Monday, 30 June 2008

Some Babies are ugly!

I had a short walk round Bushy Rough this lunch time. My primary target was to see what Damselflies and Dragonflies were around, especially looking for any Small Red-eyed Damselflies, a recent colonist in Kent.

I didn't find any Small Red-eyed Damselflies, the emergent vegetation was really suitable, with no lilies or other suitable plants. There were plenty of Azure Damselflies (Coenagrion puella), as well as Blue-tailed and Common.

A few larger dragonflies patrolled over the water, and I managed a few pictures of this female Emperor Dragonfly (Anax imperator) egg laying on the weed.

here you can see the claspers at the end of the abdomen, used when the pair are mating.

You can't help noticing that, how ever proud mum is of her baby some of them are plain ugly. In the case of a coot it really does show that birds are quite closely related to reptiles. It's always intrigued me that Coots start off with ginger coloured chicks that end up black and white.

On the other hand the female Mallard, with this late brood, would suffer no embarrassment showing off her young, as usual they really have the ah! factor.

I suppose that the Swans Cygnets fall in between. Not pretty but not out and out ugly (in spite of Danny Kaye). But like the song says they will grow up to be a beautiful Swan, all the baby coot's got to look forward to is something far less glamorous. That's far to much anthropomorphism for one day!

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