Sunday, August 12, 2012

Keep Watching The Skies!

Quidditch & Enigma Entering Calcutt Locks!
Unimaginably this weekend is the first time that we've been out and about on the canal! As an alternative to our usual weekend mooring on the Oxford Canal at Flecknoe we were persuaded by the neighbors to try the Grand Union at Stockton.

I have to say that it's not a mooring we've tried before but with less traffic due to the need to complete the three locks at Calcutt it's now become one of our favorites. With Dee working on Friday Kevin and I took the boats down in advance in the afternoon, Kevin making a great job of navigating the buttied-up boats through the locks with his huge Gardner engine, while I did the hard work operating them!

Common Blue Damselfly In Good Numbers!
Another of the reasons for heading out this weekend was to avoid light pollution as for the past several years Dee and I have never missed the Perseid Meteor Shower. It was a cracking weekend of Meteors (over four dozen), three passes of the International Space Station, great conversation, barbecue food, wine, beer and endless Butterflies and Dragonflies!

On the cruise to Stockton a Hobby was was on the prowl taking several Dragonfly in flight, a Kingfisher went through, a delight to see on this stretch and several Yellowhammer and linnet were also recorded.

Grey wagtail
Dee and I took a long stroll back towards Calcutt on Saturday afternoon and after pausing at the locks to watch the mayhem (many holiday boats on the way out) we extended our walk around Napton Reservoir. Here, although a little windy, Butterflies and both Dragon and Damselflies were in good numbers with a great selection: Peacock, Red Admiral, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Ringlet, Comma, Small Copper, Large and Green-vein White Butterfly, Brown Hawker and Emperor Dragonfly, plus many Damselfly with Common Blue in excellent numbers. The best of the birding was two Swift, good numbers of House Martin and young Swallows and a lone Grey Wagtail.