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Things that fly
owleye
lil_shepherd
Over the last week we seem to have encountered many things that fly. Some didn't get on camera (like the Swallowtail butterfly in the woods this morning or the gadzillions of huge dragonflies hunting over the Roding), however, some of those that did were...

kestrel

Kestrel hunting above Fairlop Plain

on leaves

Damselfly (possibly Calopteryx splendens) in the Roding Valley Meadows



Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe on Hainault Forest Lake

Great Crested Grebe Chick

And its chick

Skipper 1

One of the many Skippers on Fairlop Plain

And yet if you think I was kidding about the number of damsel and dragonflies on the Roding

Massed Dragon and Damselflies

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Absolutely gorgeous photographs. Amazing.

Only you could make dragonflies look pretty. lol

Well, I think dragonflies/damselflies are pretty. But then, I think that cuttlefish are gorgeous, and spiders fantastic, and bugs are cute.


California dragonflies, not so much. lol

I do think damselflies are beautiful, though.

Never saw a cuttlefish or, if I saw one, he didn't introduce himself.

Spiders are okay with me. Bugs, well ....

That's why you are a great photographer -- you see the beauty in all things.

Calopteryx splendens it is, and congratulations on getting such a good pic of one. I tried several times yesterday morning but they all seemed to be a little camera-shy. Or maybe just squat ugly birder-shy.

The skipper is probably an Essex Skipper Thymelicus lineola, but certain identification depends on the colour of the underside of the antennal tip. The black mark on the forewing suggests it's a male.

The damselflies in the large picture are probably Common Blue Damsefly Enallagma cyathigerum, though they might also be Azure Damsefly Coenagrion puella, or one of several rarer species, or not impossibly a mixture of two or more. Come back, leaf warblers, all is forgiven...

I read up on how to identify the skippers and went into terminal decline.

I suspect there are a number of damselfly species around the Roding - we also saw lots and lots elsewhere. The Dragonflies (I saw at least three species or male/female variants) just weren't slow enough to photograph.

I've found insects easier (though not much easier) to photograph in the early morning, before the sun warms them up. Though at that time of day there are usually fewer of them.

Great shots! We saw some of those little blue dragonflies at Chatsworth last week, but I couldn't get a decent shot of any of them.

The reason we (I include temeres here) are so reluctant to actually put a definite species name to these little so-and-sos is that there are half a dozen species that are blue with very similar segment markings.

Furthermore, when they do settle, nine times out of ten all you can see in the photos is the body and they look wingless. Who needs a photo of a wingless damselfly? Pah!

It seems to have been a really good year for damsel and dragonflies. Not so, as far as I can tell, for butterflies...

If a photo of a wingless damsefly shows enough diagnostic criteria to clinch an identification, then it is at least useful in that regard. That's why I try to take the camera out with me, when I can - to save lugging around a sackful of field guides.

Aesthetically pleasing shots are something else entirely. Not that it isn't nice to get one. But I've had some truly dreadful photos of moths that nevertheless enabled me to put a name to them.

Thank you. All are a result of walking Little Dog Draco.

Wow. The kestrel shot in particular.

I took several shots of him, but this was by far the best one.

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