Sandhouse Starts

J14_0405 Duck End Large RedOn the last day for a while advertising some morning brightness, I began by popping over again to Duck End NR near Maulden. I really should’ve taken my Wellies ‘cos overnight rain had made the Duck End grassland sodden. Since its Large Red Damsels (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) had appeared first on 8th April, I was harbouring thoughts that it might now be producing some Azure Damsels (Coenagrion puella). Not so, it seemed. In fact, at first I was having a hard time finding anything. Once again, the first two ponds produced nothing but I did eventually find the good ol’ Large Reds at the third pond. They were decidedly subdued in the lower temperatures with hardly any sun – it seemed duller over there than chez moi. With critters moving only reluctantly, it seemed to be a day for the macro lens and I did manage to get a few decent shots of some of the Large Reds.

IMG_0114 Green-veined WhiteA young couple turned up, wandered about a bit, then slung a hammock up between a couple of trees. The sun did poke out from behind the murk very occasionally and very briefly, but it really didn’t seem to be a hammock kind of day. Curious. Still, whatever floats your boat. Time to leave but I got distracted by getting up close and personal with this Green-veined White (Pieris napi) on my way out. Furry little feller and look at those eyes.

Whilst in the area, I tried Flitton Moor for the first time this year – nothing. I began heading for home but on my way back called in tolook at the Millennium Pond at Eversholt – also nothing. By now my stomach decided it was lunchtime and I completed my journey back to the brighter side of the county.

J14_0410 Sandhouse Lane Large RedThe sun continued longer than anticipated so I kicked myself up the butt and dragged Carol out to check Sandhouse Lane NR once more. I’m very glad I did. After seeing very little of anything to begin with, I disturbed it’s very first Large Red of the year and it promptly disappeared up into the top of a tree. Then a second flew up. I followed up the sunny bank and reached a count of six, eventually.

We found nothing anywhere else but at least life is returning. The guys down south are already seeing Variable Damsels (Coenagrion pulchellum), Azure Damsels (Coenagrion puella), Common Bluetails (Ischnura elegans) and Hairy Hawkers (Brachytron pratense).

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