During a recent visit to Thursley Common on another windy day I was surprised to locate a pair of (Eurasian) Teal, feeding and paddling just yards from the boardwalk, and totally oblivious to my presence.
Usually I would expect them to immediately take flight at the slightest hint of any human presence so close by so I took this opportunity to gather a few shots, mainly of the male with his very distinctive head pattern, as his partner managed to keep out of view beneath the overhanging vegetation.
Unfortunately this quiet encounter didn't last very long as the pair sensed the intrusion of some noisy walkers approaching from upwind and they promptly took flight. My attention then turned to seeking out a Four Spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata) taking a rest below my feet in the watery shadows.
I had seen very few dragonflies or damselflies, probably due to the slightly cooler but windy conditions, so I was delighted to spot a Hobby dashing low across the pools and then land in a distant tree.
I waited for quite some time before this individual took flight to seek out more food and it was eventually joined by three more Hobby but attempting to get any quality images of this very fast flying species with my zoom lens (fully extended) was certainly a challenge. I've no doubt the other two photographers on the boardwalk with their very expensive gear had much more success.
After about ten minutes the Hobbies disappeared and on my reverse route I stopped to take a few more shots of the basking Common Lizards (images saved for a future post) and then spotted a resting Large Red Damselfly (Phrrhosoma nymphula) amoungst the heather.
Linking to Nature Notes, Wordless (on Tuesday), and Wild Bird Wednesday.