Group Walk Report July 20, 2013

Nine folks participated in this month's monthly bird and nature walk. Thanks to rain earlier in the week we had slightly cooler temperatures, and we enjoyed a mostly sunny morning on the preserve. Birds were present and active, but were difficult to see. Often as soon as I pointed one out it would fly away. Sometimes this is just the way bird walks go. But we got a few good looks at birds. Near the cowbird trap we watched half a dozen Lesser Goldfinches feeding in the Purple Horsemint. And we eventually got decent looks at Carolina Wrens, Northern Mockingbirds, Western Kingbirds, House Finches, and House Sparrows. We got fleeting glimpses of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers. And we got distant but decent looks at two Bronzed Cowbirds.

The highlights of the walk were insect observations. The most exciting was when a cicada started to buzz right in front of us. We saw it flutter to the ground and realized a huge wasp was attached to it and was stinging it! At home I found out this was a Cicada Killer wasp, and put more information in the observation here.

A tiny damselfly near the Lesser Goldfinches turned out to be a Powdered Dancer:

Powdered Dancer

I was the most excited when later we stumbled onto a striking dragonfly called a Halloween Pennant. Only recently I started getting interested in dragonflies, so this was only the second time I've ever seen this species, and it was the first time I ever photographed it. The first photo shows an unusual trait of this species. When perched, it holds its fore wings more vertically and its hind wings more horizontally. Most dragonflies hold their fore wings and hind wings in the same plane:

Halloween Pennant - 1

Halloween Pennant - 2

Here's the complete bird list from the morning:
eBird observation on Nalle Bunny Run for 7/20/2013

Here are the iNaturalist observations:
Nalle Bunny Run Observations on 7/20/2013

Here are all the photos I took this morning:

Posted on 20 July, 2013 21:43 by mikaelb mikaelb


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