Better Butterfly Hunting

This morning, Rebecca invited me to join her on a repeat visit to Hondo Canyon for a much more productive butterfly hunt.  If I didn’t know better, I’d think she hears butterfly calls almost as well as she does bird calls and was quick to spot the little critters when they appeared.  But, first, have to share a picture I got yesterday of one of a pair of Black-crowned Night Herons at the bandstand at the Zoo (after still not seeing them in their regular spot at the Japanese Garden of the Botanic Garden).

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron

Okay, back to the butterfly hunt.  Over the morning, I think we saw pretty much the same ones Matt reported during their visit a couple weeks ago, with maybe one or two new ones.  Today we started off with a Duskywing

Duskywing

Duskywing

and had lots of Margined Whites, particularly on the chokecherries that have recently started blooming.

Margined White

Margined White

The most stunning butterfly on the chokecherry for me, however, was the Great Purple Hairstreak,

Great Purple Hairstreak

Great Purple Hairstreak

which was much more colorful than the Thicket Hairstreaks we saw a number of times.

Thicket Hairstreak

Thicket Hairstreak

There were also a couple of Spring Azure’s flitting about,  but like a few others (including a Red Admiral, which I thought I recognized having seen somewhere until Rebecca reminded me it’s the one on the cover of the Kaufman book!), rarely paused enough for even a halfway decent picture.

Spring Azure

Spring Azure

There was also a well-worn Mourning Cloak working the chokecherries.

Mourning Cloak

Mourning Cloak

Near the stream below the waterfall was this rather impressive Short-tailed Skipper,

Moth

Short-tailed Skipper

and a couple of Field Crescents apparently involved in some kind of territorial dispute, with the two of them going at it for quite some time.

Field Crescents

Field Crescents

And a nice treat at the end of our walk was this Two-tailed Swallowtail. Despite my having entirely the wrong lens on my camera, you can see the body markings that distinguish it from the Western Tiger Swallowtail.

Two-tailed Swallowtail

Two-tailed Swallowtail

Although our focus was on butterflies this morning, we did get a few good birds, including Scrub and Steller’s Jay, Black-headed Grosbeak, Virginia’s Warbler, Hermit Thrush, Juniper Titmouse, Plumbeous Vireo, Spotted Towhee, Turkey Vulture, and heard but didn’t see a Black-throated Gray Warbler.

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About joeschelling

Birding, butterflies, nature photography, and travel blog from right here in Albuquerque New Mexico.
This entry was posted in Birding, Butterfly and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Better Butterfly Hunting

  1. Rebecca Gracey says:

    Your photo of the Great Purple Hairstreak is wonderful!

  2. Matt says:

    Hi Joe, great photos as always. I saw your post earlier today and was going to comment on the moth that’s a skipper, but I see you got that already! I’m glad the butterflies cooperated today. Perhaps it was the wind like you thought.

  3. More Rebecca than the wind, I think, Matt; I’m a newbie with those little critters.

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