Monday, June 29, 2009

The Rains Are Gone!

I've been kinda busy the past few days, so haven't been able to get on here for a new entry. Thankfully, the rains have ended and I've been able to get out for some dragonflies though!

Sunday morning was spent chasing down Banded Pennants at Pouch Camp, along with Jarred Sutton and Paul Lederer. Paul had been to the lake the day before and discovered that the pennants were active. Banded Pennant are a southern dragonfly who are only found in a few locations in New Jersey and downstate New York. This small population is one of two that we have on Staten Island.

We were delighted to find at least 3 female Banded Pennants ovipositing and another pair flying in a wheel. Numerous exuvia were noticed on the bottom side of pickerel weed leaves, presumably they were all Banded Pennant. Two were collected for specific identification.

The other interesting note were many Cedar Waxwings hawking insects over the lake. This behavior was also observed at almost ever other pond I visited this week. It's time for the waxwings to start nesting, so I guess they adult are actively hunting in preparation?

Sunday was actually my birthday, so natural history was limited to the morning... well, I did count dragonflies at the softball field I visited for friends' game that afternoon!

No one was around to join me for the daily adventures, so I flew solo. My hopes for finding my first Widow Skimmer drove me to visit Wolfe's Pond Park. The sun was alternating between hiding behind the clouds and showing fully, but no look was had with the Widow Skimmer. Nature also entertains though, and today's spectacle was the abundance of Eastern Amberwings (photo on Right) and Blue Dashers acting very territorial as they hovered over the surface of Wolfe's Pond. Just as they had been the day before, the Cedar Waxwings at Wolfe's Pond were busily hawking insects over the pond and perching on the trees along pond's edge.

Another goal of the day to capture photographs of dragonflies, and any behaviors I might be so luck to witness. From Wolfe's Pond I traveled back towards Tottenville to hit up some ponds in Long Pond Park. There was great dragonfly activity around Short Pond, but some where along my path I whacked into something and didn't realize it! I finally saw what happened when I looked down and saw blood covering my shin and foot... ooops...

Not fully satisfied with my haul of photographs, I decided to head over to Blue Heron Park for a visit to Butterfly Pond. After watching some of the more common species of dragonflies, I was oft excited when my "life" Dot-tailed White-face came flying into view! Luckily, he hung out for a while allowing for some photographs (on the right).

Wednesday's post is in the works......

Happy Wandering...

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