Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekend at the Wetlands

I was able to spend a little bit of time enjoying the wetlands and ponds over the past few days.

I didn't notice the very faint double rainbow until I uploaded my photos.

Yellow Warbler

I saw several species of warblers taking cover under the thick underbrush in the northeast corner of the Click Ponds. I saw this bright Yellow Warbler, a beautiful male Redstart, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, lots of Palm Warblers and a Black-throated Blue Warbler.

Palm Warbler

Tricolored Heron

juvenile Little Blue Heron

I was surprised to see half a dozen White Pelicans visiting already. They were foraging alongside a few Wood Storks.

Wood Storks & White Pelicans

There are still quite a few species of dragonflies at the ponds. This pair of Common Green Darners was mating. 

Common Green Darners
Anax junius

Eastern Pondhawk
Erythemis simplicicollis

Halloween Pennant
Celithemis eponina

Happy weekend:)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Recent Butterflies & Moths

This is a great time of the year to explore the many species of butterflies and moths that can be found in Central Florida. Here are a few of the butterflies and moths I've seen over the past month at my favorite wildlife locations. The Queen is a commonly found the Viera Wetlands. I never tire of seeing this boldly colored, large butterfly.

Red Admiral
Vanessa atalanta

Last weekend, I saw quite a few Long-tailed Skipper feeding on the vegetation growing along the fence that borders the wetlands.

Long-tailed Skipper
Urbanus proteus

Long-tailed Skipper
Urbanus proteus

I encountered the next two species, the Eastern Pygmy-blue and the Ceraunus Blue, along Biolab Road on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.  

Eastern Pygmy-blue
Brephidium pseudofea

The Pygmy is the smallest butterfly in Florida and the Ceraunus is only slightly bigger. These two species are fairly similar, however, easy to distinguish by their hindspots.

Ceraunus Blue
Hemiargus ceraunus

Ceraunus Blue
Hemiargus ceraunus

Mangrove Buckeye
Junonia evarete

There were quite a few Mangrove Buckeyes along Biolab Rd as well as along Blackpoint Drive.

Perhaps my favorite find of the month was this Polka dot Wasp Moth. It is also referred to as an "Oleander Moth" because of its love of oleanders. This colorful little creature has white dotted wings and a stunning metallic blue, bright orange abdomen. This species resembles a wasp, however, it is just a harmless moth.

Polka dot Wasp Moth
Syntomeida epilais