Thursday, June 18, 2009


Well, the sun has officially set on spring this year. It was as exciting as could be expected, though most of the quality rares were in the last half of May; I was starting to get worried in the first 2 weeks of May when I hadn't added any county lifers. Fish crow, Nelson's sharp-tail, and white-faced ibis, however, were all not just county birds but state birds as well (and the Fish crow should be a first state record).

I haven't gotten out that much as you can likely tell, my first few days off this month were spent camping up in Ludington where the photo highlight was this shot of the moon; it was mainly family time. (As was this last weekend when we celebrated Hazel's 3rd (!) birthday).

Today Ginger and I took the kids for a walk in one of the local parks where they most enjoyed the dirt in the path, but this little butterfly caught my eye. It was tiny, probably the smallest butterfly I've ever seen, and turns out to be the (appropriately named) Least Skipper. ID points apparently are the tiny size, fairly dark coloration, relatively smooth gradation between the light and the dark on the upperwing rather than the more typical sharp demarcations of most of the other local skippers, and the rounded lower wing.

Spiderwort is also pretty well in bloom, I adjusted the color on this image somewhat as my camera recorded them as much bluer than they are in reality.

Hopefully tomorrow morning I'll get out really early and see if I can't dash off western meadowlark, dickcissel, worm-eating warbler, and summer tanager for the year list. I'm actually several birds ahead of my 2007 pace when I had a personal-best 260 for the county and that's without having made the efforts after Birdathon this year to find some of the less common migrants, Connecticut warbler, olive-sided and yellow-bellied flycatcher, and Philadelphia vireo that a person definitely ought to have if they were being serious about their year list. Both kids will be in at least half-day school for an entire calendar year starting in 2011, I can feel the countdown for a real attempt (when I won't have to depend on Tim to find most of the good birds) at 270 beginning...

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