Sunday, June 29, 2014

Black-Billed Cuckoo at BHCL

I am repeatedly surprised at how often I find something new at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land.  Today, there were a couple of surprises!

First, on my morning walk, it was a Black-Billed Cuckoo.  I have only ever heard this bird calling before (at Great Meadows in Concord), but I had never seen one.  Wonderful!  Love its devil red eye!

Black-Billed Cuckoo


I found blooming Dogbane at the top of the paved hill and to the right.  This can be a real butterfly magnet, so I'll be keeping an eye on this area!  It is a relative to milkweed, and you can see some similarities to the flower color and shape.  It's really pretty close up!

The milkweed is ready.  Now for some monarchs!

Freddie and I met in the afternoon for a walk at Chestnut Hill Farm.  

I saw a juvenile Northern Cardinal in the parking lot.

Northern Cardinal

I was quite excited to see two Baltimore Checkerspots there, flying near the trail but not being very cooperative for photos!  This one looks a little worn, but beautiful nonetheless!

Baltimore Checkerspot

I am a sucker for beautiful grasses, and this particular one gets the gold ribbon!  How pretty!

After Chestnut Hill Farm (where we neither saw nor heard any Bobolinks), we decided to continue with a walk at BHCL.

Leaf-Footed Bug

Duskywing spp.  

Banded (?) Hairstreak
(I have trouble distinguishing this from Edwards, so am not sure.)

Striped Hairstreak

Red Milkweed Beetle love fest

Now, for the butterfly that interested me the most.  It was small, looked like a Banded Hairstreak, but seemed to have an abnormality with its lower wings.  Poor thing.  I don't think it could fly.  After looking at it for a while and not being able to ID it, I thought I'd try to pick it up.  Then, I transferred it over to Freddie's hand so that I could get a closer photo of it than when it was on the grass.

 Banded Hairstreak

Aw!  A cute little bunny.

Last, but not least, the fox kits in my backyard were out again tonight.  A third one came out of the woods to join in their foxy games.  Adorable!  Hope they continue to stick around!

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