12 May 2010

April in May + storytime

Looks like we've fallen a bit behind, so here are some lovely photos and ID requests! Apologies for the jump in chronology; these photos are from Colorado Bend State Park from April 30 (and it's May 12, whoops).

Orange Skipperling (Copaeodes aurantiacus), a slightly worn adult whose wing shows the evidence of life.

Juniper Hairstreaks (Callophrys gryneus) put on quite a show for us, above on a tendril and below on Antelope-Horn Milkweed (Asclepias viridis).

Many years ago now, I went on a birding trip to SE Arizona and upon my return I showed pictures to my mom... there were bugs and flowers and water droplets and a person or two. Then she asked about the scenery, since AZ is quite dry and my photos were quite lush. There was only *one* photo of the mountains that I'd taken; just a ray of light breaking through the clouds with the mountains in the background.

So the one below is for Mom; look! Trees! (This path is where the Ironclad Beetle and fungus eater posts came from!)

Now these next two are up for ID; I think the second is a shield bug young'n of some sort, but haven't narrowed down this first lovely little fellow yet.

And since I'm cramming as many photos as possible into this catch-up post...

Above and below; Common Roadside-Skipper (Amblyscirtes vialis), a "life" bug for me! Oddly enough, Matt had seen one at our Houston wedding reception...
Edit: from Matt - I came across Celia's Roadside-Skipper at our wedding reception, not Common. :-)

Below; Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

And now for an exciting story: once there were two birders driving home from Colorado Bend State Park. They were nearly home, so close they could see the county line... suddenly out of the corner of the windshield they noticed a field with a huge puddle of water in it!

They made a U-turn and went back to investigate. Right as they stopped the vehicle, a Crested Caracara flew over them! They watched and watched as it flew away, hoping it would cross the county line because they're nerds and McLennan Co hardly ever gets Crested Caracaras, but Coryell gets plenty... but it never did cross. Luckily for them, however, their U-turn put them right next to the field.

The water in the field was so deep that some of the birds were nearly swimming! Alas, for most of the birds, the water was only deep enough for them to wade. There were Stilt Sandpipers with their looong legs and beaks were off out of photographing range, but there were some stunning female Wilson's Phalaropes in breeding plumage! And they were gorgeous.

So the moral of the story? Check out flooded fields. You might just find Wilson's Phalaropes in their summer splendor. Or Snowy Plovers in Missouri!

Note: non-birders take heed, the females of Phalarope species are far more colorful than the males. Not only that, but she leaves incubation up to the male. How's that for super exciting factoids and random trivia?


  1. I came across Celia's Roadside-Skipper at our wedding reception, not Common. :-)
    I was paying more attention to you than the bugs. ;-)

  2. Blast! Ok, so I wasn't paying attention to the bugs either, obviously ;-)