Black-tailed Skimmer

7th June 2018

Black-tailed Skimmer - June 2018

This week my photo shoot in dad's garden turned out exactly as I'd been hoping for over the past few weeks. It was a gorgeous day. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the birds were singing, the insects were buzzing, and the temperature was in the mid twenties.

The best part of the day came near the end of the shoot, when this Black-tailed Skimmer Dragonfly (Orthetrum cancellatum) landed right next to me. I have it on good authority that it's an immature male, and it's the first time I've photographed one, so that was a bonus.

Azure Damsel - June 2018

There were literally dozens of these Azure Damselflies (Coenagrion puella) swarming around this bush. In fact it constituted the most number of Damselflies I've ever seen in one place.

Cross Spider - June 2018

Something I wasn't expecting to see this early in the year was this Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus). I liked how you could see the distinctive cross mark on the abdomen that gives the Spider its alternative common name.

Pollen Aplenty - June 2018

While walking around the garden there was a distinctive buzzing sound coming from one border. I followed my ears and discovered a Firethorn (Pyracantha) bush absolutely swarming with Bees (Apis)...

Tiny Fly - June 2018

...and Flies (Diptera). There were also any number of Bumblebees (Bombis) and Hoverflies (Syrphidae) but they were collecting pollen so excitedly, I failed to get any sharp images of them.

Pyracantha - June 2018

Seriously, this is the Firethorn bush, and you could hear the buzzing from at least twenty feet away!

Climbing Hydrangea - June 2018

Flowers in the garden seemed to be predominantly white this week, with the Climbing Hydrangea (Hydrangea anomala) bush being probably the prettiest, with its firework like display of blossom.

Bramble Bush Blossom - June 2018

It wouldn't be long before the Bramble (Rubus fruticosus) bushes would have fruit, and while the thorny stems were a real pain to deal with, the blossom looked attractive and attracted lots of insects.

White Hardy Geranium - June 2018

Last week the hardy Geranium blooms were just on the cusp of opening, and this week they had fulfilled their promise.

Blue Hardy Geranium - June 2018

Not to be outdone, hot on their heels were this blue variety, which seemed to have appeared out of nowhere!

Morning Glory Glow - June 2018

This Morning Glory (Ipomoea purpurea) bloom is a bit of a mystery. It was grown from seeds of variety Kniolas Black Night, which are supposed to be very dark purple, and almost black in colour. Still, it is quite attractive, so I think it should be allowed to stay!

Alarmed Blackbird - June 2018

There was some excitement half way through the photo shoot when this Blackbird (Turdus merula) became quite alarmed, and started to let everyone know it.

Watchful Finch - June 2018

I initially thought one of the neighbourhood cats must have frightened the poor thing, but when I looked around I realised that the majority of the other birds, like this Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), had taken to the trees.

Wary Swift - June 2018

I pointed my camera skywards, but all I initially saw were a group of Swifts (Apus apus) darting around.

Patrolling Peregrine - June 2018

It wasn't until I paid a closer look that I realised that there was a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) amongst the Swifts, looking to pick one off!

Little Cockatoo - May 2018

Finally, to my underwater buddies. This week I haven't had time to take any fishy photos, so here's one from last month. You may remember meeting Polly, a Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid (Apistogramma cacatuoides). She's a lot bolder around the aquarium nowadays, and is always one of the first to the glass at feeding time. I'm hoping she'll start putting on weight rapidly now that she's not so shy.

So, this week I chose Black-tailed Skimmer as my Image of the Week, simply because it's always a thrill for me to photograph a new species for the first time...