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Monday, September 1, 2014

Birding Labor Day Morning

 These photos constitute odd or unexpected birds seen this morning. I'm pretty sure the first one is a fall Blackpoll, but I found the beak to be more finch-like. I can't really tell the color of the feet.
 I certainly wasn't expecting this lovely fall Magnolia at Virginia River. Warblers are definitely moving in to the area.
 This one has me stumped! It was a wire sitter, could have easily been mistaken for a robin. The streaking, square tail and pointed beak add up to a total unknown for me. Hope someone can help.
This warbler must be a Wilson's. The tail sure looks like a Wilson's but I have never seen one with such dark coloring on the face and in front of the eye. I checked female Hooded Warbler, but I think the tail discounts that. If this is not a Wilson's, please let me know.

An interesting morning out there. I was also very surprised to see the American Bittern at Virginia Lake.

Common Ringlet in Newfoundland

The Common Ringlet Butterfly, also known as a Large Heath, tends to be found along the edge of the road, often near ditches.  This common butterfly is extremely variable in different geographical regions in terms of color and number or absence of eye spots.

I have only seen two in Newfoundland with this one spotted on August 2nd in Goulds.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Plentiful Cabbage White Butterflies

 Most anywhere, anytime, there are Cabbage White Butterflies....especially on a sunny day.
 I parked downtown in a private lot while my sister ran into the Chocolate Factory to get some goodies to take home with her. Unable to just sit without doing something, I noticed many Cabbage White Butterflies flitting around the back of the lot.
Most always prepared, my camera was in the trunk. Within a minute, I was out of the car photographing butterflies.
I was particularly interested, because these all seemed to have three dots on each side rather than two. Hmmm..I wonder why. Well, it seems the female is more likely to have more and darker spots. She is also smaller than the male.

It is easy to just look the other way when a Cabbage White flies by because they are so common and typically plain. However, there is often so much more than we see with the naked eye. I visited this website:
which provides a really good overview of the Small White vs. the Large White vs. the southern version of the Cabbage White. It is really interesting. The key field marks to notice are the size of the butterfly, the darkness of the dots and the size of the outer dark marks on the topside of the forewing. There will likely be more opportunities this season to see more.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Beautiful Red Admiral Butterfly

 The Red Admiral is a common sight in the woods of Newfoundland. They are often seen on trails or rural roadways.
 I never really thought of butterflies as aggressive, but this one is so described. It is a territorial butterfly and will defend its zone with vigor.
 This species migrates in May, and it is also likely we may see some fresh migrants in October.
 It is thought this species has at least two, possibly three, broods a year. They will lay their eggs on the underside of stinging nettles. That is certainly a deterrent for predators.
 The Red Admiral has a particular affinity for flowers, as well as being drawn to fruit. One way to attract them into the yard is to put fruit in a suet feeder.
 In 2012 there was an irruption of Red Admirals in Ontario.
 The best time to see these butterflies and most other species is on a sunny day where there are a lot of flowers. Dragonflies tend to appear even on the grayest day, but not butterflies.
Because I am not quick in identifying most of the butterfly species, I always take the time to stop and look each one over. The most abundant butterflies of the last week have been extremely fresh-looking Mourning Cloaks.