Saturday, July 27, 2013

Metrowest Birds and Butterflies

Finally, some sunshine!  I knew it would be good butterflying once the sun came out, so I headed over to Breakneck Hill Conservation Land in Southboro first to check out what was flying in the meadows (8:30 - 10:30 AM).

Eastern Bluebird (juvenile)

White Campion

Pearl Crescent

Black Swallowtails enjoying the thistle

Spotted Knapweed

Common Ringlet

Eastern Tailed Blue

Eastern Tailed Blue

Common Wood Nymph

Black Raspberries ripening!

Downy Woodpecker

Field Bindweed or Common Morning Glory?

Gray Hairstreak (my old favorite - what a beauty!)

Eastern Tailed Blue
(another with open wings - was it because it was early morning after 2 days of rain?
  I don't know, but I love seeing the blue!)

Fruit in the orchard

Spicebush Swallowtail

Common Raven
(hanging out near the parking lot and making a really neat knocking sound)

Northern Broken Dash

Halloween Pennant

Peck's Skipper

Next, I checked in at Ashland Community Gardens in Ashland, MA.

 Cabbage White


From here, I moved on to Stearns Farm in Framingham to check the Pick-Your-Own Flower field.

Common Sootywing

Black Swallowtail

Snowberry Clearwing Moth (actually at rest)

American Goldfinch enjoying fresh sunflower seeds

On the way home, I stopped to photograph a couple of things that caught my eye.

 A patch of Large Yellow Loosestrife
at the side of the road near the Framingham/Southboro line


American Lady

And sometimes nectaring on a beautiful flower can be hazardous to your health.  These two (in my home garden) certainly are.

Around 5PM, I went back to Breakneck Hill for a 2nd, shorter hike.

Wild Indigo Duskywing on Cow Vetch

Suppertime for a fledgling Chipping Sparrow

Common Ringlet

Sometimes, the most common, plain-colored butterfly can be a thing of beauty.  In the evening light and against the muted grasses of the meadow, this Common Ringlet looked just beautiful!


One of three rabbits seen on this evening hike

Blue Dasher

Bobolink (male)
my first sighting of this species at this location!

just a few House Sparrows
(near the parking lot)

All in all, a great nature day.  Thank you for returning, Mr. Sun!  Hope to see you again tomorrow!

P.S.  I did stop at Farm Pond in Framingham and was disgusted to find that not only had they mowed the trail next to the pond, they mowed the banks and the butterfly habitat was completely destroyed.  They had beautiful blooming milkweed all along the water there.  Very sad.

Also, the morning hike at BHCL was the first time I actually kept a written count of what butterflies I was seeing.  Here is the official list that I provided to Mass Butterfly Club:

Common Ringlet  32
Spicebush Swallowtail 2
Common Wood Nymph 10
Cabbage White 10
Peck Skipper 5
Eastern Tailed Blue 11
Black Swallowtail 9
Great Spangled Fritillary 1
Orange Sulphur 4
Pearl Crescent 7
Gray Hairstreak 1
Clouded Sulphur 6
Northern Broken Dash Skipper 2
Little Glassywing 1
Silver Spotted Skipper 1
Wild Indigo Duskywing 1

And for bird species (although not numbers):

American Goldfinch
American Robin
Barn Swallow
Black-Capped Chickadee
Chipping Sparrow
Common Raven
Downy Woodpecker
Eastern Bluebird
House Finch
House Sparrow
House Wren
Northern Flicker
Northern Mockingbird
Red-Tailed Hawk
Red-Winged Blackbird
Song Sparrow
Tufted Titmouse

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