Monday, 18 May 2015

Finally, an enjoyable camping trip

Regular readers will be familiar with my loathing of life under canvas, but this weekend I actually found a way to enjoy a camping trip. Specifically, by just being a day visitor to the Sandy Balls tentopolis in the New Forest, where the rest of the family were spending a sleepless and scurvid couple of days. Hooking up with them on Saturday, after a good night's sleep, and leaving them to it that evening, just as the cold started to eat at those parts which the midges had yet to reach, was my kind of camping. Even better, I didn't even have to seek permission to be excused: I have become such an unhappy camper that this time I was instructed not to go. As an extra bonus, there was just time before setting off to meet them for a morning walk around Swineham, and I haven't managed that a lot lately. A single photo tick for the year was on offer in the form of a Little Gull.
Little Gull, Swineham (#178)
Little Gull is a regular spring visitor at Swineham
A Broad-bodied Chaser would be a bit of a mouthful for a Little Gull...
...Four-spotted Chaser only slightly less so
I think this is a female Azure Blue Damselfly. My field guide says best distinguished from similar species by 'examination in the hand of the posterior lobe of the pronotum'. I don't know my pronotum from a hole in the ground so that's not much use.
Goldfinch is less of an identification challenge
 A more dowdy juvenile suggests local breeding success
This Long-tailed Tit was also not long out of the nest
Surely one of the cutest of fledglings
And speaking of breeding, here's a Little Egret in full courtship garb - note the pink lores and reddish feet

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