Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It really 'bugs' me...

...when I can't find any birds

The past week or so has turned up very little in the form of city birds. Don’t get me wrong, they haven’t all fallen from the skies or anything, it’s just that generally there is nothing out of the ordinary going on. There are still a couple of flycatchers around and my ever present friends the blackbirds and robins are still busy distracting me but there is nothing out of the ordinary. I had hoped to get some shots of Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, willow warblers, barn swallows, sand martins, grey wagtails and various other small and brown birds but have found pretty much nothing.

(some dodgy shots of the old familiars)

A drying cormorant
Grey wagtail taking a walk on a pipe

A hooded crow still being harrased by its child

Eventually I decided to spend a day down in Blarney looking to photograph the reed buntings and blackcaps that live alongside the small lake there. Again, nothing but glimpses and silhouette shots. In the end I decided to focus my energies on chasing some of the local butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies with some interesting results. I must say that the disappointment of not finding many birds was quickly offset by the pleasure of observing these lovely insects. The four spotted chaser in particular was a pleasure to watch, it’s a rather massive insect that flits across the lake surface with lightning speed whilst grabbing smaller insects with great precision. The much smaller damselflies too are deadly hunters in their own right as the picture of the common blue damselfly on the right proves!

So without further ado I present some of the members of the rather large Odonata family. The damselflies in particular are rather hard to tell apart and there is a good chance I misidentified one or two of them. A thanks to Mothman at boards.ie for helping to ID them.
Most likely a female freshly emerged Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum)
The mentioned four spotted chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata), the pic doesn't do him justice but its so fast that I was lucky to get this shot!
A Rufescens form Blue tailed damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
A regular blue tailed damselfly (Ischnura elegans)
Azure damselfly (Coenagrion puella)
Common blue damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)
Not too sure what this is (I forgot to get it ID'd) if anyone knows please do let me know

Not a bad haul right! It definitely made my day; still, tomorrow it would be nice to find something with feathers. Later.
A beaten up looking robin, poor little guy


  1. Same here in Spain matey. Things of the feathered kind are not so prevalent and I´ve been shooting a lot of the damsels and dragons. Not to worry, things will perk up after the breeding season, until then, enjoy the wild, mad world of odontates, they are quite fascinating when you get into them.

  2. Thanks for your comment Mike, thats the one handy thing about planet earth, there's always new insects to discover!

  3. Well, well, Tina and I were photographing 'dragonflies' yesterday and lo and behold, the very same ones show up in your blog today and we discover they are azure damselflies! You learn something new every day :)


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