Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Dragons and a Surprise 22nd Aug 2012

I thought a quick trip was on the cards today, after all the long ones i have recently been on.  so up the motorway to visit 2 nature reserves, the first is Risley Moss near warrington, the second will be Rixton clay pits which is only about 10 minutes away. i have not visited them for many months but at this time of year Dragonflies will be the main target at Risley, the first stop .

                                  here is a picture of a giant wooden newt near the visitor centre :)

a quick 5 minute walk to a small oval meadowey area that sits next to the path , it is full of wild flowers, thistles ect and being full of insect life  the Dragonflies make it their home :D

This is Black Darter country , there are probably about 30-40 of them in this 60 ft x 40 ft area!  all different shades of black and they get older they darken in colour.

                                                             and as usual, on my finger :)

among the darters i have seen a few emerald damselflies , here are both male and female as a comparison.    Male first.


Most of the flowers have faded now , but in the sunshine a freshly emerged Peacock has been fluttering around , and i have just managed to get a few images :)  they really are a stunning species:)

                                                         another male black darter

                                                  and one last female black darter :)

Time to move on to Rixton clay pits now, i can only spend about an hour shooting these dragons before getting fed up  lol     but as i get near the visitor centre, by the small pool on a long curved wooden seat i find a few darters sitting in the sun.  time to get the mpe -65 macro lens out and try some portraits :)

                                                    here is a Black Darter portrait :)

a 10 min drive over to Rixton now,  i wont spend too long here , just a quick look around to see what i can find :)     walking down the steps i almost tread on a toadlet ,  mpe time again  lol    

near to the lake i have just found this flower beetle feeding on a dandelion flower,  tiny little things about 5 mm in length , shooting against a bright flower i dial in +2/3  flash exposure compensation to compensate for the bright background.

                                                                  and a fly:)   lol

                                                                and a resting Horsefly !

walking down to the lake along a wooden boardwalk , i suddenly spot a large butterfly flitting over the mound and settling on a thistle flower, it appeared to be a Painted Lady. i cant believe it!   haven't seen one this year, and only one last year , so i have got to get a shot of this i thought !

after about half an hour chasing this Lady up and down the path and the mound as it fed on thistle flowers i eventually manage to get a few decent images :)   Yay!

Beautiful species that are migrants from abroad, some years they are very common, but not this year so i am very lucky so shoot this one:)   This is the mound on the right , i must have climbed up and down it about 20 times chasing this one butterfly, think its as tired as i am, as it rests on the wooden boardwalk :)

                                                        and off it goes again, Arghhhhh

That was the end of another good trip with numerous species shot , and on way back to car i finish with another Peacock :)

My next trip will be climbing in the lake district, so it will be a nice change from shooting bugs :)


  1. Peacocks.... one of my favourite butterflies - stunning! nice to see you making the effort once again to get out and about.. today was a bright day. :-)

  2. Love the male damselfly...the blue is striking...
    Also love the butterfly about to take off from the purple thistle.
    As always - fab!

  3. Amazing photos, as per. I love dragonflies there is something magical about them.
    My favourite phrase has to be: "....about half an hour chasing this Lady up and down the path and the mound as it fed on thistle flowers" very Pre-Raphaelite of you!

  4. Great pics Phil, I've definitely seen less butterflies in the garden this year. How have you found it?

  5. Some more extraordinary images Phil.
    The Black Darter close up is - well - awesome (and i swore I would never use that word.

  6. Dave Clay aka giantfootsteps on flikr9 October 2012 at 20:03

    Nice fresh Painted Lady Phil, and the Black Darter close is a cracker of a shot !