. Phil, I'd be there every day if it was closer to home.

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    1. Hi Carol. Me too and I'm hoping a few more species will turn up very soon.

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  16. Love the dragonflies and the raptor is cool! Great captures.

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    1. Thank you Eileen. I enjoyed capturing them.

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  17. Great photos, interesting to study!

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  18. Hi Frank Just discovered your blog and joined. Loved the photo of the Hoby. we do not have that bird here in Northern Ireland adn great to see the Dragonflies. I have only seen one so far and that is worrying. Margaret

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    1. Hi Margaret. Welcome and thanks for joining 'The Early Birder'. As you've probably noticed I have reciprocated.
      Hopefully some more sunny days will bring out more Dragonflies for you.

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    1. Anne (cornucpia). Thank you for your visit and kind comments.

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  20. Lovely shots - great one of the dragonfly.

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  21. nice captures for the day. :) Love the shot of the Hobby. And the dragonflies. Haven´t seen any red damselflies yet. :)

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    1. NatureFootstep. Glad you enjoyed the view of the Hobby. I guess the temperatures might be a little lower around you hence the lack of damselfly sightings.

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  22. Such gorgeous photos, and love dragonfly and damselfly too!

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    1. beyondzephyr.com. Thanks for your visit and complimentary comments.

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  23. Excellent....recently your kinda day is my kinda day. We've been going around our bird trails in hopes of seeing some early offspring. But to no avail. Love your images. That would be a thrill of a lifetime for me to capture one catching its prey in mid-flight. I have hard enough time just getting them in the lens when flying. LOL

    Sorry I didn't get around to visiting yesterday...no power due to storms!!

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    1. Anni. Some of my in-flight shots are also more by luck and that was one of them .... just keep practicing!

      Sorry to hear about the disruption from the storms .. I hope you are now having better weather.

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  24. At first glance I thought the Hobby was a Peregrine. Then I noticed the red "trousers." Quiet but nice day afield!

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    1. Ken. A clearer shot would have shown up the red 'trousers' ... I'll try better next time.

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