At last the season has started albeit very gingerly. April for me was a total wash out with rainy day and some late frosts it even snowed about 10 days ago. I have had a total of 5 visits to my favourite sites in search of large red damselflies which are usually the first on the wing. four of these were in april and were a non event! and to today 4th May, with at last some success.
I found the much sought after Large Red Damselfly in good numbers. with a small contingent of the usual not sure's. Female damselflies can be confusing to say the least! I also managed a sighting of a four spotted chaser which did not settle to long anywhere and there-fore I could not get a positive ID. I also had company on site today where I was very happy to bump into Paul Richie of HAMPSHIRE DRAGONFLIES. The day was quite tiring as we both covered a lot of ground. I have also sent paul some of the photos for confimation and ID of them fore mentioned Females and tenerals.
Below is some of the Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) I will update later with the Tenerals.
kind regards Mike
MAY 12TH-16TH 2016
I had before me a set of four days of doing what, when and where I wanted to go without interruptions. I dropped the wife off at North Camp station to catch the train to Gatwick th final destination was portugal for a long week-end.
My first port of call was Warren heath although still early (08.30hrs) I was hoping for some action, I was however after 3hrs quite disappointed. with only a few large reds observed.
I therefore went on to Bramshill which is about 5-10mins away. well what a difference lots to see here with Azure /Common/and large Red Damselflies and a very surprising Banded Demoiselle. I first ventured to the small ponds area and was greeted by a broad bodied chaser (Male) and as can be seen from the photograph he did'nt play ball and perched about 15ft off the ground. which did'nt help the image quality at all.
I managed to see 4 Four spotted chasers and a couple of Downy Emeralds. this made my day. The very next day and for the next 3 days. I repeated my trips to bramshill. all in all it was a pleasant 4 days at this venue. On the last day I left the visit to lunchtime for an afternoon visit. at about 4pm on the sunday I was making my way back to the car and was greatly surprised along the ride at seeing at least 8 FSCs and 4 Downy Emeralds all hunting in the late afternoon sun. what a way to finish my 4 days.
Photographically I have just purchased a new Macro lens. Namely the Tamron 180mm model and thus far am very pleased with it. I had Three lenses to choose from at 180mm focal length. Canon and Sigma or the Tamron. the most important to me was sharpness and weight, of which the Tamron was best, I selected the canon fit model. the idea is to use this with my Olympus EM1 this gives me 360mm equivalent focal lengthof Macro. Thus far its been a good choice using the Metabones adapter. the only negative at the moment is the FOCUS PEAKING it is a bit hit and miss as to why I do not know, I use manual focus a lot! when photographing Dragonflies and focus peaking is a boon. The amount of MFD is great with any of the 180mm focal range. Also the Tamron is nearly 1/2 the price of the Canon and Sigma. Another problem I had was locating one that was in stock, after some on-line research I located one one at Clifton cameras it arrived the following the day of order, in time for my 4 day jaunt. I cannot praise them enough, well done clifton cameras!!
On a different note I do not normally go out at weekends, my wife still works 3 days a week and I think it only fair to be home for her. What with dog walkers and the public in profusion its a nightmare, this was brought back to me this weekend as to why I don't . Firstly is it my imagination or what! But there seems to be a myriad of cyclistson the roads. Most are OK but on at least 6 occasions whilst I was driving down very narrow lanes, you know the sort of which have pull ins, to allow passing of vehicles. On one such pull in I had not long overtaken two cyclists, I had pulled in to allow the vehicle coming towards to pass me it was slow, I noticed the cyclists catching me up from a glance in my rear view mirror as I awaited the oncoming Van. I then put my indicators on to pull out so as to keep in front of the cyclists to stop them pulling over a few more yards down the lane to let me pass. But would you Adam and Eve it as I went to pull out they went past!! Ignoring my Indicators, luckily I missed them but a few words were exchanged. a few miles further on and twice I had cyclists two abreast down other lanes and a polite toot from me was ignored on both occasions. Cyclists must think their invincible. I personally think their mad? I would be frightened of being knocked off my cycle with todays drivers