Friday, 20 July 2018

Dragons and Juv Yellow-legged Gull

Had a cracking afternoon at Lower Bruckland Ponds today, so many dragonflies and damselflies about. 

At least 310 Small Red-eyed Damselflies were spread across the whole site, which is easily my highest count here and probably the highest count ever here.  The true number is probably well over this to be honest as 90% of these were males, so I wouldn't bet against 500 actually being present.

Male and an ovipositing pair of Small Red-eyed Damselflies

My personal highlight were a couple of Ruddy Darters, including this stunning adult male. The best one I've seen on patch for many years...

Ruddy Darter showing all the diagnostic features

Ruddy Darter - the abdomen is not only pinched in when viewing from above

A couple of Golden-ringed Dragonflies were also good to see, in the same spot that I always see one or two when I visit the Ponds...

Golden-ringed Dragonfly

Golden-ringed Dragonfly - the pinched in abdomen and bulbous rear end makes this a male

There were clear signs of passerine autumn migration too, with plenty of hirundines feeding low over the Ponds before flying on west along with a few Swifts...

And now for a proper bird....  First juvenile Yellow-legged Gull of the year on the Estuary on Tuesday evening. It was almost dark when I saw it but the occasion certainly warranted a record shot...


A nice chunky long-winged beast, and in full juvenile plumage. I love the early ones they always look the best in my opinion, and hopefully this is the first of many...

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