Saturday 20 June 2020
Today I decided to visit a different section of the canal, which is roughly a mile from the other bridge. Moorhens seem to particularly like this part. I can see why - there is a large collection of water-lily pads. Yellow water-lilies, with their bright coloured flowers perched on thick straight stalks. Petals cupping upwards while absorbing the sun's rays.
It is early afternoon and the older moorhen chicks are now venturing further away from their parents. This particular family only seem to have mum, who has enlisted the help of a daughter with the nest building. While she collects long section of reed-like leaves, the chick sits on the nest arranging them. Ten minutes later, presumably getting fed up, she hops off and swims over to her siblings.
There are damselflies about again today. It is obviously egg laying time. As there's been so much rain again this June, they are taking every opportunity during warmer dry spells. Here the female blue tipped variety are busy doing just that. They do take a bit of research to identify as, unlike the male, she has no blue at all! Apparently there are at least five variations in colour and the particular one I photographed had an orangy-yellow thorax with touches of black, and the main abdomen was dark on the upper sections with a lighter brown segment near the end.
As I headed back home what should I see in the hawthorn hedgerow but a yellow-tail moth caterpillar. They certainly don't hide away despite the bright reddy orange lines along their back. I suspect those long hairs are their deterrent against would be predators.