I had a short trip to Priddy's Mineries in Somerset, to get some images of the Moorland/common Hawker. these large dragonflies are much more numerous here than they are in the New Forest where you are have to be a little fortunate to see them.
The plan was to spend a couple of days there whilst staying at Weston Super Mare. Leaving later than I had hoped saw me arriving at the venue at about mid-day on a sunny with intermittant clouded day. I was very impressed on arrival with only one other dragonfly enthusiast there. Benjamin was with his family at the other side of the lake.
I was stright in with a sighting of a female ovidepositing in the reeds aboute 10ft away. I was quite happily snapping away. When another common came along and started a fight with the female obviously trying to mate. I managed a few shots of the fight that were just about acceptable but it was mayhem not easy tring to get the action on camera.
No sooner was the mayhem over and two women came along and stayed not to far from me and started throwing sticks for their dogs to collect noisely calling and praising the dogs with not a thought for others . The dogs got a good workout but judging by the size of the women it was them that needed the workout! after that another couple of women came but were much more quiet when engaging with their dogs.
As the afternoon wore on it got cloudier but I did manage a few inflight shots until a couple of guys came by and politely asked if I had any objections to them flying a DRONE? I pointed to the far end of the pond and as they started to fly their drone I packed up and called it a day. Well we do all have to share what ammenities there are? Driving into Weston to find an hotel the weather was warm but overcast I was hoping it was ok for the following day but that was being optimistic . In the morning it was worse with a few light showers so we drove home with the premise of a further visit.
During this week I have covered more than enough miles to Bramshill with Warren heath and a return trip to Priddy mineries Somerset.
I have found it a bit slow locally and with the season moving forwards to the autumn, with that comes cooler mornings and a later start is now required for the Dragons to get going. To be fair I am not finding to much to to keep me interested Dragon wise. Both Warren and Bramshill have become rather lack lustre. therefore before the season gets much later I decided a return trip to Priddy was very much needed.
I had bumped into Paul Richie of Hampshire dragonflies site fame and Hampshire vice recorder at Bramshill we had a good chat and had said a last trip to Priddy would be interesting. I had not noticed until late into the evening about a week later that Paul had emailed for a trip the next morning, a panic email was returned to Paul a few minutes lateaccepting his very kind invitation. We met up on route which at this time the weather looked very promising as per the weather forcast however by the time we reached our destination it had become rather overcast which obviously was not good! Paul a muttering under his breath about how wrong can the forcast be as we traversed the pond perimeter.
There was a group of Three fishing about half way round just after the small bridgewe therefore went to the furthest area, after about 45mins the sun came through and suddenly as if someone had switched on a light switch the action started. we noticed an Emperor patrolling this must be one of the last their and unlike a normal emperor it was not looking for trouble. also an odd Brown Hawker came along to enlighten the day but Common hawkers were hard going amid the more numerous Migrants and Southerns. I also noticed it albeit to late that my Canon 7D2 was low on Battery and therefore i changed only to find the spare battery was very low shortly afterwards both batteries were flat. So along with the weather and generally having trouble to focus both with the camera and without things were going down hill rapidly. A change to my olympus EM1 was made also swapping lenses and adapter worked out Ok but by this time I was waning I went back to paul after getting a couple of shots of a Southern with the oly/canon 300 combo making a decision to make a move home to try and miss the rush hour. I believe that what with going out to bramshill the day before and the long drive was a bit to much for me?
The above image is credited to PAUL RICHIE this pair of migrants stayed attached to my hand posing for Paul
30TH SEPTEMBER to November 30th 2016
The gas board fitter visited today to fit the new SMART meter to both the gas and electric. Our electric meter is like lots of other folks residences is under the stairs . After he was finished I naturally piled all the junk back under the staircase cupboard and caused my back problem commonly known as sciatica. now I have never ever had a back problem before but! My god I have now. I could not wait for the NHS therefore i maaged an appointment the next day!
£49 a half hour! what ever, just help me please. On arrival at the clinic my wife (driving) pulled up outside on the pavement! and helped me in luckily there were some upright chairs in a row, I laid down Whilst the wife parked the car. I could only lay on my left side which coincidentally was the same side as the pain! a few miutes later with the aid of the chiropractor and my wife I was again laying on my left sideon the couch.
A few minutes of questions and hand manipulation from the Doc and some sort of manual dexterity in the right places, and I immediately realised yes this doc knew what to do and where. The relief was uphoric but no where near enough to completely fix me on my first visit, but it was great to get some relief. I needed several more visits to get over this affliction completely. So therefore the whole of October was a write off. Especially where the fungi was concerned, there was no way I was going low to get some shots I therefore did a bit of birding for the last few days of October and into November.
In all honesty i have never had such Pain and can now more sympathise with people who had had this before.