Saturday, 30 August 2014

Common Darter.


Probably our most widespread dragonfly seen from May through to early December and occupying a wide range of lowland habitats is the Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum)

The above close up of the male shows the two tone, brown and yellowish striped legs and distinguishes this species from its close relative the Ruddy Darter (S. sanguineum) which has completely black legs.

Females and immature males look very similar but I'm reasonably certain the images (above and below) are a female.  With age her abdomen will become much duller changing from ochre to a reddish hue.
  
 All images taken 'hand-held' with the 450D and 70-300mm lens.  FAB.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Tices Meadow Visit.


With a few interesting species being reported from Tices Meadows I took the opportunity to pay a visit today and set up the scope on the mound overlooking the large expanse of water. As expected a large number of Canada Geese (which I didn't bother to count), Greylag (1), Egyptian Geese (2), Mallard, Tufted, Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon (1), Coot, Great Crested and Little Grebe, Mute Swan, Cormorant (2), Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Grey Heron (5), Kestrel (1), House Martins, Swift (2), Woodpigeon, Starlings and Magpies.

Egyptian Goose having a stretch.

Mute Swan not wanting to wait around.

Black-headed Gull moulting into its 1st winter plumage.

My main interest however was scanning the distant muddy margins for waders and this proved quite fruitful as apart from the usual Lapwings I located Common Snipe (2), Black-tailed Godwit (3), Ringed Plover (2), Greenshank (1), Common Sandpiper (2), Green Sandpiper (1) and Ruff (8) which added five species to my Surrey Year List.   FAB.

Monday, 25 August 2014

Wet, Wet ..... Wet.

Despite the overcast conditions this morning we decided to get some fresh air and drove the short distance to Bushy Park. On arrival the rain was fairly heavy so we waited a while and when it abated to a fine drizzle we grabbed the brolly and approached the pond.

Just as I prepared to take a few shots of the resident young Grey Heron the heavens opened once more and the brolly couldn't keep both of us and the gear dry!

Initially I thought "this is crazy weather to attempt any shots" but the overriding opportunity of being this close to a Grey Heron without it immediately flying away doesn't happen very often so why not fire away.

The Grey Heron had a totally waterproof outer layer and wasn't at all concerned by the downpour so carried on about its business. With very little wind the rain was well set in so we decided to take cover, return home, dry out and eventually publish the 750th post on this blog.   FAB.

Linking to WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY hosted by Stewart.

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