Sunday, March 23, 2014

Santa Ana NWR, 3/22/14

A warm, cloudy afternoon walk down the main tour road at Santa Ana NWR netted 22 species of butterflies.  When I got to the old manager's residence area area I remembered this was the site of my first Texas Powdered-Skipper a couple of years ago.  And right on cue a little brown butterfly does a couple of laps around me and then poses.  Pretty weird.

Here's a strongly patterned female Checkered White.

I got past the start of the Bobcat Trail and started looking for East Mexican White-Skipper.   But the small croton I had found them on last fall was nowhere to be found.  Instead a little blue catches my eye and lands and starts wobbling from side to side.  Another Cyna Blue!

As I approached the Old Cemetery, the tour road was lined with Dakota Vervain.  Most of the butterflies were in this area.  This is a Clouded Skipper.

American Ladies have big eyes.  They also have falcate wingtips.

A tiny dark skipper toyed with me a while before giving itself up as a Celia's Roadside-Skipper.

Several South Texas Satyrs cavorted along the road but were hard to photograph.

There were lots of flowering plants but not much sunshine.  So I'll have to try this walk again in a few days.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

National Butterfly Center, 3/18/14

Today Honey and I enjoyed a warm and windy but low humidity day at the National Butterfly Center south of Mission.  Flowers far outnumbered butterflies, but with some effort we tallied 42 species this afternoon. My best find was a little blue that wouldn't land.  I was expecting a Ceraunus Blue but when it fianlly landed it did this weird hind wing wobbling that made me go "What the..?"  Then it came to me.... Cyna Blue!  They had been reported recently, but this was the first I had seen in five or six years.

Another first for the year for me were a couple of Florida Whites.  When tropical things like this show up, it gives me hope that warm weather and exotic bugs are on the way.

I probably would have gotten some good photos of my first Crimson Patch for the year, except an amorous Bordered Patch wouldn't take "no" for an answer.

A couple of Common Sootywings were out today.

Pipevine and Black Swallowtails were on the move today.

I thought this was a Fiery Skipper when I photographed it but now it looks like a Sachem.  Do we all agree?