Starting the Season

Today was a day spent wandering. I started off at work, hoping to refind and photograph the interesting swallow I had yesterday (which would have made a great WTOW quiz), but no luck. Then it was on to Lincoln to check out parking and access for next weekend’s Menotomy trip. It was fairly quiet and the bridge is still out, so we’ll have to drive around. This Savannah Sparrow did pose nicely at least:

Savannah Sparrow

After checking Farm Meadow and the bridge, I headed to Oxbow NWR, taking the slow route out 117. That turned out to be a good move as I spotted an egret just past Mt. Misery. After swinging back around, I was able to confirm it as a Great, my first spring one in the county. Unfortunately, it took off before I got photos, but did land in the river up ahead (now can I count it for Concord as well?).

And on to Oxbow. It was on the late side for birds, and was a bit cool and not quite sunny enough for bugs, so not great. Still got my first-of-year Purple Finch and Blue-headed Vireo and had a few turkey run by. No luck on any Boghaunters (pdf) and not much in butterflies. A few Spring Azures and a few Elfins, all of which appeared to be Eastern Pine were it. I did have one uncooperative Tiger Beetle down at the far pond and lots of bees and flies and wasps. Some did pose a bit:

Pine Elfin:

Eastern Pine Elfin

One of the Looper Moths:


This bee dug a whole a disappeared:

Bee diggingBee DiggingBee Digging

A couple flies:

Fly #1

Fly #2

On the way out, I ran into Erik Nielsen. He didn’t have much more, but did have a Henry’s Elfin (and as I found out later, 2 Ringed Boghaunters). It cleared up and warmed up a bit, but I was almost back to the car before it was really nice. I headed out and decided to stop at Fort Pond Brook.

At Fort Pond Brook, I headed up the hill and almost as soon as it cleared I started seeing Elfins. The first couple got away, but the next six all turned out to be Henry’s! I had only seen a single individual (happened to be here) in the past, so I enjoyed being able to study the variation.

Henry's #1
Henry's #2
Henry's #3

I continued on, finding a few Azures and a Pine Elfin but not much else. Looping back, I saw something a bit larger land, which turned out to be my first dragonfly of the year. I’m fairly sure it’s a Beaverpond Baskettail, but it’s nice to be seeing them again certain or not.


I tried some of the trails along the river, hoping for more odes. No luck with that, but another Henry’s Elfin showed up. I tried to get out to the marshy area, but decided it was too wet and overgrown at the moment and headed back towards the car. On the way, a Hooded Merganser popped up and started flying around in circles, a nice potential breeder.

Not a bad day at all, even if I had hoped for a bit more.