Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Killdeer Nest at Hopkinton State Park

All the beach house Barn Swallows have fledged, and the nests are empty.  Killdeer still roam the parking lots, though, calling and acting out their broken wing routines.  I did notice an area of caution tape near one killdeer, and lo and behold, that was the location of a nest.  Never would I have seen these eggs on my own, but they were beautiful to see in person.  I hope someday I will be wise enough in the ways of nature to find them without caution tape.  Only time will tell!

The caution tape area made me quite happy.  Last time I visited, the mowers were there, and I wondered how the Killdeer could possibly succeed at nesting, but it looks like someone is looking out for them (or at least for one of them).

Killdeer eggs

w/ Mama back on top

The beach and grass nearby were just filled with small toads.  They almost looked like flies, they were so tiny.  This is the only photo I have of one, but if you think of that largest rock as just a pebble, you will get the idea of how tiny the toad really is.

I did find one that was normal sized in the grass when I walked towards the dam.  I'm not sure if it's an older version of the same thing, or not.

The beautiful habitat for butterflies on the side of the dam was mowed down, so the butterflies were few and far between.

Peck's Skipper

Cabbage White

Spotted Sandpiper

Canada geese family

juvenile Spotted Sandpiper

and a second one!

protective parent nearby

I was pleasantly surprised to see a Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly fly across the path as I returned across the dam.  Since the area was mowed, when it flew higher on the dam and landed, I climbed up to try to get a photo.  Just as I was focusing, it took off and flew lower.  I followed again.  Very humid.  Sweating profusely.  Running, chasing, missing.  And so it goes.  Here's the resulting photo.  Groan!  It's an absolutely stunning butterfly so I had to keep trying, but alas, I was out of time and had to get back to work.

hiding Baltimore Checkerspot!

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