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).
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
and had lots of Margined Whites, particularly on the chokecherries that have recently started blooming.
The most stunning butterfly on the chokecherry for me, however, was the Great Purple Hairstreak,
which was much more colorful than the Thicket Hairstreaks we saw a number of times.
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.
There was also a well-worn Mourning Cloak working the chokecherries.
Near the stream below the waterfall was this rather impressive 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.
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.
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.