Images

RED-BILLED FIREFINCH

Binomial Name: Lagonosticta senegala
Common Names: Red-Billed Firefinch, Senegal Firefinch

The Red-billed Firefinch belongs to a group of small Passerine birds of the Family Estrildidae. They are characteristically gregarious (social animals, existing in communities) and often colonial seed eaters with short, thick, but pointed bills. They all build large, domed nests and lay five to ten white eggs. They are typically tropical birds.

The red-billed firefinch captured on a manicured lawn
A Red-billed Firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala)

Did you know:
– The nest of this species is parasitised by the village indigobird.
– Like most birds, color is the quickest identification for sex. Male fire finches are varying shades of red accented with black, gray or brown. Some species have tiny white- or ivory-colored spots on the breast or flanks. Female birds are mainly earthy brown in color and some have a pinkish wash to the face or breast

A Red-billed Firefinch captured pecking through the grass of a lawn
A pecking Red-billed Firefinch. Note white spots on flanks.

Word of the day: Dimorphic (meaning that males are easily distinguished from females)

Corps de Feu

The large red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), known in French as Petite nymphe au corps de feu ( fiery bodied Damselfly), is one of the first European damselflies on the fly in spring.

A Large Red Damselfly on a plant leaf
The large red damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula)

General Description
The Large Red Damselfly has a dark red body (Corps de feu) thinly circled with black color. There are larger black marks on the upper surface of the last segments of the abdomen.
The eyes are reddish. The thorax bears a black horizontal stripe. The legs are black. Females occur in many colour forms, but all have yellow bands around the abdominal segments.

A male large red damselfly
A male species fitting above description

Photographed Species: Male, Remshalden, Germany

Asian Willow

Pink and white leaves typical of the Salix integra
Pink and white leaves typical of the Salix integra

“Hakuro Nishiki”. Sounds like a character from a Manga (Japanese comic) 🙂

An ornamental plant, the dappled willow (“Hakuro Nishiki” in Japanese)is a species of willow native to northeastern China, Japan, Korea and Primorsky Krai in the far southeast of Russia. It is widely grown for its variegated foliage, with the leaves strongly mottled with patches and blotches of white and pale pink, as seen in the photo.

Armor of Gold

An adult male Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)
An adult male Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)

Nostalgic of my entomology roots, I researched some interesting facts about the species.

Identification:
39-48mm in length, the brown colour and the four spots at the nodus of the wings make them unmistakable.

Sexes can be differentiated by closely observing the structure of the appendages at the end of the abdomen. The upper appendages are more ‘separated’ in the females than in the males.

Habitat & Behavior:
Found mainly by ponds, vernal pools, and slow flowing rivers between the months of May and September, the male is considered to be highly aggressive and will defend a given territory from incursions from other males of the species. The male is known to form preferences for prominent perches and will often return to the same perches around the margins of pools and ponds whilst it patrols for intruders.

Photo taken in early May 2014, Remshalden, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Resource:
1,http://www.rspb.org.uk/community/wildlife/f/902/t/106254.aspx
2, http://www.british-dragonflies.org.uk/species/four-spotted-chaser
3, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four-spotted_Chaser