Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Raft Spiders, Dorset


Damselfly wings from it's last meal.

A big adult waiting for ovipositing Common Darters.

An immature about to jump on a Reed Beetle sp. It grabbed the beetle but quickly let go of it as if the beetle had emitted something. Got it all on video.

Formidable predator.

Newly hatched young in grass about 1m away from water.

This Keeled Skimmer came to the end of it's brief life as I watched it. One minute flying the next face down in water. A nice way to go with no pain or uncontrollable bowel problems.

Female on guard close to her recently hatched young.


Recent Rutland Water Gulls

I put this down as a possible juvenile Caspian Gull after watching it for many hours on and off. It was a small individual and was quite similar to a juvenile Common Gull in some respects. It slept virtually the whole time and eventually sat down for ever. Nice simple Scapular and tertial pattern. Would have been nice to see it flap.

Not a long bill but very thin. Legs not stupidly long like many Casps but not always a reliable feature. Gentle facial expression.

Juvenile YLG

Ad Caspian Gull

Adult Caspian Gull left, with YLG's

Ad Caspian Gull, right.

Ad Caspian Gull. A shorter billed bird.

Caspian type. Dark eye and nice p10 pattern but bill was quite bulbous towards end and there was something about it's head shape? When seen later in evening It could easily go down as a Caspian although I'm not saying it wasn't one.

2nd cy YLG catching a flying ant.

2nd cy Caspian Gull, late July. Present since early April, this individual has gradually moulted from a complete mess to a stunning bird. Easy to pass off as a 2nd cy GBBG if not concentrating. If ever I was going to keep a Caspian Gull in my bath this would be the one, the intricate plumage details are beautiful. 

Ad Caspian Gull, late July

Caspian Gulls, late July - 4th cy left and adult right

4th cy Caspian Gull

Adult Caspian Gull lower right, late July

Adult Caspian type, late July. Dark eye and nice P10 pattern. A strong gonys angle to the bill on this bird? Pretty sure this individual was around last summer and caused the same problems.

I was initially quite happy this a was juvenile Caspian Gull on my first sweep of the gulls. The head shape/facial expression was good (although the mask around eye was annoying) and the bill generally looked long and parallel. I lost a little faith in it after watching it walk about a bit.

A good pale inner window to primaries compared to many YLG's, the pale inner webs extending to p8. Also very long wings and long thin legs.