Devon interlude, September 2016: River Dart trip, landscapes

River Dart trip, landscape

Small selection of the stunning views on a boat trip on the River Dart heading downstream from Totnes to Dartmouth.

River Dart trip, landscape

Looking upstream when the deep meanders of the river open up the view is the brooding mass of Dartmoor rising beyond Totnes with its narrow streets, tall church tower and castle. On either shore the lush countryside of the South Hams, with country houses and prosperous-looking villages beyond the wildlife-rich banks of the river.

River Dart trip, landscape

Devon interlude, September 2016: Dragonfly in flight

Dragonfly in flight

Southern hawker dragonfly adult in flight over a pond. Unlike darters, hawkers seem to fly without pausing, moving fast and jinking frequently as they pass back and forth across the patch of water which forms their territory.

This post and the previous one were taken by the ponds of Chambercombe Manor, just outside Ilfracombe, which attract a range of interesting insects and birds.

Devon interlude, September 2016: Dragonflies emerging

Dragonfly emerging

Southern hawker dragonflies emerging on a warm autumn morning. The insect has spent at least two years living under the waters of a pond in its juvenile stage, as a nymph. Its last act as a nymph is it crawl up the leaf or stem of a plant into the warm morning air. The skin of the nymph splits along the back. The adult insect emerges, leaving behind the exuvia. It then needs to spend some time warming and drying itself before it is ready to fly.

Devon interlude, September 2016: Glossy ibis, Fremington Pill

Glossy ibis, Fremington Pill

The second scarce bird on the same small creek: a glossy ibis. During my brief visit it was feeding less than two hundred yards further downstream than the lesser yellowlegs (yesterday’s post). The bright colours of the plumage which gives the bird its name come across more clearly in some of the photos than they did in the lighting conditions on the day.