Sunday, July 28, 2013

Week 30

27 July 2013, Jones Ave Stormwater Park, Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area

I struck out looking for the Fork-tailed Flycatcher but my consolation prize ...

... my second grasshopper of the week I can't ID.  Note to Bob ........ really try to get a dorsal view image along with the lateral view; it might make ID a lot easier, don't you think?  7/31 ... after looking at my new field guide, I am calling this an Orangewinged Grasshopper and hope to get it positively ID'd by

Right below where the Fork-tailed Flycatcher was seen by others recently, this teeny thing appeared.  I assumed it was a moth but after looking at the images, I see an orange club on the antenna, a mark of a butterfly.  Like the Coffee-loving Pyrausta Moth you see posted above, the wingspan here is also about the diameter of a dime.  I'll get the ID from some friends who know these well.  UPDATE:  Randy Snyder ID'd this as a Southern Skipperling. 

26 July 2013, Lake Apopka Bike Trail

Another first?  This teeny tiny moth was fluttering near a dragonfly I was studying on the Lake Apopka Bike Trail.  When I searched the field guides and checked Orange County's checklist it did not show this species in Orange County.

CLICK ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE, "X" to go back in upper right.

 Pyrausta tyralis.  It's common name is the Coffee-loving Pyrausta Moth.  I submitted the sighting to Butterflies and Moths of North America and I am hoping they confirm it as the first record for Orange County for their records.  The wingspan is probably no more than the diameter of a dime.  UPDATE 7/30.  It was confirmed as the 67th moth species for Orange County, FL.

How many faces can you see in this spider?  Besides the scary looking ones at the bottom, check out the orange face that looks like a kitten face or maybe an owl cartoon drawing.  I thought this was a Golden Silk Orbweaver but it is missing those black bristle tuffs on its legs.  I'm sure there is an explanation and I'll find it.

I saw a lot of American Bird Grasshoppers and two species I could not ID, this being one of them.  I hope my handy dandy field guide for grasshoppers that will arrive next week will bail me out.  7/31 ... after looking at my just arrived field guide, I am going to say this is a Clippedwing Grasshopper.  I am submitting it to and I will see what they ID it as.

Our state butterfly, the Zebra.

Always one of my favorites, the White Peacock.  The fuzzy white hair in the center is cool.

When you take your kids for a walk, try to get them to describe the colors and patterns they see on butterflies, grasshoppers and birds.  Get them a field guide and you may be surprised that they might look forward to going out on the trails.  Kids love a challenge.  Inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras now have amazing quality.  Turn your kids on to nature.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Week 29

19 Jul 2013, Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area

Early fall migration is in full swing ...

... at least for Prairie Warblers.  The section I entered was the north side public entry off CR 448A.  This Prairie Warbler had about 8-10 friends, and I saw four more about 2 miles from this spot and two more in another section.  Mid to late July is supposedly when they start showing up and sure enough, they have arrived in force.

One of the Prairie Warblers is a contortionist!!!

At the same spot of the large group of warblers, a male Blue Grosbeak appeared.  About a mile away, there were two first summer Blue Grosbeaks that I wish I could have had a longer view of.  Everywhere I biked on the trail, I could hear Northern Bobwhite.  A Great Horned Owl rose up from the canal to my right and I had two sightings of a Cooper's Hawk and a Red-tailed Hawk.  Swallow-tailed Kites were present but not in the big numbers that we should start seeing soon as migration is just days away for them.  I really came out to see if the Fork-tailed Flycatcher ventured into this area so I didn't look really close for migrants.  Based on what I did see, I think I need to get out here next week and spend some "quality time" birding.

15 Jul 2013, Wekiwa Springs State Park

The Sandhill section of Wekiwa Springs State Park is one of my favorite places to go.  This section of the park is one of the few remaining fragments of what used to be about 70 million acres of this type of natural community in the Southeast.

CLICK ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE.  "X" in upper right to go back.
There is currently a lot of this Chapman Goldenrod (Solidago odora chapmanii) and the insects seem to like it.  This wasp is a Double-banded Scoliid (Scolia bicincta).  The wings are a nice blue/purple color but at this angle the color did not pop out in the image.

A skipper butterfly, I assume a Long-tailed Skipper, was near the wasp.  A bee was next to the skipper; I really need to get a macro lens for these little guys.

A short distance down the trail, a Brown Thrasher didn't seem to mind me wanting to walk by.  I have not been seeing this species as much as usual so it was nice to see this one here.  The Red-headed Woodpecker appeared and is likely one of the pair I published images of earlier this year in the blog.

The previous day, at the start of this trail, there were recently fledged species all seeming to want to be in the same tree:  Carolina Chickadee, Tufted Titmouse, Northern Parula, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Eastern Bluebird.  It looked like a daycare center for recently fledged birds.  It was nice to see Marcus Sharpe on the trail.