Thursday, December 18, 2014

2014 Butterfly List

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  1. American Copper, Sherborn, MA 5/20
  2. American Lady, Ashland, MA 5/10
  3. AMERICAN SNOUT*, Delaware, OH 7/28
  4. Aphrodite Fritillary, Wellesley, MA 7/20
  5. Appalachian Brown, Northboro, MA 7/6
  6. ARCTIC SKIPPER*, Talkeetna, AK 6/26
  7. Baltimore Checkerspot, Southboro, MA 6/29
  8. Banded Hairstreak, Southboro, MA 6/27
  9. Black Swallowtail, Southboro MA 5/19
  10. Broad-Winged Skipper, Northboro, MA 7/6
  11. Bronze Copper, Ipswich, MA 9/20
  12. Cabbage White, Boylston, MA 4/19
  13. CANADIAN TIGER SWALLOWTAIL*, Girdwood, AK
  14. Clouded Sulphur, Boylston, MA 5/10
  15. Common Ringlet, Southboro, MA 5/25
  16. Common Sootywing, Southboro, MA 5/26
  17. Common Wood Nymph, Northboro, MA 7/6
  18. Dreamy Duskywing, Southboro, MA 5/26
  19. Dun Skipper, Southboro, MA 7/13
  20. Dusted Skipper, Southboro, MA 5/29
  21. Eastern Comma, Boylston, MA 4/6
  22. Eastern Pine Elfin, Sherborn, MA 5/5
  23. Eastern Tailed-Blue, Southboro, MA 5/7
  24. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Woburn, MA 5/11
  25. Edwards Hairstreak, Woburn, MA 6/28
  26. European Skipper, Southboro, MA 6/5
  27. Giant Swallowtail, Delaware, OH 7/28; Lexington, MA 8/23
  28. Gray Hairstreak, Sherborn, MA 5/5
  29. Great Spangled Fritillary, Southboro, MA 6/2
  30. Harvester, Ashland, MA 8/23
  31. Hobomok Skipper, Southboro, MA 5/26
  32. Horace's Duskywing, Southboro, MA 7/20
  33. Juvenal's Duskywing, Sherborn, MA 5/6
  34. Least Skipper, Westport, MA 9/6
  35. Little Glassywing, Southboro 6/30
  36. Little Wood Satyr, Southboro, MA 5/26
  37. LITTLE YELLOW*, Delaware, OH 7/28
  38. Long Dash, Southboro, MA 7/17
  39. Meadow Fritillary*, Dover, OH 7/22
  40. MILBERT'S TORTOISESHELL*, Girdwood, AK
  41. Monarch, Southboro 7/11
  42. Mourning Cloak, Ashland, MA, 4/1
  43. Northern Cloudywing, Southboro, MA 5/26
  44. Northern Pearly-eye, Ohio, 7/26
  45. Orange Sulphur, Southboro, ??
  46. Painted Lady, Delaware, OH 7/30; Hopkinton, MA 8/20
  47. Pearl Crescent, Westboro, MA 5/17
  48. Peck's Skipper, Southboro, MA 6/2
  49. Question Mark, Southboro, MA 6/14
  50. Red Admiral, Southboro, MA 7/20
  51. Red Spotted Purple, Hopkinton, MA 6/14
  52. SACHEM*, Westport, MA 9/13
  53. Silver-Bordered Fritillary, Southboro, MA 7/18
  54. Silver-Spotted Skipper, Framingham, MA 6/8
  55. Silvery Blue, Southboro, MA 5/26
  56. Spicebush Swallowtail, Southboro, MA 6/10
  57. Spring Azure, Boylston, MA 4/19
  58. Striped Hairstreak, Woburn, MA 6/28
  59. Summer Azure, Southboro 7/8
  60. Tawny Edged Skipper, Framingham, MA 6/8
  61. TAWNY EMPEROR, Delaware, OH 7/28
  62. Viceroy, Sherborn, MA 6/14
  63. WESTERN WHITE*, Girdwood, AK 
  64. White M Hairstreak, Southboro, MA 8/14
  65. Zabulon Skipper, Ashland, MA 8/19
* Life butterfly



Yard List:

  1. Banded Hairstreak 6/27
  2. Black Swallowtail 6/16
  3. Eastern Comma 7/1
  4. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 5/17
  5. Gray Hairstreak
  6. Great Spangled Fritillary 7/1
  7. Harvester 8/19
  8. Little Wood Satyr 6/29
  9. Mourning Cloak 4/1
  10. Peck's Skipper 6/4
  11. Red Spotted Purple 8/19
  12. Spring Azure 4/22
  13. Zabulon Skipper 8/19

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

I stopped first at the Gryncel ball fields.  There were several Downy Woodpeckers, a Brown Creeper, American Goldfinches, Black-Capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmice, Mourning Doves and Dark-Eyed Juncos.  Some American Crows flew in by way of the Sudbury River.  Before I left, a flock of about 9 Canada geese flew and landed in the river.  It was pretty birdy!  Not one cooperated for photos, though!  There is plenty of Oriental Bittersweet to feed the birds here for a while.

Oriental Bittersweet

Next, I stopped at Wildwood Cemetery.  I took the road through the old section closest to the river and immediately was entertained by several Eastern Bluebirds.  None of the males cooperated, but I did get one blurry photo of a female who briefly landed on the tip of an American flag one of the gravestones.  It seems to be a good year for bluebirds, at least that is my impression.  I keep finding them wherever I go.

Eastern Bluebird (female)

A Red-Bellied Woodpecker was in this same area, and it chased off a competing Downy Woodpecker. Soon, I saw it with what appeared to be a rather large item of food, which it flew to a snag and cached for later.

 Red-Bellied Woodpecker



This was another birdy area, with Black-Capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmice joining the bluebirds and woodpeckers along the river's edge.  I drove on through, stopping at the bird feeders in the back.  There were Tufted Titmice and American Goldfinch feeding there.

Four American Crows were poking around in the upper cemetery.  While I was stopped watching them, a hawk flew into a tree quite close to me, so I parked and got out for a closer look.

poss. Cooper's Hawk (juvenile)

Wildwood was a good stop for birds today!  I'll close with a shot of one of my favorite trees.  As you can see, we didn't have a lot of sunshine today.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

American Tree Sparrow at Hopkinton State Park

I walked at Hopkinton State Park today.  Thought I'd check the lower beach for birds but there were none.  There was one American Tree Sparrow and a small flock of Dark-Eyed Juncos pecking around on the trail between the parking lot and the beach.

 American Tree Sparrow

 Dark-Eyed Juncos




Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Eastern Bluebirds at BHCL

There are still plenty of birds around to entertain me at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land.  Today, during my 45 minute lunch walk, I saw the following:

American Crow 2
American Goldfinch 12+
American Robin 1
Black-Capped Chickadee 1
Blue Jay 8
Carolina Wren 1
Dark-Eyed Junco 20+
Downy Woodpecker 1
Eastern Bluebird 14+
European Starling 30+
House Finch 2
House Sparrow 4
Mourning Dove 3
Northern Cardinal 2
Northern Flicker 2
Northern Mockingbird 3
Red-Bellied Woodpecker 1
Red-Tailed Hawk 1
Tufted Titmouse 8
White-Breasted Nuthatch 1
White-Throated Sparrow 1

There's nothing better than the brilliant flash of blue against the winter dullness of the meadows.










Monday, December 15, 2014

The Ice Cometh to Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary


The above photo was my favorite of the whole hike.  This little cove, more protected than the open area below, was frozen flat, with tiny spots of frost on top of the ice.  The sun was weakly filtering through the forest across the ice, making it a very beautiful spot.


On the water side of the trail across the dam, everything was frosty.  On the forest side, it was not.




And what does one do in the winter, when there are no birds or butterflies or other insects?  Mushrooms, fungus, lichen and moss take center stage!  They do have a beauty of their own, possibly more difficult to appreciate.  Possibly not!








As for birds, there was quite a noisy flock of Tufted Titmice in the forest and Black-Capped Chickadees.  I also saw one Downy Woodpecker on my way out.  Other than that, it was very quiet.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Eastern Bluebirds at Chestnut Hill Farm

This morning I checked out a few of my Southboro birding locations, just to see what I could find.  At Rural Cemetery, the only thing of interest was this rather large fungus in one of the old trees.



Next I stopped at the Rural Cemetery extension on Middle Road.  Besides Dark-Eyed Juncos, the cemetery was quiet here, too.  There was an American Robin dining on sumac.



I headed next to Chestnut Hill Farm.  A Red-Tailed Hawk flew across the road as I neared the entrance, perching near enough to the road that I could stop and photograph it.

Red-Tailed Hawk

I never even made it out of the parking lot at Chestnut Hill Farm before I noticed a bird sitting on a stake in the meadow.  With my binoculars, I was able to confirm it was a bluebird.  I noticed more in the tree above the stake.

Eastern Bluebirds

They shortly flew down to the fence along the end of the parking lot, where two of them proceeded to hunt, flying down to the meadow and then back up to the post.  I really enjoyed watching them for a good quarter of an hour.

Eastern Bluebird



There were also 8 Mourning Doves strutting through the meadow just on the other side of the fence.  Of course, they flew off as soon as I got out of the car.  A bit later, while I was still watching the bluebirds, a large flock of European Starlings flew in to the same area.  It was very busy!

Mourning Dove


European Starlings

I saw another Red-Tailed Hawk in a tree along Route 30 and was able to pull over and get a decent photo of it, too.

Red-Tailed Hawk

I made one more stop on my way home and saw more Eastern Bluebirds searching for their breakfasts. I kind of like the juxtaposition of the sweet Eastern Bluebird with the sharp barbed wire fencing.

Eastern Bluebirds


Meanwhile, back at home, I heard the singing of a Carolina Wren before I closed the garage door, and I was able to spot him/her in a shady spot in the woods.

Carolina Wren

Later in the afternoon, I drove over to Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord.  I should have expected the trails would be flooded, but I can't say that I thought it through.  I had to limit my hiking to the Edge Trail.  I stopped at each end where the water crossed the path.  In spite of the curtailed trail access, I did see a Golden-Crowned Kinglet, Canada Geese, an American Coot, Song Sparrows, Tufted Titmice, a Brown Creeper, a Downy Woodpecker, and one huge tail-slapping Beaver.

Golden-Crowned Kinglet


The lower impoundment seemed to be a dead lotus blossom collection point.  They were loosely connected with spider webs, and I just thought it was an interesting looking scene so I took a photo of it.

Song Sparrow

American Coot

A couple of hikers with waders came across the flooded area.  A bird started a honking type noise, and I went back to see if I could see what it was.  I asked them if it was the American Coot.  They told me they had heard a loud splash, like a rock dropping in the water, and then saw a black bird fly into the trees but lost sight of it.  After they moved on, I heard two more loud splashes just like they had described.  I immediately thought it must be a beaver slapping its tail.  The splashes were nearing the path, so I waited a bit to see if it might appear, and voila!  Beaver crossing!


Brown Creeper


Canada Geese