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Another warm sunny day at The Wetland Centre, which was very busy with school parties.
There were lots of damselflies and a few dragonflies, but the dragons wouldn't settle long enough for photographs.Male Common Blue and Azure Damselflies are very similar, but there are diagnostic differences:


Common Blue Damselfly

Azure Damselfly

Common Blue damselflies have a black dot on the first body segment, and thin black/thick blue stripes on the thorax, while Azures have a U shape, and a thick black/thin blue stripe combination. The Azure also has an inverted Y or spur:




When damselflies emerge from the larva which has crawled from the water, they first dry their wings, but the body is still soft. The body soon hardens, but they don't develop their full colour for a day or so. This first stage is called 'teneral', as opposed to 'adult'.



Common Blue Damselfly (teneral)

Blue-tailed Damselflies are easier to identify, females have green, red or violet stripes on the thorax:




Blue-tailed Damselfly


My first Meadow Brown butterfly of the year:

Meadow Brown

The Five-spot Burnet is one of a family of day-flying moths:

Five-spot Burnet Moth

Marsh Frogs are huge compared to Common Frogs:


Marsh Frog

On to the birds - the Jackdaw is larger than a blackbird and smaller than a crow, and always shows a contrasting feather pattern on the head:

Jackdaw

A wren has made its nest in the architect-designed bat house, and can be seen popping in and out:




Wrens are surprisingly difficult to photograph - this was a quick shot of one some way away:


Wren

Reed Buntings are not normally found in trees:

Reed Bunting

Although most of the flowers at the centre are planted and not really wild, but I can't resist orchids:

Southern Marsh Orchid

The Bee Orchid actually looks as if a bee has landed on it:

Bee Orchid


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  All Photographs © Brian Price except where stated