I stopped by Keith McLean C.L. We are in the midst of fall migration for shorebirds..already! Some fall migrants have shown up recently. I did not brave walking out on the mud though. A Lesser Yellowlegs got up at one point.
Along the causeway, I noticed a bird carcass (actually two!) as I headed north. As usual, somone was tailgating me, so I had to go ahead and turn back. I thought it looked like a Least Bittern and sure enough it was. It had been freshly hit as it was still breathing, but would not last much longer. A horrible sight!
Another dead one was nearby. Difficult to say what happened, as accidents do happen, but the way so many people drive these days who knows.
In the afternoon it turned out nice so I headed up to hairstreak headquarters. I found four Oak Hairstreaks in short order. One was very beaten up.
I also saw my first Wood Nymph and Appalachian Brown of the year.
Today, I had no idea what to do, but ended up going to Skunk's Misery. I spent more time there than I usually do (over three hours) looking for birds, then butterflies.
I came up with 13 Hooded Warblers, among other things.
There was not much diversity in butterflies, but Tawny Emperor stole the show today. There were hundreds! It was incredible to see "flocks" of them.
I saw easily close to 400--certainly the most I have ever seen.
A few Hackberry Emperors were around too.
Some Banded Hairstreaks were out and about as well.
I stopped by the Florence bridge since it was on the way home. The river was running high so it was disappointing for odes. Last year I saw the Dusky Dancer there among other things. Other odes were dancing around though.
Before heading home, I stopped again at hairstreak headquarters and met up with Bill Lamond. Bill had never seen the Oak Hairstreak before, so we got on some of them.
I also found one dead one attached to an Indian Hemp flower head.
Quite a few Banded Hairstreaks were also out and about. I even had one stop by the yard this afternoon.
A number of odes were flying. It is actually a good place for odonates! Racket-tailed Emerald was still around, and at one point we noticed another, but different, emerald. It got away, but I headed off at that point.
Bill later caught it and it turned out to be a Mocha Emerald! Although not entirely surprising, I had never identified one there before. In the past I have seen emerald-like odes flying around, but never got on them. I have seen them at McKeough CA a couple of concessions north from there.
I am sure Bill will not mind his photo being posted here of the Mocha Emerald.
|photo by Bill Lamond 28 June 2020|
It is a great time of year to be out, especially looking for insects. Next Sunday is the Skunk's Misery butterfly count. It will go ahead under different circumstances as one would expect.