Well, I managed to fit in another visit to Messingham nature reserve. I'm guessing this will be the last visit to Messingham in search of insect photographs this season. It was a bright if somewhat cool morning. Good sunny spells were expected with a temperature of around 14 degrees and a fresh wind.
I arrived at Messingham about 09:30 as I had some other business to attend to first thing. I decided to use the Canon 100mm lens with the speedlite flash mounted today. It was as promised, bright with sunny spells. The wind was quite strong though. Entering the first meadow from the car park I saw many Migrant hawker and Common darter dragonflies on the wing. This meadow is fairly well sheltered from the prevailing wind and the dragonflies were making the most of the autumn sunshine.
It wasn't long before I spotted a female Migrant hawker perched up in a decent spot. I have struggled to get a decent shot of a female Migrant this season so was pleased to get this one. Not as colourful as the males, but still a pretty dragon in my opinion.
Female Migrant hawker
As I made my way around the reserve the wind was getting stronger and it made getting any photographs at all a very hit and miss affair. Many shots were ruined due to the wind moving the subject at the critical time just as I hit the shutter button. There were quite a few spots on the reserve where I found it impossible to take photographs due to the strong wind. I made my way towards the heather meadow, a spot that is normally one of the most sheltered on the reserve being surrounded by hedges and trees on all sides. Even in the heather meadow it was very breezy but better than much of the reserve. I came across a Common lizard basking on top of some dead gorse, at least it was in a position out of the wind so no problems with it blowing about.
Speckled wood butterflies were seen in good numbers although many of them were beginning to look well worn. Three Red admiral butterflies were seen and at least four Comma butterflies. The Comma's were in excellent condition for so late in the season and were also very obliging as well. It took a long while and a lot of shots to get a decent photograph due to the wind, but perseverance paid off in the end.
There were a few Ruddy darter's about but many of them were very dull looking, a sure sign that their days were numbered. Many of the Migrant hawkers were also showing signs of wear with tatty looking wings. I thought I might have seen a Brimstone butterfly or two but no sign of any today.
A nice Yellow Dung fly was the next subject. Luckily it decided it was happy to sit in the same position for quite a while as I took around thirty shots of it to get a couple that wasn't blurred through wind movement.
Yellow Dung fly
By lunch time the cloud had built up and the wind if anything was even stronger. I found a reasonably sheltered spot to eat my lunch and then called it a day. I was tired of fighting the wind. I made my way back to the car and after many attempts managed a decent photograph of a male Migrant hawker. A very pleasant morning out despite being spoiled a little by the windy conditions.