Although a little bit breezier and cooler than expected, four of us (Matt, Melissa, Rebecca, and I) headed to the 8000′ meadow, Doc Long, and Cienega Canyon in the Sandias to look for butterflies. By the end of the day we were pleased to have gotten about 17 species overall, including several new ones for our list. One of the new ones for me was the Silvery Blue, the species listed in Kaufman’s book just after the Western Tailed-Blue that I posted a couple days ago. The Silvery is similar in appearance, but lacks the little tails and the orange spots on the hindwing.
Another picture I like is of the Hoary Comma, which I’d also seen on my previous visit.
At the end of the day, we were treated to a Two-tailed Swallowtail that spent an extraordinarily long time feeding on a couple of dandelions in the meadow. Usually, it seems you see them flitting by without ever stopping long enough to observe, but with this one we had plenty of time to get several good pictures.
Late Sunday morning, warm and windless for a change, Rebecca and I met at the Rio Grande Nature Center to search (unsuccessfully) for the Ovenbird and Vermilion Flycatcher that had been seen there this week. Near the entrance to the Nature Center, however, I was thrilled to spot a Black-chinned Hummingbird nest containing two tiny tic-tac sized eggs.
After taking a couple of quick pictures of it, I backed away and soon after, the mother hummingbird returned to perch on the nest.
Later in the morning, I stopped by Tingley Ponds for a short time, and spotted a Northern Flicker on her nest in a tree where I’d noticed activity about a week ago.
Nearby, a Green Heron, usually somewhere on the ponds all summer, was keeping an eye on things.