On arrival in the car park , I was greeted with Willow Warbler and Tree Pipit in full song , but after that , the walk along the top path was very quiet . When I got to the stand of Scots Pines , I was hoping for a Redstart , as I had read that they were about , but , with the high temperatures , out of the wind , I was not fortunate . But a 'chat' call from the Gorse patch beyond the reserve boundary caught my attention . At first , I only saw the female Stonechat , when she flew and settled on the barbed wire topping the fence . After a short while , her mate arrived , but he was not prepared to come out of the Gorse . Feeling well happy with what I had seen , I carried on down the slope , to the first of several acidic pools on the site . It was here that I saw my first Four Spotted Chaser of the year , settled for once , in between battles with the resident male Broad Bodied Chasers . The Four Spotted Chaser is so called because it has a spot in the centre of the leading edge of all four of it's wing , the only species to have this . Also on the pools were Azure , Common Blue and Large Red Damselflies . Many were in tandem , and several pairs were egg laying , like this pair of Large Red Damselflies , in what is known as the 'prayerposition' , with the male still clasping the female's head . Many of the Damselflies egg lay with their partner , but the larger female Damselflies tend to egg lay on their own , but often with the male patrolling above her as she does so . This was what was happening at the next pool , where a female Emperor Dragonfly was egg laying . Whereas the Broad Bodied Chaser dropped her spherical eggs into the shallows , the Emperor deposits each of her elongated eggs , directly into the plant tissue , by piercing the plant tissue with her ovipositor , the same principle being adopted by the Common Blue Damselflies in front of her . By doing so , the eggs are protected from predation within the plant tissue . Also this shot shows the dorsal marking , along the lenght of the abdomen , although not as prominent as on the male , but a good diagnostic marker . Some of the eggs this female laid were as deep as she could possibly get , without going under . As I walked back up the slope , back towards the Scots Pines , a Wasp Beetle-Clytus arietis , landed on my hand , presumably to be photographed , and who was I to deny it's wish . Further on I came across a bird , which I think was a Tree Pipit , but wasn't in full song , so it has to be a maybe . Back at the Scots Pines , there was still no sign of a Redstart , but I did put up a bird from the ground that flew 25 mtrs. further on and landed , again on the ground . As I approached , it made no attempt to move , so I took a record shot . I carried on reducing the distance between us , and in the process , took six more shots . The final shot , just before it flew off with two others , showed an eye stripe that continued to the back of the head , and black and white markings at the bend of the wing . I thought at the time that it might be , but it wasn't till I got home and checked the book and the picture , that I could confirm that it was a Woodlark . I have taken distant photographs of them before both here and at Knowle Park , but this was the first good , clear shot that I have managed . The Fact that I didn't see the Redstart wasn't so bad now , but as a bonus , as I passed the Gorse patch , on the way back to the car park , Mr. and Mrs. Stonechat posed , both in the same frame .
Tomorrow , I don't care what I do , as long as it doesn't involve a strimmer , hard hat and ear defenders . I've had enough of them over the last two days .