Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Barn Swallows at BHCL

I took a morning walk at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land before work.  I couldn't even get out of the parking lot to start because the Barn Swallows were flying in to the mud puddle and collecting nesting materials.

 Barn Swallow


Because it was early Tuesday morning after a three day holiday weekend, mine was the only car in the parking lot.  I thought maybe I'd have a good chance at seeing the fox with fewer people around.  I had no luck in that department, but there was a beautiful doe in the meadow.

White-Tailed Deer

She is looking a bit on the thin side, in my opinion, and she was curious about me, inching towards me a bit before turning and running into the forest.

Clouded Sulphur

Chipping Sparrow

Spotted Cranesbill


Looking back

Indigo Bunting

I listened for the Indigo Bunting, but didn't hear it singing, so I felt lucky to spot it up in its usual tree.  Also, for the first time I spotted Pink Ladyslippers at BHCL!   I saw four, plus one that looked as if it had been picked or eaten by deer, plus other foliage without blooms.  Wow!

Little Wood Satyr

Clouded Sulphur, Common Ringlets and Little Wood Satyrs were already on the wing.

Strawberry Oak Gall

This is the prettiest gall I've seen to date.  It is made by a Callirhytis seminator (wasp) and only looks this way in the spring.  It darkens to an orange color with age.  It almost looks like the dice people hang from their rear-view mirrors!

Yellow Warbler (Lynn, this photo's for you!)
(This bird is participating in the witness protection program.)

The last few visits to BHCL, I have heard a Common Yellowthroat singing near the parking lot.  Sometimes I have seen it flying from the trees there into the shrubs in the pasture, but today it was singing high in the trees, and I was able to get a good look at it.

Common Yellowthroat

Eastern Kingbird

As I crossed the footbridge to the parking lot, two Eastern Kingbirds landed on this post, one at a time, as if to stop to wish me a good morning before I left.  Nice!  What a great start to the day!

I love the fact that I can find something new and be surprised over and over again at a place that I visit so regularly.  That strawberry oak gall was cool, as was the deer (It's been a while since I've seen one there) and of course the pink ladyslippers!  BHCL, what a lovely oasis in the midst of town!

I chose Beals Preserve as my lunchtime destination.  A Pink Ladyslipper had been reported there, and I wanted to check it out.

Yellow Pond Lilies


 Found it!

There were five more in the same general area.  Nice!

Indigo Bunting
presiding over the meadow

 Transverse Flower Fly 
(Helophilus fasciatus)

another Jack-in-the-Pulpit

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