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June 23rd- marsh hoverfly, azure blue and swift diary

Our new pond is quite simply a joy. Tolly spotted some interesting and beautiful new species today. The first two pond skaters arrived. We enjoyed watching some marsh hoverflies, their larvae develop in water. They bask on leaves close to the water, a beautiful species with bold black and gold markings. But the real show stopper was our first azure damselfly. In fact I was so taken by the beauty of this insect that ignored two low level swift passes! We have built the pond in time for the peak dragonfly season and can’t wait to see more. Mind you, I had work to do this morning and the numerous swift flypasts and pond action proved to be a major distraction!

Swift Diary

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday evening was so quiet. But from about 6.30am the swift action came thick and fast. Some slow prospecting by a pair plus one was wonderful to watch and I made the watercolour study below of swifts approaching the eaves. This included my favourite swift flight, when the lead bird approaches the nest boxes quivering his(?) wingtips whilst uttering a soft piping call. It is such a beautiful flight. But added to this we saw countless very fast flypasts close to the eaves. I am distracted as I write by their loud screaming calls.

Today is a classic swift watching day. The birds clearly have plenty of food and plenty of energy. A random scan in the sky nearly always revealed swifts high up gulping up aerial insects. Note to myself, take this in, every flypast, every loud call, bank it in your memory for winter.

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2 thoughts on “June 23rd- marsh hoverfly, azure blue and swift diary”

  1. I especially love your hoverflies and damselflies–you have done an amazing job in capturing the coloration and details of these wonderful insects. Your observational skills are reflected equally well in the swift sketches, though at this time of the year I personally turn my attention more to insects, especially damselflies and dragonflies, than to birds. 🙂

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