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Thursday, 21 July 2016

Garganeys at Strumpshaw Fen: proof of breeding success?

I decided on a quick run around the Fen to see if I could connect with a Willow Emerald: despite very diligent searching, I failed to find one! I did discover a newly-emerged Migrant Hawker and its exuvium in one of the usual WE bays.

Moving on, I was repeatedly inspected by juvenile Marsh Harriers: one came within ten feet of my head. Also along Lackford Run were lots of freshly-emerged Scarce Chasers, Brown Hawkers, Black-tailed Skimmers and Southern Hawkers: it's shaping into a really good year for dragonflies at the Fen.

I was in a bit of a rush, but thought I'd spend ten minutes in Tower Hide: a good decision, since almost the first birds I noticed were three juvenile Garganey, allowing me my best-ever views of the species. Also in attendance were six Little Egrets, which photo-bombed some of the Garganey shots! And there was no-one else around to share with!

A quick look along the woodland walk turned up two White Admirals that wouldn't perch for a photo, while the old dipping pool by the Reception Hide held my first Small Red-eyed Damselfly of the year.

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