Having left the fly behind, we walked down the hill and entered the gardens. I headed straight for the "nature" bit at the bottom, but went via the ornamental ponds in case there were any damselflies on the ponds. there were indeed a lot of damselflies on both of the ponds. They were mainly common blue, but there were also a handful of azure's, which were the ones I tried to get photos off.
When I got down to the bottom the first thing I saw was a golden-ringed dragonfly hunting along the river. That making it four summer holidays in a row that I have seen this species. I was afraid that it wouldn't land, but luckily it did, on a lovely red plant. I crept up to try and avoid scaring it, but it didn't seem to care and so I was able to get really close to it.
On the vegetation in front of me near the pond there were quite a few large red damselflies hanging around. I wasn't able to get a great photo, but I managed a quick record shot.
|-Large Red Damselfly|
I made my way up to the main pond at the top of the river. Most of the access around this pond is restricted at request of the land owners, but the bridge allows you to get views across. There was one golden ringed dragonfly hunting on it, as well as quite a few large red damselflies.
At the side of the main pond is a a small river that enters the pool. I headed across to it, so that I could head back up to the car for lunch. Looking down into the waterfall plunge pool I saw something long moving, and was surprised to see an eel. I have no idea how it got there, because in order for it to get there from the sea it would have to climb up a 10ft waterfall, or crawl around it, a distance of maybe 10 meters. Either way, it was quite nice too see, though difficult to photograph.
After lunch I headed back down the same way, via the ponds to see that there still quite a few damselflies around, and still a few azures.
Back in the "Nature bit" I spotted my first unusual bird of the day. I had already had distant views of nuthatch and tree-creeper, but in the bushes near to where the golden-ringed dragonfly had been there was a female blackcap picking insects off the shrubs.
On the bushes next to the blackcap I caught a glimpse of an orange butterfly. When it landed, behind a leaf, I was able to get a shot, of its wing, which showed that it was a comma. Its another lovely insect to add to the list for today.