Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Jaunt to La Manche Provincial Park

 At last... a day out of town! Margie M. and I had a great day of birding the La Manche area earlier this week.
Of course on our wish-list was the Blue-headed Vireo, but it was no guarantee. As soon as we got out of the car near the house near the park entrance, Margie heard the vireo. It was singing loudly, but it stayed well out of our view. We gave up and went into the park itself where there were very few birds. On our way out, we stopped one more time and got a brief look at the vireo. What a lovely song!
Very much present on the park road were the lovely Black-throated Green Warblers. I can never get enough of them.
We went on to the La Manche hiking trail where we saw several warblers, a possible flycatcher and heard this Gray-cheeked Thrush. Its call was what helped us to identify this bird long before we saw it. Finally, after staying in the area for quite some time, it showed itself. These birds, unlike their cousin the Hermit Thrush, are very hard to see. They are much more elusive, so we considered ourselves very lucky to have had a look, no matter how brief.

When bird sightings have dried up here in St. John's, it was really great to see as many birds as we did along the route to Renews.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Phantom Crane Fly and Large Yellow Underwing

 I had a long walk up Cochrane Pond Road today and really focused on birds. I saw 24 species and promise my next post will be on some of the birds I saw. However, I can't help but share the two special creatures I saw today. This unusual long-legged fly is called a Phantom Crane Fly. It floats through the air. Lucky for me, it lit on a nearby leaf.
 Thinking my observations were done for the day, I began working in my backyard. Those darn weeds are still there. As I put the weed puller in the ground, up crawled this large moth.
 Laying a marker where I saw it, I rushed in to get my camera. It took me two times of searching before I relocated it.
 I think this is a Large Yellow Underwing moth which is the most common of the two I considered.
 The Large Yellow Underwing was introduced into Nova Scotia some years ago. It would make sense it would find its way here in Newfoundland.
I included so many pictures of this moth because I was closely studying it in consideration of the very similar, rare UK Lunar Yellow Underwing. Honestly, the marking seem exact for the Lunar, but given the rare status, I figure it probably isn't. Anyway, the moral of the story...observation is never done. Surprises just appear everywhere and all the time.

More Unknown Dragonflies, Butterflies and Moths

 Well, when you really start thinking small and looking closely, there is a lot to see in the insect world. Sadly, I don't know what I am seeing most of the time. I'm sure it would enhance an already great experience if I could put a name to them. I found this dragonfly/damselfly with a blue head at Murphy's Pond off Power's Road.
 At the same location I came upon this Crimson-ringed Whiteface with a spider in its clutches.
 While I have posted a dragonfly like this before, I am including this photo because it looks like the beast has eyes in the back of the head. Odd.
 Also at Murphy's Pond the Northern Bluet have appeared in abundance.
 They are so small it is really difficult to see them. Small streaks of blue dash here and there.
These little alien-looking creatures would be classified as damselflies, I think.  Look at the tiny mouth.
 At Second Pond trail, I came upon my first Silvery Blue butterfly.
 It really depends on the light of the day whether these look blue, silver or even white.

 Here are a couple more dragonflies that I have no idea what they are.

 I think this is a butterfly, but it could be a moth. I sorely need to be schooled on insects.
 While not formal training, I find I am slowly learning as I photograph and explore these flying things.
 This odd looking creature is probably a moth. I wasn't able to get a full-on shot. This may be a Plume Moth. I saw one in my yard this week, but couldn't relocate it once I had my camera.
 Maybe a Silvery Blue?
I couldn't find another butterfly like this anywhere, so clearly, I don't know what it is.
Another Silvery Blue, I think. One of my pet peeves is finding a picture of a like butterfly or dragonfly online without a name attached to it. Yet, here I am doing the same thing. Any assistance in identifying the unknown is welcome.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

River Jewelwing at Bidgood's Park

 I went for my walk in Goulds this morning. Both yesterday and today, I let two good birds get away without identification. Thank goodness for other surprises.
 I spotted this amazing damselfly along the boardwalk at Bidgood's Park. I watched it for awhile from a distance, and I was really hoping I wasn't going to have to step into the marsh to get to it.
 Its flash of wings was phenomenal. It is too bad I don't have a shot of open wings. My patience paid off after more than 30 minutes of tracking it.
 It came closer and closer and often kept its eyes peeled on me. These pictures are not altered in any way other than cropping. These are the actual colors of this creature.
This damselfly is very similar to the Sparkling Jewelwing which is more common in the southern U.S. and the Banded Demoiselle (male) of Europe. After studying the images online, I concluded this is a River Jewelwing, even though Newfoundland is not within its normal range. It is known to be most frequent from B.C. to Nova Scotia and uncommon to Newfoundland.
 I got more pictures of different insects this morning, but this one just had to be showcased alone.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Dragonflies and Damselflies in Newfoundland

 # 1 Over the last two years, I have accumulated a collection of photos of dragonflies and damselflies. I have struggled to identify them, but without the proper resources, it is taking too long.
# 2 I think the one with the red ring is a Crimson-ringed Whitefaced Damselfly, but the other one locked in this mating circle seems to be a totally different species. Could it be the difference between the male and female or really two different kinds?
#3 I think this blue one is a Blue Dasher seen on July 8, 2010 in Goulds.
#4 This large dragonfly is a Four-cornered Skimmer.
#5  When I walked at Long Pond earlier this week, they were everywhere.
#7 This red one found last year in Goulds looks a lot like a Wandering Percher. Is it, I don't know. I guess my purpose for sharing these images today is not only to show the variety of dragonflies in Newfoundland but also to see if anyone can help identify them.
#8  Large and small, these dragonflies come in all colors of the rainbow. Counting from top to bottom, there are 22 pictures included in this post. If anyone can help with the ID, please leave a comment and the number of the photo.
 #9 Once the dragonfly is identified, I will edit this page to put in the name beside the dragonfly as well as the date and location of sighting.
 #10 All help is appreciated. It is possible I may have some duplicates in the images. I apologize for that, but my ability to discern differences among these creatures is very low.
 #16 - Crimson-ringed Whiteface