Sunny but very gusty when I eventually got there mid-afternoon, didn't have much time so didn't go as far as the pond, just looked for hawkers and darters in the fields and roadside.
A male Migrant Hawker gave good close views (in-flight) for a short time and another search for ruddy darter proved fruitless, in fact common darters were few and far between as well, just 5 or 6 showing along the fence.
Having wondered why I bothered I walked back up the steep road to be greeted with the sight of a male southern hawker looking for somewhere to settle opposite the access barrier at the top of the bank.
I waited 'til he settled in the long grass by the road, and though he wasn't in the most open of positions I got a few decent shots before a particularly stiff gust took him off and away.
A second male rose up from further in the grass at the same time and a brief skirmish ensued, then both flew off in the distance and that was that.
Back at home after downloading my photos I had a look at the new posts on blogs I follow and stared in disbelief (tinged with jealousy) at Ron Hindhaugh's Notmanywords blog (see link right) as he had some cracking in-flight pictures of an array of dragons at Kibblesworth Brickworks Pools, including this superb male Brown Hawker :-O
|Brown Hawker - a Gateshead 'mega'|
reproduced by kind permission of 'lucky' Ron Hindhaugh
To my knowledge this is the first ever recorded at Kibblesworth, and after searching official records only the second in Gateshead this Century, after one recorded at Burdon Moor in 2003.
Previous records reveal a scattering of sightings at Chopwell Woods in the 1980s and 60s, with Gibside holding the only other records from around the same time, plus one going far back as 1827.
So well done Ron, a cracking find backed up by photographs, even the Gateshead 'records committee' won't be able to refute that one ;-)