April 3rd, 2012

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Filed under Outdoor Notes

April 3, 2012

Generally, I try to write about one topic in my Notes. Sometimes, however, especially in spring, I have days when I see so much, that I just need to toss it out there. No scientific names tonight. I will add them later!

Went to the lake first thing this morning to try and get some shots of Ring-necked Ducks that were there last night. Well, the Ring-necks had departed, but there were some very nice Ruddy Ducks.

Ruddy Ducks

Ruddy Ducks

There was also a nifty little Pied-billed Grebe, although he stayed well away from me.

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe

After lunch, I headed up to a local ridge-top to see what butterflies had emerged.

The first thing I saw was a dragonfly, Green Darner. Actually, there were several hawking above the service road. One finally landed, and I grabbed a couple of pictures.

Green Darner

Green Darner

There was another predator haunting the roads, the Six-spotted Tiger Beetle. I have a devil of a time getting good photographs of these little guys–this is an extreme enlargement.

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

There were still Mourning Cloaks hanging around.

Mourning Cloak

Mourning Cloak

This particular ridgetop hosts a colony of Falcate Orangetip butterflies, and I always find them there this time of year.

Falcate Orangetip

Falcate Orangetip

I saw my first Black Swallowtail of the year.

Black Swallowtail

Black Swallowtail

And there was good news. The future of Tiger Swallowtails on that ridgetop seems secure. This was the first time that I had ever seen a Black form female mating with a standard yellow male.

Tiger Swallowtails, mating

Tiger Swallowtails mating

The swallowtails weren’t the only butterflies ensuring the survival of their species. These are (I believe) Juvenal’s Duskywings.

Juvenal's Duskywings, mating

Juvenal's Duskywings mating

The thing about duskywings, they can be very hard to identify. I think this is a different species, but I’m not sure. Looks different!

Duskywing spp.

Duskywing spp.

There were also a couple of day-flying moths. The first was the ubiquitous Bluish Spring Moth.

Bluish Spring Moth

Bluish Spring Moth

There was also an Eight-spotted Forester.

Eight-spotted Forester

Eight-spotted Forester

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4 Responses

  1. Tom Wampler said:

    Greetings Mr. Wheatly, I only recently found your postings through facebook. Your photography is excellent and your commentary is very informative. I also have been posting some nature photos and commentary on my timeline on facebook. I shoot photos primarily in central PA, and often at Wildwood or Little Buffalo Park. Feel free to take a look. What equipment do you use? I am primarily interested in the focal length of your tele. I use a 300mm f2.8, but it often feels a bit short.
    Cheers,
    Tom Wampler

    • Tom, I think I met you out at Little Buffalo, and I have seen your work both on Facebook and at PCCA. You are very good. I’m shooting a Canon. My go-to lens is a 100-400. It covers a lot of ground, and if you keep the ISO below 400, you can crop the bedad out of the pictures. Not print quality, but certainly good enough for the internet.

  2. Corey Husic said:

    I’m not sure if you got an ID on that duskywing yet, but it looks like it might be a Wild Indigo Duskywing. I also cannot rule out Columbine Duskywing which is identical and I believe it flies this time of year as well. Did you notice any Eastern Columbine in the woods near this individual?

    • No, no one has boldly set forth a photo-ID. There is no Columbine that I am aware of on top of that ridge. Plenty in other places in the area, but not up there. As to Wild Indigo, I believe there is some crownvetch fairly nearby, and there is a wildlife food plot up there that may have any number of legumes. Could be.

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