As soon as we arrived I headed onto the "moors" bit, because I had not spent much time there last time, and that was where the dragonflies. The first pool was exactly how i remembered it, and looking in the grasses alongside it I spotted my damselfly of the day, which was a blue-tailed damselfly.
-Common Blue Tailed Damselfly
further exploration found my first Emerald Damselfly of the holiday. It was the perfect habitat for them, so I was not very surprised. It was a female, and was resting on the sedge alongside the pool.
-Common Emerald Damselfly
After looking round the first lake I decided to look up on the higher ground to see what heath land birds were around. It did not take long before I found my first yellowhammer of the holiday, a stunning male hiding in a shrubby tree.
and even further away from the pool I stumbled across a pair of siskins in a distant tree, so I was unable to get a good photo.
There were many more ponds than I remembered, though the second one I found was not buzzing with wildlife, as the only thing I found on it was this male emerald damselfly
-Male Emerald Damselfly
Back up on the gravelly path near the entrance after my loop I began to see more things, I flushed a common hawker which made a speedy get-a-way, and also found a lovely wall brown butterfly resting on the path.
I went down another path which I had missed out to incorporate my loop, and found a smaller pond rather than a lake on my left hand side, with a much larger lake about 10 meters to the right. On the small pool were two common hawkers hunting, and I spotted on some bracken nearby a lovely male black darter, my first of the year, and one that was really easy to photograph. It looked lovely in the afternoon sunshine.
-Male Black Darter
There was also a toad on the path further down. After that I headed back to the mown area near the top, next to the main lake and entrance. Here I found a common darter sunbathing on a large flat rock. I flushed it and it moved off to some cut shrubbery. Here I could see that it was incredibly dark on the underside and on the frons. It would be a bit too south for a highland darter, but the excessive black, especially on the face convinced me that it must be, or a menalistic common darter. Should it be a highland darter, which I think it is (if the species exists at all) then it would be my first, and therefore my first new species of the holiday.
In the same region as the "highland darter" I spotted a female black darter, which was a nice addition to the nice growing list of species for the gardens. it was very docile and therefore very easy to photograph.
-Female Black Darter
So without doubt the best day of the holiday. We spent the afternoon in Stranraer and then went swimming in the afternoon, because it clouded up.