When the birding is slow, take some time to study the local insects. While identifying some of these creatures makes immature gull ID look easy, some species are big and flashy enough to be accessible. Here are a few creatures from my recent outings, along with my best attempts at identification. Let me know if you find any errors.

Woodland Skipper is one of the most abundant butterfly species in the Pacific NW this time of year.

I believe this is an Orange Sulphur. Sulphurs are very active and seldom perch with their wings open, so getting a good look is extremely difficult.

Cabbage White is another common species.

Carolina Grasshoppers are very plain when at rest, but have a bold black and yellow pattern on their wings when in flight.

Dragonflies come in a great variety of colors and are an increasingly popular target among wildlife watchers. The challenge, of course, is finding one willing to sit still long enough to give you a good look. This is a female Blue Dasher.

I love the turquoise and chestnut colors of this Blue-eyed Darner.

I still prefer birds and herps, but there are a lot of other beautiful creatures out there. As I often say, there is always something to see.

Happy Autumn

In the Garden

I was interviewed on In the Garden with Mike Darcy on June 27 and discussed what you can do to attract birds to your yard in the summer. Due to various circumstances, including the continuing heat wave, I didn’t get out on a birding trip this week. Instead, I spent a little time observing the critters in the yard.

rufous open billRufous Hummingbirds have been visiting in good numbers, a few weeks earlier than normal. Perhaps the drought has pushed them out of their more normal habitats.

rufous reaching
rufous in flight
anna'sThe resident Anna’s Hummingbird is not pleased with the Rufous invaders.

song sparrowThis Song Sparrow has been enjoying the bird bath.

house finch frontjuvenile House Finch at the feeder

cabbage whiteA Cabbage White, probably contemplating laying her eggs on my kale

beesThe bees are loving the Purple Coneflowers.
nalaCharismatic Megafauna