West Lake TR 10/18 July 15, 2018, 7:16pm
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West Lake TR 10/18  This thread currently has 194 views. Print
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Benito Bonito
October 19, 2017, 2:14am Report to Moderator

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For various reasons this paddle was not posted, but fortunately Red Beard was available to join TI & me on short notice for a most enjoyable late season trip.

Weather so erratic this year that calendar late is not the same thing as habitat late. Maybe we were unprepared for wildlife activity but there was plenty. There was also some confusion in terms of identifying the players, but I think they're sorted out. All save one, that is...

Highlights follow.

First the waterfowl. A lone duck sat impassively on a rock in the stream coming & going, likely a non-breeding female long-tailed duck. Second surprise was a small goose rooting about the dam area when we stopped for lunch, a solitary brant.

Dragonflies appeared in large numbers as the air began to warm. There were tons of meadowhawks, but I've already posted too many photos of them. Of greater interest was a large dragonfly that flew into the drink, then spent some time on my deck drying out before flying off. Check out the drip-dry technique of standing on its head. It looks like a darner, but to my surprise & dismay I cannot identify it.

Last photo of the day was a bonus from distance -- a kingfisher coming up with a catch.

Seadogs don't give up -- the season has been spotty but it's too soon to quit!



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Red Beard
October 19, 2017, 9:34am Report to Moderator
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Benito and Ti thank you very much for a fantastic day on the water,I enjoyed seeing all the wildlife,the weather was great,and the company was even greater .,thanks again for a fantastic day on the water  
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Benito Bonito
October 19, 2017, 1:42pm Report to Moderator

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Dragonfly follow-up -- IMHO it's a female black-tipped darner (Aeshna tuberculifera), and may have blown its flight plan while laying eggs. Don't let the male appearance fool you as it did me. This female darner mimics the male of the species! Without a long discussion (unless someone wants to take up the issue) two more attachments illustrate the argument. #3 shows the head & thorax, the black tip & thorax striping both very clear. #4 shows the abdominal spots with a bluish tint, and the female's male-ish cerci. Other candidates don't pass as many tests.

Brant info -- our fearless companion is immature, notably lacks a thin white collar. Department of corrections -- I garbled the scientific name yesterday on the water. It's Branta berenicia.

More confusion -- Corvus this time, corax or brachyrhynchos, ravens or crows? See attached. They were big but the photo is not dispositive. One made a loud ticking sound on exit, also not dispositive.

Ending with an easy one -- an eastern painted turtle. No doubt!



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Red Beard
October 19, 2017, 11:45pm Report to Moderator
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awesome pictures Benito.......fantastic paddle
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