SIX species of dragonflies (or damselflies) at Attingham Park!

On Father`s Day we visited Attingham Park (National Trust).
This park was the first `big` commission for `Capability` Brown and offers rolling countryside once more restored to at least semi-natural conditions. What were once oil-seed rape fields are once again meadows and the lake offers ideal conditions for many dragonflies.

The species spotted were -

common blue damselfly
red-eyed damselfly
blue-tailed damselfly
black-tailed skimmer (immature specimens were emerging that day)
broad-bodied chaser


a single female banded damoiselle (not photographed successfully).

So here are some pictures (of course)...

commojn blue damselfly 381  (3)
Common Blue Damselfly.
common blue damselfly 381  (4)
Common Blue Damselfly.

red-eyed damselfly 381  (19)
Red-eyed Damselfly.

blue-tailed damselfly 381  (7)
Blue-tailed Damselfly

immature black-tailed skimmer 381  (38)
Black-tailed Skimmer (immature).

broad-bodied chaser 381  (30)
Broad-bodied Chaser.
These photographs were taken in very dull (but warm) conditions at or near to the lake. A very successful day!

Salamanders, Chequered Skippers, High Brown Fritillary and Green Hairstreaks.

We have just returned from a week in the Neiderau Valley, Austria.
The rain didn`t help but I must confess that Switzerland seems much more `joined-up` for Summer walkers....

Raindrops Austria-Niederau (308)
Rain-drops on flowers in the high meadows.
Still, some interesting wildlife was to be seen in the rain (and in the occasional sunny spells as well).

The Chequered Skipper is a tricky butterfly to find in the UK (especially is Scotland `leaves` us) so I was really pleased to see this male settled on a leaf.

chequered skipper Austria-Niederau  P5260666
Male Chequered Skipper.
Green Hairstreak, High Brown Fritillary and a few Camberwell Beauties were great spots as well in the alpine meadows...

Green Hairstreak Austria-Niederau (49)
Green Hairstreak Butterfly.

High Brown Fritillary Austria-Niederau (286)
High Brown Fritillary.

Camberwell Beauty Austria-Niederau (195)
Camberwell Beauty Butterfly.
The heavy rain during a woodland walk in the mountains provided very wet feat (!) as good views of the FIRE SALAMANDER crossing the path. Getting this shot tested the Olympus OMD M1 weather-proofing to the limit!

Fire Salamander Austria-Niederau (212)
Fire Salamander.
Bird-life in the valley and on the mountains was very sparse, but this Siskin was very obliging by the hotel, feeding on dandelion seeds.

Siskin Austria-Niederau (12)

Harri Hedgehog.

We now have a hedgehog visiting the garden regularly.
He (or she) generally appears at about 6pm and then returns periodically until dark. Food includes spilled food under the bird-feeders (such as fat and meal-worms) as well as slugs (hurrah!) and proper `hedgehog food`.

hedgehog 376  (6)hedgehog 376  (7)

hedgehog 376 (1)