On Sunday morning after a brief trip to Arcot where I observed 2 Little Egrets and 2 Grasshopper Warblers I headed up to Big Waters for a check of the Dipping Pond. To my delight there was a Southern Hawker just emerging from its Exuviae. It was now about 07.50 and I started taking pics, unfortunately it was a dark morning and they were in a dark (note to one's self, must stop using 2 adjectives, specially when they are the same, in one sentence) corner but with my amazing "photographic skills" I managed to produce the following record which I stopped at approx 09.30 to go for an amble round with Alan and Ian.
Just after this pic I realised my batteries were running low so ran (ambled) back to the car and then realised that I had dropped my keys somewhere so 10mins frantic searching later when I found them lying by the side of the pond within 2inches of the water I was slightly, to say the least, relieved. Top Tip No 1 - If you are taking pics lying, kneeling or in some other non natural posture then make sure you have zipped pockets. Anyway this little upset made me miss the Hawker getting out completely and flipping over (sob sob).
At this stage it hadnt done anything for about 10mins so we all set of on our walk with me expecting it to take about hour or just over which according to the book would be enough time for the wings to dry completely and for it to settle for a while. The walk got extended and we ended up doing the big circuit nearly up to Dinnington and with the stops to ooh and ahh at all the things we saw, and there were a couple, it was a tad over 3hrs before we returned to the pool. Unfortunately the Hawker had departed but I did see one flying about but not being a Hawker myself I couldn't confirm it was the same one.
I also took several short videos (saves me editing long ones) which I will bore all 2 of my readers with in my next post after I have looked at them myself to see if they up to my usual Conrad L. Hall standard (not a relation unfortunately).
ps. was out with John A (Sedgedunum Warbler) at St Marys last night seawatching (along with the rest of the Northumberland Birders going by the reports of Storm Petrels on Bird Guides) and saw 4 of these delightful creatures, 2 of which were very close in. Might even pop back tonight as conditions seem right also