Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Dumfries and Galloway Day 4

Day four was very sunny and so we decided to go and have a look at Glenwhan Gardens which was lovely the first time we went. The last time we were there we saw loads of Golden-Ringed Dragonflies, but we were too late in the season for them this time.
  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.

-Wall Brown
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.

-Highland Darter
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.

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