Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Friday, 8 May 2009


Friday afternoon, after I finished work, I thought I’d better catch up on all the things I’ve neglected around the house, and some much needed shopping. The wind was quite strong, and the clouds were moving pretty quickly across the sky. Looked like it was going to rain.

Started with mowing the grass, it certainly needed it. As I finished that, the sun began shining, and all thoughts of more work evaporated in its heat. I grabbed the camera, and set off to one of the local lakes. No willpower sometimes.

The time was eating into the day, and I had to be up early for work Saturday, so I didn’t want to stay out too long. A quick visit to the hide, a search for the invisible Cetti’s, then back home.

That was the general idea anyway.

As I walked through the long grass round the edge of the lake, Damselflies seemed to be everywhere I stepped. I had to take some pictures.

The sky was filled with more Swifts than previous days, soaring and screaming, and skimming across the lake. Common Terns were airborne too, twisting and diving towards the water, and Sedge Warblers were, well, doing their own warbling in the reeds and grasses around the lake edge. The sun was shining, I’d forgotten my watch, and I didn’t care. It was great to be alive and witness all this activity.

I made my way to the hide, and sat down, training my binoculars on the shore of the island opposite. A voice next to me, the only other person around, said, ‘do you see the Hobbies?’
‘No? Where?’ I asked excitedly.

A pair were cruising and circling over the lake. I grabbed the camera, and fired off a few quick shots. They were fast, and the pictures not brilliant, but they were my first sighting this year, and I was beaming.

We both watched them for a few minutes, and then they flew over the hide, out of sight. We chatted for a while, in between noting a Little Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Little Egret and a couple of Lapwing. The goats made their way down to the islands edge, on the spit that sits by the edge.

They’ve been there for as long as I can remember, the idea being to keep the vegetation in check. Not sure if it works, but it’s always interesting to see them around.

I asked the man if he’d seen the Black Swan nesting with the Mute Swan, on the south lake.
‘There’s two’. He answered.
A big grin crossed my face. He must have thought I was a bit strange, so I said, ‘I had a feeling there were two, but wasn’t sure. Thanks; you’ve solved a mystery for me.’

I left him probably thinking he’d just spoken to the village idiot, and I went in search of the Cetti’s.

He was noisy, shouting from the bushes, as I made my way through stinging nettles and clouds of Damselflies. (not the man, the Cetti’s) He was still evading me, first in front, then behind, then to my left. My camera was primed and ready, but the bird wasn’t. He was too shy. A Common Whitethroat dived into some bushes in front, with a scolding cry, and a Blackbird began warning everything else of my presence.

I watched, and waited, but my tormentor remained hidden.

I wandered back to a small bridge, which separates the north and south lake, and watched a female Mallard with her 13 offspring.‘She’s got her work cut out.’ I thought, as I took a few shots.

A Great Crested Grebe was in the process of finishing off supper, as I strolled back to the hide.

I sat, on my own, for a little while, and watched a pair of Great Crested Grebes seal their relationship.

The Swifts were still flying round the lake, but the time was ticking away, so I reluctantly made my way back home.

An enjoyable few hours.


  1. Your blog and photos are amazing.

    I'm a children's author and have had a writing blog for a few months at

    I'm also an animal lover. I just started a new blog..ANIMAL TALK

    I'd love for you to come visit either or both sites!

  2. Beautiful damselfly pictures - haven't seen one up here in the North East yet. Really envy you seeing the hobby - caught a brief glimpse of one this time last year, perched on a hedge, but I was driving at the time and couldn't stop.

  3. Well that was indeed a "great escape" Keith. Hobbies, cettis, whitethroats, grebes, swifts etc. and even goats. It's great that we're starting to see the damsels and dragons - whey hey!

    Oh I do recognise that "grab the camera" and go feeling - I've tried resisting - but it's too exhausting :D

    Great pics as usual Keith.

    (No choice to make really between this and domestic chores!! I've heard that house dust can only build up to a given level - so no worries there then!)

  4. Oh and the word verification was "outflees"!

  5. Another enjoyable read, Keith. You really bring you outings to life. Love the first photo of the Common Blue (I think) Damselfly. Not seen any dragons or damsels here yet. Of course the close shot of the duckling is a cracker - got to have the aw factor this time of year. The last picture looks like a wey-hey jump for joy!

  6. we are enjoying it too Keith, thanks for these wonderful photos.

  7. Great decision to stop work and get out with the camera. Great damselfly images including the Red eyed Damselfly.

  8. Jan……Thanks for stopping by, and kind words. Appreciate your visit and comments.

    Greenfingers…...Thank you. I’m sure the Damselflies will be with you soon. I was really pleased to see the Hobbies; just love their red boots.

    Thanks Tricia, it was good to just get out, regardless of what I’d see. But the Hobby was icing on the cake for me.
    Word verification was spot on :) and good news about the dust lol

    Thanks John, glad you enjoyed the post. Think you’re right, it is a Common Blue; and the ducklings are just irresistible. Certainly was a jump for ‘joy’ with the Grebe; his second effort in about half an hour lol

    lolit…… Makes it worthwhile when others enjoy my efforts. Thank you.

    Matt……Thank you. I don’t need much encouragement to abandon everything sometimes to just ‘get out there’ with the camera. Life’s too short to get bogged down with chores. ;)

  9. Keith...so well narrated I felt as if I were there. Beautiful photos. I don't have much will power for housework when the sun is shining, either, and since I've started blogging, I have even less.

  10. Thanks Kelly, appreciate your comments.
    Certainly not enough hours in the day most times. I need to be better organised. :)

  11. It's seriously like I'm right there with you Keith lol. Excellent narration , and some of it funny as hell :-)
    Lovely pics as always mate.

  12. lovely series of photos.

    lots of damsels about yesterday.

    Hobbies are hard to get. I once saw a Hobby get a Swift mid air only to get mugged by a Marsh Harrier!!!

  13. Thanks Nick, glad you enjoyed it.

    That must have been something to witness, Swift, Hobby and Marsh Harrier all aloft like that. Brilliant.

  14. Stunning photos as usual Keith, loved the Damselflies. Well done on solving the Black Swan mystery.

  15. Love the Damsels,fantastic shots.

  16. Great macros of the damselflies Keith, quite a varied collection already.

  17. Sorry to be late for the walk - I enjoyed it as much as you. That Cetti's will be your nemasis! Perhaps we should take you to Weymouth where they pose for pictures.
    Nice shots of the Damselflies & of course the Grebes cementing their relationship.