Tuesday, July 12, 2016

What a Difference a Day Makes

Yesterday started rainy and cool, not even in the 60s and very wet from all the recent rain.  Butterflies were almost non-existent (I did see one), but there were lots of fun birds to watch instead.

I think this is a juvenile Baltimore Oriole.

Juvenile Eastern Kingbird

There were 3-4 Eastern Kingbirds flying around one of the back meadows.  I think they were practicing hunting for insects.  It must be hard to have to learn to both fly and catch food while doing so.

American Goldfinch
(I was able to creep within 4 feet of this little guy)


Song Sparrow



Bee using Queen Anne's Lace as an umbrella 
(not very effective)

Common Wood Nymph (the one and only butterfly)


The grass paths were hosting lots of American Robins, many of which were juveniles.  They were quite shy, though, and flew off long before I got very close.

Today was sunny and hot, in the 80s.  I took a late afternoon lunch break and saw many wonderful butterflies as I walked the same trails.  It was just the kind of butterfly day that makes it hard to go back to work.  The Birds Foot Trefoil and Clover along the paths were attracting lots of small butterflies, from American Coppers to Pearl Crescents to Gray Hairstreaks and Eastern Tailed-Blues. An occasional Clouded Sulphur flew by wanting to be counted.  I also saw several Black Swallowtails and some skippers yet to be identified.

Eastern Tailed-Blue

American Copper
enjoying a blossom in the new pollinator garden!

Pearl Crescent
(the second brood of the season is upon us)

 Northern Broken Dash (I think)

Great Spangled Fritillary
on one of the few milkweed plants still in bloom

Eastern Tailed=Blue

 another Northern Broken Dash 
(looks so different in this position)

Spotted Wintergreen in bloom
(none of the flowers were facing the trail!)

 Black Swallowtail


Gray Hairstreak

American Copper

another Gray Hairstreak

At one point, there were four Gray Hairstreaks on the same patch of Birds Foot Trefoil.   This was the best butterfly day of the year (so far)!   Eastern Tailed-Blues and American Coppers were chasing Gray Hairstreaks.  There was so much to watch!  It was definitely hard to tear myself away and go back to the office!

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