Thankfully, Monday was rather pleasant, and it was a nice day to be outside. Had a good run in the morning where I counted 36 baby geese at the lake. Then I went for a nice hike at Elm Creek Park Reserve.
Lots of activity at Elm Creek. The sedge wrens and common yellowthroats were chattering out of control. And they are almost impossible to see because they skulk around in the tall grasses! I saw a couple of American white pelicans, yellow warblers, Eastern kingbirds, and goldfinches. Heard, but not seen, were the great-crested flycatchers and the eastern wood-pewees. Also saw a mama deer.
The highlight was seeing a baby red-winged blackbird that had just fledged (pictured below). The little guy was in a tree right along the edge of the trail. He didn't move at all, so I snapped a couple of quick pictures. I had to move quickly because mama blackbird was dive bombing me, none too pleased with my presence!
I think this is the year of the butterfly. They are in great abundance this spring. I saw two new ones on Monday - a Common Buckeye and a Question Mark. Very cool insects, and they both made me work very hard to capture photographs so I could ID them later.
Finally, FEAR THE TURTLE! :) The trails are undergoing a turtle invasion. I encountered two enormous snapping turtles on the trails, both looking for places to lay their eggs. I also chased a painted turtle off the bike path, so they are on the move as well. (I did not attempt to chase the snapping turtles - those dudes are on their own!)
Here are a few pictures from Memorial Day weekend:
|Elm Creek Park Reserve, looking rather lovely|
|Common Buckeye butterfly|
|"None shall pass!" Snapping turtle blocking the trail.|
|Wild Rose in bloom. These are three weeks early compared to last year.|
|Question Mark butterfly|
|A baby red-winged blackbird. What a cute little guy!|