Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Butterflies, Warblers, and Cormorants

Continuing my walk form the previous post, I took my leave of the Loggerhead Shrike and spent a few minutes trying to get some butterfly pictures as I continued home. Small wings fluttered all of the side of the road in the short-cut grass leading to the airport property. I just had to wait for them to rest from their zig-zag flights near me. The first critter to stop for a couple seconds was a Fiery Skipper.

Fiery Skipper

One of the more common butterflies I could make out were loads of Ceraunus Blues. It has been a while since I have taken butterfly shots. I need to get back to that. One fun thing to notice is the differences in the inner- and outer-wing patterns. When open, a Ceraunus Blue can be seen as blue.

Ceraunus Blue

When the wings are closed, as is often the case, they take on a gray appearance like many other small butterflies.

Ceraunus Blue

The other copious species in the area were Dainty Sulphers. These guys seem to never stop flying but for only a split second.

Dainty Sulpher

I couldn't pick out any other species (except for the White Peacocks which I am kind of bored of right now) so I continued on to Colonel Joe Kittenger Park. This park was opened a few years ago and has a little playground, a couple benches and a pavilion that has speakers under the roof that plays sounds from the control tower at the airport just across the way. There is a fence that surrounds a retention pond (which I have never seen filled with water) that sits in the middle of the park property. Today, everywhere I looked near the fence I saw Western Palm Warblers.

Western Palm Warbler

They love to feed in the grasses and zip into the chain-link fences. Some of my first ever photos of Palm Warblers is of them in fences. I love it. Makes them visible in various poses.

Western Palm Warbler

I could have taken Palm Warbler photos all afternoon if I had the time. Heading back toward home, I finally could see downtown Orlando come into view. Almost there.


I decided to cut through Greenwood Cemetery and check for ducks. Instead, I heard a Belted Kingfisher flying by, saw an Osprey chase off a Red-tailed Hawk, but the roadside pond held no ducks. Resting on an unseen perch in the water were Double-crested Cormorants.

Double-crested Cormorant

These guys had very crisp feather patterns but I also love their bright faces so I provide a closer crop for you. I also dig that dotted circle around their bright blue eyes.

Double-crested Cormorant

Here are the other two birds. Notice the darker adult on the left.

Double-crested Cormorant

Soon, my walk home was complete and it was time to find out if the car was ready. Turns out it was just the battery, after all. Now I can do the lake checks later.


Deborah Shauan said...

I found your blog while trying to identify birds I see frequently. Wow! Your photos are beautiful. As I went through older posts I kept thinking, "I've seen one of those!" Made for a very pleasant lunch break.

New Port Richey, FL

J. Andrew Boyle said...

Thanks, Deb!

If you ever have bird questions, feel free to ask.