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The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ... 07-06-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Fri, 06/08/2018 - 08:29
Click/tap the logo to proceed to the page.

The nature of Dorset yesterday in tweets, charts, photographs and maps along with other sources of news of nature conservation and general wildlife interest:

  • Yesterday.s recorded sightings of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more
  • The current recording "hot-list" - the best recorded 30 species in the last 30 days
  • A map of sites where yesterdays records came from - what was seen near you?
  • Yesterday's records in graphical form to show the highlights
  • The pick of the photographs that came with the tweets
  • Interesting news items, notices of events and links to blogs
  • Links to the Nature of Dorset Daily newspaper and to various other blogs from Dorset conservation organisations

Everything you wanted to know and more ... and it's free of charge and free of adverts!

 

Published Date: Monday, 25 December, 2017 - 09:30 newsdesk logo.jpg
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Sightings - Thursday 7th June 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 22:44
Whooper Swan - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Long-tailed Duck - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery then flew past Shipmoor Point
Common Sandpiper - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

7th June

Portland Bird Observatory - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 21:37
Despite drearier conditions with some light rain for a time during the morning there were few surprises amongst what little was on offer at the Bill, that included 4 Chiffchaffs, 2 Lapwings, a Reed Warbler and a Blackcap on the land, another Hobby through overhead and a light trickle of Manx Shearwaters, 6 Common Scoter and 6 Dunlin through on the sea.

Another good overnight catch of moths at the Obs included 12 Diamond-back Moth, 8 Silver Y, 7 Rusty-dot Pearl, 3 Orange Footman and singles of Bordered White, Dark Sword Grass and Cream-bordered Green Pea by way of immigrants/dispersers.

Apologies to those who've sent us photos in recent days that we still haven't posted - we will try and catch up once we've worked out how to fit 48 hours of jobs/fun into a 24 hour day.
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

7 Jun 18

Martin Adlam - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 20:27
Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church and Pennsylvania Castle Wood

A very cloudy afternoon and certainly humid. Not a single butterfly seen, but lots of micro moths again. Also some very vocal Kestrels, which makes me think there are some youngsters about. Also vocal were a Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff.

A lot of different bugs and beasties about with several moths a Carnation Tortrix (Cacoecimorpha pronubana), a Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella) or a Twin-barred Knot-horn (Homoeosoma sinuella), dozens of Plum Tortrix (Hedya pruniana), Common Nettle-tap moth (Anthophila fabriciana) and a Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella).

Lots of hoverflies on the wing especially Marmalade Hoverflies (Episyrphus balteatus), they were everywhere, 2 Pied Hoverfly (Scaeva pyrastri) and quite a few Chequered Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare).
A few beetles about including my favourite the Bloody-nosed Beetle (Timarcha tenebricosa). There was also a Capsid which I think was a Common Green Capsid (Lygocoris pabulinus) and a small brown beetle to be ID'd.

I found a couple of caterpillars one was either a 5 or 6 Spot Burnet and the other was on a Privet to be ID'd.

Unsurprisingly there were lots of snails and slugs about and two firsts for me on Portland were a Brown-lipped Banded Snail (Cepaea nemoralis) and a Netted or Grey Field Slug (Deroceras reticulatum).
A new spider for me a Stretch-spider, Tetragnatha extensa. Though I might have to recheck this.
Also still lots of Dark Bush-crickets, Pholidoptera griseoaptera about and finally a Crane Fly to ID.

Here are a few images from this afternoon.

A Carnation Tortrix, Cacoecimorpha pronubana
I can't make up mind whether this is a Rush Veneer (Nomophila noctuella) or a Twin-barred Knot-horn (Homoeosoma sinuella).

A Common Nettle-tap moth, Anthophila fabriciana
Garden Grass-veneer, Chrysoteuchia culmella
A very large and busy hoverfly the Pied Hoverfly, Scaeva pyrastri. This one was in the grounds of St Andrews Church and another by Rufus Castle.

Lots of these about this afternoon a Marmalade Hoverfly, Episyrphus balteatus.
And another with its wings folded.
Not a Marmalade Hoverfly but a Chequered Hoverfly, Melanostoma scalare
An interesting caterpillar.........
........on a privet and one to ID later.
The caterpillar of either the 5 or 6 spot Burnet Moth 
Love them or hate them two Garden Snails having a feast.
A Brown-lipped Banded Snail, Cepaea nemoralis. All the ones I've come across before have been White-lipped Banded Snail, Cepaea hortensis.

I believe this is a Netted or Grey Field Slug (Deroceras reticulatum). Probably one of the smallest slugs I have come across.

A Crane Fly to ID.
A Bloody-nosed Beetle, Timarcha tenebricosa. So many of these about.
This is a Capsid and I'm thinking Common Green Capsid, Lygocoris pabulinus. But I will check this out later.

Another beetle to ID.
A Still lots of these Dark Bush-crickets, Pholidoptera griseoaptera about.
I think this is the Stretch-spider, Tetragnatha extensa. However there are very similar looking species and it didn't help that I photographed the underside!
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

4 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Seven: South Georgia - Cooper Island

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 18:00
After the morning cruising into the Drygalski Fyord, we returned to Cooper Island to see if the wind & the swell had moderated. Fortunately, conditions had improved & the Expedition staff announced that we would be able have a zodiac cruise around the island.
Cooper IslandCooper Island: Fortunately, the swell was gentler on this side of the island & we were able to enjoy a zodiac trip as landings weren't allowedMacaroni Penguins on the Cooper Island beach: This was the Macaroni Penguin end of the beachCooper Island beach: This was the Chinstrap Penguins part of the beach along with some Southern Elephant Seals (trying to look like large orange rocks on the beach)Being nervous about the risks of getting salt water on the Canon 7D & 100-400 lens, I left the 7D on the Plancius & so all my photos from the zodiac were taken using the SX60 or Iphone. In hindsight, it would have been OK taking the 7D, with the safest option of leaving it in the dry bag until we were close to the beach. The highest risks of salt water hitting the camera were when the zodiacs were travelling to & from the Plancius. Still it was quite nice to just enjoy the wildlife without having too many distractions caused by the camera. All the zodiacs were launched in one go, but due to the time to load each zodiac, it generally wasn't too crowded once we reached the shoreline. As we reached the beach, the first zodiacs to leave the Plancius were already moving on to check out the rocks.
Arjen's Zodiac: It was clearly calm enough to have taken the 7DThe scenery was impressive
Another zodiac picture Geoff Jones (front left) & Mike Deverell (front right)
Hadie Muller (centre) & Chris Gladwin (right): It was always more enjoyable on the longer zodiac runs to share the zodiac with friends, especially when people wanted to move around for photography The cruise along the beach & rocks allowed us to see a variety of Penguins & other Seabirds, as well as, some more Antarctic Fur Seals.
King Penguins & Gentoo Penguins: With a Southern Elephant Seal
King Penguins & Gentoo Penguins: With several Antractic Fur Seals & a Southern Elephant Seal (at the back)
King Penguins, Gentoo Penguins & Southern Elephant Seals
Macaroni Penguin & Snowy Sheathbill: Macaroni Penguins breed on a few offshore South American islands, the Falklands, South Georgia, the South Sandwich & South Orkney Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula & the Subantarctic Indian Ocean IslandsMacaroni Penguin: These were my first Macaroni Penguins that I had seen on land & I only saw a few at seaMacaroni Penguin: The main rookery was on the hillside
South Georgia Shag
Snowy Sheathbill & two Antarctic Fur Seal pups
Antarctic Fur Seal 
Antarctic Fur Seals: Pups waiting for mum to return We were all well spaced out along the coastline when one of the zodiacs put out a probable Leopard Seal call over the radios. At that point we all converged on the same area to see the quickly confirmed Leopard Seal, with the zodiacs were still taking it in turn to get a big closer.There is a Leopard Seal here somewhereThe other side of our zodiac: It looks busy, but in reality the zodiacs took it in turn to go in to look for the Leopard Seal Leopard Seal: This photo was taken by Glenn Overington who has kindly allowed me to put it on the Blog (copyright remains with Glenn)Leopard Seal: Another photo by Glenn. Leopard Seals prey mainly on Penguins, young Crabeater Seals & Antarctic Fur Seals, as well as, eating fish & Krill. They range throughout Antarctic & Subantarctic waters (copyright remains with Glenn)Finally, we had to return to the Plancius.
Zodiacs waiting to unloadAnother zodiac unloads after us
Iceberg: As we were sailing away we passed this small iceberg
Iceberg
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

Ghost Swift

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 09:48

Best known for their unique, ghostly display flight at dusk

 

Photograph by: James Gale The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Burnished Brass

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 09:42

Larvae feed on nettles and so this is a common and widespread species

Photograph by: Peter Orchard The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Drinker Moth

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 09:35

 

Often seen in larvae form during the day; grasslands and reed beds

 

Photograph by: Colin Lamond The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ... 06-06-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Thu, 06/07/2018 - 08:19
Click/tap the logo to proceed to the page.

The nature of Dorset yesterday in tweets, charts, photographs and maps along with other sources of news of nature conservation and general wildlife interest:

  • Yesterday.s recorded sightings of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more
  • The current recording "hot-list" - the best recorded 30 species in the last 30 days
  • A map of sites where yesterdays records came from - what was seen near you?
  • Yesterday's records in graphical form to show the highlights
  • The pick of the photographs that came with the tweets
  • Interesting news items, notices of events and links to blogs
  • Links to the Nature of Dorset Daily newspaper and to various other blogs from Dorset conservation organisations

Everything you wanted to know and more ... and it's free of charge and free of adverts!

 

Published Date: Monday, 25 December, 2017 - 09:30 newsdesk logo.jpg
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

6th June

Portland Bird Observatory - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 23:01
A rather thin list for today with arriving, departing, lingering and 'goodness knows what they're up to' migrants featuring. The miscellany at the Bill included 266 Manx Shearwaters, a Barnacle Goose and a commic tern through on the sea, a Hobby through overhead and 2 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Lapwing on the ground, whilst odds and ends elsewhere included a Grey Plover over Reap Lane and 2 Willow Warblers in the centre of the island.

The first Lulworth Skipper of the year was on the wing above Penn's Weare.

By day, a Hummingbird Hawkmoth was at Coombefield Quarry. The overnight immigrant moth tally at the Obs dropped back to just 9 Diamond-back Moth, 3 Silver Y and a Rusty-dot Pearl.

It's been some years since we've remembered to look out for one of the island's speciality beetles - Omophlus pubescens (formerly O. rufitarsis) - but last evening there were a few visiting thrift heads at Ferrybridge (sadly, a nasty traffic accident had blocked the road there this evening so we weren't able to check the situation today). We don't profess to know anything about beetles so most of what follows about pubescens has been gleaned from visiting coleopterists (with apologies if we've got any of it wrong): evidently the Chesil at Ferrybridge is the only UK site and the adult stage lasts just a day or so, with this mass emergence occurring on or about 6th June; we can vouch for it being a mass emergence since we've several times looked for them for days on the trot at the beginning of the month before eventually finding a few on one day, very many thousands the day afterwards and then just a handful the day after that. If they have emerged the adults are very conspicuous and are often crowded several to a thrift head where they evidently feed on the flower's pollen © Martin Cade:


And back to today for a couple of the many Bee Orchids in flower at the Bill now © Martin King:

Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Sightings - Wednesday 6th June 2018

Dorset Bird Club - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 22:38
Whooper Swan - 1 Abbotsbury Swannery (released after being taken into care when found injured nearby earlier in year)
Garganey - 1 drake Lodmoor RSPB
Red-throated Diver - 1 Bowleaze Cove
Marsh Harrier - 1 Morden Bog, 1 Bowleaze Cove
Red-footed Falcon - 1 Morden Bog this evening
Arctic Skua - 2 Bowleaze Cove
Rose-coloured Starling - 1 West Bexington

Juvenile Coot at Radipole RSPB © David Wareham
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

6 Jun 18

Martin Adlam - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 18:25
Rufus Castle, St Andrews Church, Pennsylvania Castle Wood and Perryfield Quarry Butterfly Reserve

A short walk today in very warm and sunny conditions. Main highlight was my first Meadow Brown for the year. In fact I had 3, all of which were in Perryfield Quarry Butterfly Reserve.

Other highlights were: hoverfly (Xylota segnis), hoverfly (Chrysotoxum cautum), The Dead Head Fly (Myathropa florea), a Semaphore Fly (Poecilobothrus nobilitatus),  a Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria), Common Carder Bees, a Mining Bee (Andrena sp), An Ichneumon wasp to be ID, a Common Blue butterfly, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and 3 Meadow Browns.

Also recorded: A Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) and a Slow-worm
Here are a few images from today:

This is the hoverfly Xylota segnis.......
........there were quite a few about around Rufus Castle and.........
........Penn's wood. 
This large bright and colourful hoverfly is Chrysotoxum cautum
The Dead Head Fly, Myathropa florea 
And another.
This the Semaphore fly, Poecilobothrus nobilitatus. More on this fly here from 24 Jul 17.

The Yellow Dung Fly, Scathophaga stercoraria
An Ichneumon wasp to be ID. Very similar to the one I found in my back garden last year on 18 Jun Here.
A Common Carder bee on a Viper's Bugloss (Echium vulgare).
A Mining Bee, Andrena sp. Those black markings on the wings might help ID it.
A Common Blue. Maybe the light is playing tricks on me, but this looks very small........
............here is the underwing and the pattern looks good for Common Blue!
My first Meadow Brown of the year.
A Comma.
A Nursery Web Spider, Pisaura mirabilis
And a Slow-worm
Perryfields Quarry Butterfly Reserve.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

The nature of Dorset in tweets, charts, photos and maps ... 05-06-18

Nature of Dorset Records Timeline - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 08:27
Click/tap the logo to proceed to the page.

The nature of Dorset yesterday in tweets, charts, photographs and maps along with other sources of news of nature conservation and general wildlife interest:

  • Yesterday.s recorded sightings of mammals, birds, insects, plants and more
  • The current recording "hot-list" - the best recorded 30 species in the last 30 days
  • A map of sites where yesterdays records came from - what was seen near you?
  • Yesterday's records in graphical form to show the highlights
  • The pick of the photographs that came with the tweets
  • Interesting news items, notices of events and links to blogs
  • Links to the Nature of Dorset Daily newspaper and to various other blogs from Dorset conservation organisations

Everything you wanted to know and more ... and it's free of charge and free of adverts!

 

Published Date: Monday, 25 December, 2017 - 09:30 newsdesk logo.jpg
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

5th June

Portland Bird Observatory - Wed, 06/06/2018 - 07:34
Another samey assortment today: 4 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Wheatears, a Ringed Plover and a Blackcap at the Bill, well in excess of 250 Swifts through at the Bill (probably a weather related movement rather late passage), 65 Manx Shearwaters, 8 Common Scoter and a Mediterranean Gull through off the Bill and 9 Dunlin and 6 Sanderling at Ferrybridge.
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

5 Jun 18

Martin Adlam - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 23:12
Penn's Weare

Just the right weather to walk around Penn's Weare, cloudy but nice and warm. Not too many birds about with the main highlight being a Peregrine Falcon being mobbed by the local Carrion Crows, a Fulmar heading off to Grove cliffs and 3 Swifts screaming away as they headed north. In the craggy boulders and low shrubs Common Whitethroat, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird and lots of Wrens.

My main concentration was on the "bugs" and there were plenty about with lots of grasshoppers, beetles, moths and butterflies. I had my first Adonis Blue and Lulworth Skipper for the year. A Wall Brown and a Small Blue were also recorded.

The were quite a few moths about, especially Plum Tortrix, Hedya pruniana, they were everywhere. I also had several Garden Grass-veneers (Chrysoteuchia culmella), a Cream-spot Tiger moth (Arctia villica), 1 Diamond-back Moth (Plutella xylostella), 3 Common Nettle-tap moths (Anthophila fabriciana) and not for the first time a small white and black-spotted moth, which for the umpteenth time would not settle to be identified.
A few beetles about with 3 Swollen-thighed Beetles (Oedemera nobilis) and 5 Bloody-nosed Beetles (Timarcha tenebricosa). 
I don't think I've ever seen so many grasshoppers, and if I've got this right, they were all Common Green Grasshoppers (Omocestus viridulus). Also about a few Dark Bush-crickets (Pholidoptera griseoaptera) and on a Valerian the nymph of a Speckled Bush-cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima).
And finally a hoverfly which is probably a Chequered Hoverfly (Melanostoma scalare) and two bees, a Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum) and a new bee, which I'm pretty certain is a Black Mining-bee (Andrena pilipes).
Here a few images from today:

One of the three Swifts over Penn's Weare.
A Wall Brown.
This is the first time I've actually got close up to one.
My first Lulworth Skipper of the year.........
...........followed shortly by my first Adonis Blue.
Another view.
And an underwing shot.
And another.
A slightly worn Small Blue.
A Plum Tortrix, Hedya pruniana...........
........and another........
................and another. In fact there were dozens flying about, especially as I brushed past the bushes. Not sure what the bug is though. Odd!!

Possibly a Chrysoteuchia culmella, Garden Grass-veneer..............
............and another.
A Common Nettle-tap moth, Anthophila fabriciana.......
........and another...........
.............and yes another, though this one is a lot lighter. A worn one maybe!
Having sort of cheated and seen my first Cream-spot Tiger moth in the moth trap at the Portland Bird Observatory on 1 Jun 18 Here..................
................. I finally found my own.
Unsurprisingly a Diamond-back Moth. A real migratory moth, which, by its size is an amazing little moth to get here across the Channel from the Continent. It does make you wonder how many perish.
A Dark Bush-cricket, Pholidoptera griseoaptera.........
............and another. In fact another species of insect which was very abundant.
I nearly missed this, it was so small. This is the nymph of the Speckled Bush-cricket, Leptophyes punctatissima.
Common Green Grasshopper, Omocestus viridulus. I have never encountered so many. Along the grass verges of the SW coast path, they were everywhere.
Two male Swollen-thighed Beetles, Oedemera nobilis............
........and another.
A Bloody-nosed Beetle, Timarcha tenebricosa..........
.......and yep, lots of these along the path. I picked one up and sure enough it excreted a blood-red liquid.
It seems that every little hoverfly I come across is a Melanostoma scalare. This looks like one, but that pink colouration on the thorax looks odd for a Chequered Hoverfly.
I reckon this is a Black Mining-bee, Andrena pilipes, which is found mainly along coastlands. If it is, its my first ever. More on this bee Here.
A Common Carder on a a beautiful purple flower........
.........which I have no idea what it is.....
.......a tall plant and one for me to ID.
Another view of it. Reminds me of Purple Loosestrife.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

Reports of interest, Tuesday 5th June 2018.

Dorset Bird Club - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 23:02
Garganey - 2 Lytchett Fields RSPB.
Hobby - 1 Lytchett Fields RSPB.
Grey Plover - 1 Lytchett Fields RSPB.

Mute Swan cygnets at Stanpit © Clinton Whale
Kestrel at Hengistbury Head © Clinton Whale
Little Tern at Ferrybridge © Clive Hargrave
Pochard at Radipole Lake © David Wareham
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Many-lined Moth

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 21:33

A rare migrant species although occurrences appear to be increasing

 

Photograph by: Portland Bird Observatory The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Picture-winged Fly (R syngenesiae)

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 21:28

 

Found mainly on grassland and wetlands and associated with bird's-foot trefoil

 

Photograph by: Nick Hull The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

Red-backed Shrike

Nature of Dorset Reference Database - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 21:21

 

No longer a breeding species in the south of England and seen occasionally as a vagrant

 

Photograph by: Internet Open Source The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail: Sites List Distribution Map Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Categories: Timeline, Twitter

4 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Seven: South Georgia - Diving-petrel Quest

Birding in Poole Harbour and Beyond - Tue, 06/05/2018 - 18:00
During the cruise into the Drygalski Fjord, I spent a lot of time trying to photograph the Diving-petrels. I saw well over a hundred Diving-petrels from the starboard side of the Plancius. As usual, the Diving-petrels were generally not being picked up until they flew off the water & rapidly headed away. Overall, they were very much like Little Auks in their appearance & behaviour. I tried to photograph as many as I could so I could try sorting out the identification afterwards. There wasn't time to look at many of the photos as we were in the fjord as there were so many things to look at.
Drygalski Fjord: The fjord extends seven miles into the island in the South East corner of South GeorgiaQuickly checking the photos that evening, I thought I had examples of two South Georgia Diving-petrels. Having spent several hours now peering over the photos, I have now concluded one of those South Georgia Diving-petrels was an out of focus & more distant Common Diving-petrel. The photos of the second were not great, but I think it was a South Georgia Diving-petrel. However, I also looked at some of the other photos & now believe I have found photos of another South Georgia Diving-petrel. Part of this analysis was trying to get my eye in on Common Diving-petrels & how to identify them. I think it is reasonable to say that in South Georgian waters they are 'perhaps not identifiable in the field'. But I will now qualify that statement to 'perhaps not identifiable in the field with bins for visitors who are not incredibly familiar with the two species'. However, in recent years the quality of modern cameras & camera lenses have improved noticeably & now I think perhaps a reasonable percentage of these Diving-petrels can be identified in the field based upon photos taken & subsequently analysed. Often you need to have a series of photos of the same individual in flight showing them from different angles & trying to identify these Diving-petrels on a single photo is more tricky. The only drawback for Birders is to know which individuals they saw. But if you took the photos, then you would have seen the individuals. So I've put this Post together to see if it helps sort out the identification. Would appreciate any feedback on the identification of these individuals by leaving comments on the Blog.
Common Diving-petrel: While this individual has a white scapular bar (which some Common Diving-petrels can show), it also appears bulkier, longer than the South Georgia Diving-petrel & clearly has feet projecting beyond the tail. The bill appears to be chunky
Common Diving-petrel: Showing the bulk, size & extending feet
Common Diving-petrel: Also, the facial pattern doesn't stand out strongly & is more uniform with the sides of the neck
Common Diving-petrel: Again note the facial pattern, structure & noticeably extending feetThis is another Diving-petrel individual which again the overall features look like a Common Diving-petrel.
Common Diving-petrel: The facial pattern is relatively indistinct, the bill looks stubby & the feet project beyond the tail
Common Diving-petrel: The face & neck pattern look indistinct & it has a dusky underwing
Common Diving-petrel: Again the projecting feet are obviousI think this Common Diving-petrel is fairly obvious.
Common Diving-petrel: The legs project beyond the tail, the structure looks long & bulky, the facial & neck pattern pattern are indistinct, the underwing is dusky & the bill looks stubby
Another Diving-petrel individual which again I think is fairly obviously a Common Diving-petrel.
Common Diving-petrel: The bill looks bulky, the facial pattern looks indistinct & the feet clearly extend beyond the tail. Some Common Diving-petrels can show white on the scapulars & this looks to be one of those individualsCommon Diving-petrel: The feet clearly extend beyond the tailCommon Diving-petrel: Showing the dusky underwing pattern & the indistinct facial & neck patternThis Common Diving-petrel looks fairly obvious again, even though I only have one decent photo of it.
Common Diving-petrel: The extending feet & bulky looking bill & indistinct facial pattern looks support this being a Common Diving-petrelSo having got my eye in on what I think Common Diving-petrels looks like, I feeling a bit more confident in identifying South Georgia Diving-petrels.
South Georgia Diving-petrel: This looks like a more compact Diving-petrel with a clear pale collar. The bill looks smaller & more dainty & the feet do not extend beyond the tail. The underwing colouration looks more concolourousSouth Georgia Diving-petrel: Close crop of the same photoSouth Georgia Diving-petrel: Another shot showing the pale collar, the bill size & shape. Note, the right wing obscures the side of the breastSouth Georgia Diving-petrel: Close crop of the same photoSouth Georgia Diving-petrel: However, it does show more extensive dark on the sides of the neck that I expected. Again the feet do not extend beyond the tail South Georgia Diving-petrel: Close crop of the same photoSouth Georgia Diving-petrel: In fresh plumage, they would be expected to show white scapulars along with white tips to the secondary coverts. However, this looks to be a worn individual. But the scapular markings aren't a particular good feature as some Common Diving-petrels can show them & worn South Georgia Diving-petrel may not show them. Again the bill shape & lack of foot projection looks good for South Georgia Diving-petrelSouth Georgia Diving-petrel: Close crop of the same photoHere is another South Georgia Diving-petrel.
South Georgia Diving-petrel: This looks to have a more compact body with a pale collar patch, no obvious extending legs, paler underwing primaries & the remains of a scapular barSouth Georgia Diving-petrel: Close crop of the same photoFinally, this is an interesting individual. The facial & neck pattern & general shape looks like South Georgia Diving-petrel. Clearly, it has very large feet, however, the tail is very short, so looks like it has lost the tail. I'm really struggling to figure this individual out. But on balance I suspect this is a South Georgia Diving-petrel without much of a tail.Diving-petrel sp.: This individual has lost its tail so the feet look very bigDiving-petrels are clearly not an easy group to identify & I'm sure there is still a lot more work before their identification is well worked out. Trying to compare these photos to ones on line also needs care to only look at photos taken in South Georgian Waters. There are other populations of Common Diving-petrel & South Georgia Diving-petrel which breed elsewhere in Subantarctic waters. I was told on the Plancius, that there is speculation that the current number of four Diving-petrels could be split into a number of additional species, if there same approach of looking at DNA of these different populations. Finally, I would welcome any feedback on these photos or comments within this Blog Post.
Categories: Blogs, Timeline, Twitter

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