We’re staying two nights in our delightful little rural campsite near Montabaur. Early morning brought a small sigh of relief when we saw father Sparrow back once again feeding his youngsters.
Francine wanted to see a town so we zoomed off 15 clicks or so to Limburg. There was a handy-dandy free parkplatz just outside the markt. We abandoned ship and took to Shanks’s pony to investigate. At the first main junction the altstadt [old town] was signed straight ahead so we kept on.
German architecture is very, well, gothic, I suppose. Here there were many half-timbered buildings with the wooden frames being painted in strong colours; dark red seemed popular. It’s a bit like Tudor architecture but different. We ended up at the Catholic cathedral at the high point of the town, overlooking the Lahn river, where the dark red theme was continued. Being Sunday, a service was in progress so I managed to avoid having to go inside.
We wandered further and came across a coffee roaster advertising eiscaffee. Nobody but nobody makes iced coffee like the Germans; all other efforts pale into insignificance. Well, it would have been rude not to give it a go so I popped in and ordered “zweimahl eiscaffe” in my best school German. The nice lady understood perfectly. Regrettably my rusty German did not understand perfectly her follow-up question. I think she wondered if I wanted anything else. All was well; eventually zweimahl eiscaffee were delivered to our table outside in the street and very good they were, too.
Wandering yet further we inevitably ended up at the old bridge over the river. Whilst the views of the cathedral from the bridge were better – never get too close to impressive buildings – there were no views of any wildlife save for a few ducks. We knew Demoiselles were about, though, ‘cos we’d seen one fluttering around a street.
Limburg – tick. We headed back to the car and out of town. We got close to the entrances of two lakes but in both cases an entrance fee induced a U-turn. Further down the road, though, we struck what I considered to be gold. There was a series, a sort of staircase, of ponds working their way down immediately beside the descending road. There were lily pads and reeds so these were worth investigating for an odo-nutter. A handy pull in soon had us both, cameras in hand, finding damselflies. There was an Emperor Dragonfly/Blue Emperor (Anax imperator) cruising about, too. We notched up six damselfly species including Large Redeyes (Erythromma najas) doing what they do best, sitting on lily pads.
Francine went to the next pond up while I stayed at the first. She yelled, though her yell was drowned by traffic noise. I eventually joined her to learn that she’d discovered an Emerald Dragonfly of some description zooming about. Patience eventually paid off and we got a decent in-flight shot. Our beauty was a Brilliant Emerald (Somatochlora metallica) and this was only the second time we’d seen one, the first being in the Auvergne last year. I was also surprised to see Blue Chasers/Scarce Chasers (Libellula fulva), being known mostly as a river species in the UK. A teneral [freshly emerged] Western Clubtail (Gomphus pulchellus) even popped up and landed nearby, though a bit obscured. It looks as though we are on the extreme eastern edge of its range.
What a splendid little site with 10 species in all that we could find:
- Calopteryx splendens (Banded Demoiselle)
- Pyrrhosoma nymphula (Large Red Damsel)
- Coenagrion puella (Azure Bluet)
- Ischnura elegans (Common Bluetail)
- Erythromma najas (Large Redeye)
- Platycnemis pennipes (Blue Featherleg)
- Anax imperator (Blue Emperor)
- Libellula fulva (Blue Chaser)
- Gomphus pulchellus (Western Clubtail)
- Somatochlora metallica (Brilliant Emerald)
We returned for a late lunch and beer after a very successful long morning. It was relaxing watching the young Sparrows being fed.