More arrivals on Southampton Common

This week I have often been seen standing close to the Ornamental Pond, pointing my camera intensely at what seem to be swaying reeds.

DSC_0523DSC_0523Nikon D5500, Nikon macro lens, ISO 1600, f10, 1/1000 To purchase an unmarked copy of this image, please click on this linkDSC_0279DSC_0279_1Nikon D5500, Nikon macro lens, ISO 1600, f10, 1/1000
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Despite all the evidence to the contrary, this is not simply because I have finally lost any remote grasp of reality that I ever had, but because within those reeds are tiny treasures: delicate damselflies, who herald just one more sign of the imminent arrival of summer. They bring with them the possibility of their larger cousins the dragonflies, and the promise of happy hours spent hopelessly stalking all things small and winged.

DSC_0399DSC_0399_2Nikon D5500, Nikon macro lens, ISO 800, f10, 1/1000
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Aside from my antics, there have been plenty of developments on the ponds over the past week:  one group of ducklings have become teenagers, with beaks that seem way too long for their heads and wings that are hopelessly mismatched to their bodies. The second little family of two that I met last Friday have grown in stature and boldness, and another team of nine have hatched.

DSC_0157DSC_0157_1Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 1000, f10, 1/640 To purchase an unmarked copy of this image, please click on this link
DSC_0534DSC_0534Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 1250, f10, 1/640
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DSC_0084DSC_0084Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 1600, f10, 1/640
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The daily duckling count has become quite complex, and we really do need a notice board, like the ones in stores and restaurants that list hourly toilet checks, so that whoever is passing the Ornamental Pond can update the rest of us on when the little fluffies were last seen.

DSC_0421DSC_0421Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 1000, f10, 1/640 To purchase an unmarked copy of this image, please click on this link
DSC_0377DSC_0377Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 1000, f10, 1/640
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DSC_0825DSC_0825Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 1000, f8, 1/640
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And then, as if things weren’t splendid enough already, on Friday afternoon I saw five little blobs lined up on the Ornamental Pond, with an adult moorhen stationed at each end. Moorhen chicks. Tiny, ugly, and beautiful. Wizened bald heads on newly hatched bodies. Adorable in every way. I exclaimed aloud with delight as they approached the reed beds by the side of the pond, causing a few dog walkers to alter their route slightly so as to avoid me.

DSC_0048DSC_0048Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 1600, f10, 1/640 To purchase an unmarked copy of this image, please click on this link
DSC_0110Nikon D5500, Nikon 70-300 lens, ISO 1000, f5.6, 1/640
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Looking forward to next week, there is still plenty of possibility for the equally ungainly but charming coot babies to put in an appearance, and, of course, those cygnets that make us wait every year are still keeping us guessing.

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