After a fun day in New Jersey at Edwin and Kiki’s 60th anniversary party, I had yesterday off. Started by sleeping late and then went to work on some atlasing. Nothing all that exciting birdwise at Lot 1, although I did get a few more common birds that I had been missing up to now. In the field was a nice selection of butterflies.
Started with the Dreamy Duskywing above and then lots of Little Wood Satyrs, Ringlets, Peck’s Skippers, a single American Copper, some Silver-spotted Skippers, and the Hobomok Skipper above.
On the way out, I had this very nice Long Dash.
After finishing up with Green and Black-crowned Night-Herons on the pond, I headed to the Beaver Brook Duck Ponds to do an ode survey. It had clouded up a bit, so I walked down and around the stream a bit before starting. Once it cleared up, I got going but didn’t find all that much. The mystery clubtail from last week’s survey didn’t show, but I did get a few decent pictures of Skimming Bluet:
After a lunch stop, it was still sunny (furthering my belief that it’s best to ignore the weathermen and just do things until it’s no longer possible), so I headed out to do some more odeing. I decided to investigate the Littleton heron rookery and got there around 1:30.
As soon as I started down the train tracks, a train came so I ducked into the brush. There were a bunch of teneral spreadwings, but I didn’t want to handle them, so they were left unidentified. Once the train passed, I continued down the tracks. A fairly large orange butterfly flew by. It wasn’t stopping, so I figured it was just another American Lady (funny saying that after last year) but that turned out to be a mistake.
It soon landed and was no American Lady. Not only was it a life butterfly, but the Variegated Fritillary was posing very nicely. I would have liked an underside shot, but no complaints.
I eventually continued on (and the fritillary followed) and soon reached the pond. On the way in, I picked up a bunch of first-of-season skimmers. At the pond, it was fairly quiet, except for numerous Marsh Bluets.
I watched the herons for a few minutes and looked for the Red-headed Woodpecker (possibly heard, but not seen). Other than the bluets, the only other odes were a few Four-spotted Skimmers and a Common Green Darner. Eventually I began working my way back.
When I first came here, I had thought I was hearing the woodpecker on the other side of the tracks, which was also very swampy. I took a walk in and found an Aurora Damsel and a Sedge Sprite, neither of which wanted to pose. On the way back, I took a few swings at some baskettails that didn’t get close enough and refound the fritillary, now showing its underside.
Back at the car, it was still nice, so I decided to stop at Fort Pond Brook on the Acton/Concord line on the way home. I wandered around for a while, finding some Lancet Clubtails, many Spangled Skimmers, a Prince Baskettail, and some nice butterflies.
After making the loop straight out, I walked the trail along the edge of the brook. I finally caught a few baskettails, all of which were Common. Down on the Concord side, I found a bluet that I eventually figured out as Turquoise, which was a new one for me.
As I left, I found one last interesting sight, the remains of an Ebony Jewelwing on the ground.
A fun day to be out.