Sunday, 5 July 2015

A Summer Stroll

     A couple of days ago Miriam and I went for a walk at RIM Park. It was a glorious, sunny day, redolent with summer activity, but certainly muted in terms of bird life. These are indeed the dog days of summer when most species have stopped singing, and adults are busy doing everything they need to do to launch their young into the world, and staying as unobtrusive as possible. Many interesting facets of nature are present, however, and for even the casual observer there is much to enjoy.
    This nest of Baltimore Oriole Icturus galbula was no doubt home to a family, and we saw adults busy delivering food to fledged young.

     Common Milkweed Asclepias syriaca was blooming profusely, and the sheer range of insect life it harboured was a forceful reminder of how critical this plant is to many species.

     Here it is with a Virginia Ctenuchid Moth Ctenuche virginea, a diurnal species, feeding on the flower.

     Great Spangled Fritillaries Speyeria cybele were easy to find and milkweed was their choice of plant also.

     The tiny Edward's Hairstreak Satyrium edwardsii always seemed to be cooperative and showed its colours when we wanted to take a photograph. It is joined by a whole group of Virginia Ctenuchid Moths.

     Sensitive Fern Onoclea sensibilis was not hard to find.

     The Tiger Lily, profuse in many habitats, even alongside roads, is in the genus Lilium, but is really hard to pin down as to species. It is a gloriously beautiful plant.

     Red Clover Trifolium pratense was imported from Europe by early settlers as a forage crop and found an environment much to its liking and is now ubiquitous.

     We are first and foremost birders, so it seemed entirely appropriate that right as we left the park we saw a group of juvenile Barn Swallows Hirunodo rustica waiting to be fed by their parents. It is quite incredible how the adults can swoop in at top speed and stuff an insect into the waiting bill of the juvenile without reducing speed. It is a true feat of coordination.

     What a pleasant walk it was. We need to get out and do it again today!


  1. What a beautiful photos David.
    Nice to see the butterflies.
    Photo no. 5 and 6 I think the most beautiful.
    Greetings Tinie

  2. Beautiful post, I love the cool Orioles nest. And the butterflies and flowers are gorgeous. The swallows are sweet birds, lovely photos. Have a happy day and new week ahead!

  3. Hello David,
    Beautiful pictures of flowers, plants, butterflies and birds.
    I love the young barn swallows.
    Have a nice Sunday.
    Best regards, Irma

  4. You're ahead of us David, despite your (later?) start to spring of the frozen north. We have yet to see any young Swallows after our May and June but perhaps any day now. Your penduline nest set me thinking of any that we have - none I think although Penduline Tit has nested in the UK on the odd occasion.

  5. Another lovely blog with great veraity. Like those butterflies and the tiny Edward's Hairstreak is amazing with those colors. Great you discovered the young Barn swallows. The parents are indeed so clever.
    That woven nest is truely fantastic. We don't see that here in Belgium.
    Your trip to England must be soon now. Have a great time for all of you!

  6. Wow ! These butterflies and flowers are gorgeous !!!
    Lovely shots !! Geetings !

  7. Beautiful pictures.
    There is nothing better that a walk in the nature!

  8. Nice selection of pictures. Great shot of the clover; it's hard to get the focus and lighting just right on that.

  9. Lovely flowers and butterflies. Enjoy your week!

  10. You may be first and foremost birders, David, but you really have a wonderful knowledge of the plants and insects of your area too. Much appreciated! I particularly love the shot of the moths congregating with that gorgeous hairstreak on the milkweed.

  11. Daivid!
    But... What beautiful pictures: flowers, birds... Magic!

  12. A great series of photos. Of course, the birds are best but I also like all the insects on those flowers.

  13. Fantastic walk with lots of things to photograph. The butterflies and chicks of Swallows are great images.

  14. Lovely juveniles of swallows. Nice pics.. Regards from Spain..

  15. Great series, David. The butterflies are so gorgeous. We don't have these species here in the Netherlands. You have fantastic species in your surroundings. Beautiful pictures. Greetings, Joke

  16. Beautiful series, David, lots of variety. Butterflies and moths you've photographed superbe. Beautifully sharpness and colorful. Red clover is my favorite flower today especially to the chosen angle. The swallows and the nest of the Oriole show us the real birder 'from start to finish'. Top !! Gr Jan W

  17. Super set of images David. The Great Spangled looks very similar to our Silver-washed Fritillary.