Sunday, June 15, 2014

Today's Birds and Butterflies

Waseeka Wildlife Sanctuary was calling to me.  I had to answer!  The ladyslippers were blooming last time I was there....It was high time to get back, check on the Osprey nest, and see if I could find the Pileated Woodpeckers.

Eastern Painted Turtle

mating moths

The waterlilies are just starting to fill in on the water.

Red-Spotted Purple

Little Wood Satyr

Osprey on nest (I didn't see any babies)

Pearl Crescent

probable Juvenal's Duskywing

Northern Flicker

No sign of the Pileated Woodpeckers.  

After lunch, I walked a bit on the Sherborn Power Line trails and saw the following butterflies:


American Copper

Fritillary (most likely Great Spangled)


Calico Pennant

I thought a short evening walk at Breakneck Hill Conservation Land would be the nicest way to end a great nature weekend.  I only walked about 45 minutes, but it was so enjoyable!  Just like I had never been there before!  

As I was coming up the hill, there was a small group of birds in one of the apple trees.  It looked like a nest of Tree Swallows had fledged.  Several were flapping wildly as if they had little experience being on the wing.  I wished I had my other camera with me, but I did not and they were just about out of reach.  I thought they were Eastern Kingbirds when I first looked at them, because juvenile Tree Swallows are dusky in coloring rather than the iridescent blue of their parents.  There was another juvenile below this group and another parent just off to the right.  Too bad they didn't line up for a family photo!

Tree Swallows

Double-Crested Cormorants

Because Breakneck Hill is situated close to several reservoirs, there are a surprising number of water bird fly-bys there.  These two were so close, I couldn't resist them.  DCCs have beautiful turquoise eyes.  If you ever get a chance to look at them more closely, make sure you check out their eye color!

Eastern Bluebird

Mr. Bluebird flew right onto this branch just down the trail from me a little ways.  Crazy!  Usually they fly away from me.  I just had to take his photo!

I just love meadow grasses.  They are just starting to fill in and grow long and lush.  It's really challenging to try to capture the beauty of the meadow, especially when the wind moves through the grass.   

European Skippers are resident in BHCL in large numbers.  Tonight, they were all searching out their perch on the grass stems.  I don't know whether that's where they sleep, but I don't think so because I don't see them there in the early morning when I walk.  Were they just pairing up?  The males were definitely flying close to the females, and the females were mostly giving them the "not interested" wing flap.  I tried to take a photo to demonstrate just how full the grasses were of these European Skippers.  I was left with the impression that the meadows at this particular hour were just one big singles bar for European Skippers.

(Click to enlarge)

European Skippers

While I was obsessing over the European Skippers playing the dating game, I nearly missed two beautiful does passing through the meadow.

Gotta love Breakneck Hill Conservation Land.  There is always something fun to see!

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