Moth Monday: Saltmarsh Moth

Monday, October 6th, 2008

White moth on clipboard
Saltmarsh Moth – Hodges#8131 (Estigmene acrea)
Brookhurst Marsh, Huntington Beach, 10-04-2008

Bill Butler found this sleepy fellow (gal?) on this past weekend’s bird census. I’ve seen the caterpillar of this species before, but this is the first time I’ve seen the adult.
(more…)

Banded Argiope

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Yellow and black striped spider
Banded Argiope, Argiope trifasciata
Brookhurst Marsh, Huntington Beach, Orange County, CA,2008-10-04

Today I once again participated in the quarterly bird census for the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy. Breeding season is over so we tramped around in the pickleweed more than previously which turned up a lot of small leafhoppers, various moths, a few butterflies, and a couple of these gorgeous spiders.
(more…)

Daylight Standard Time

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

I just checked when Daylight Savings Time begins next year to see if it would be possible to schedule another Birding BoF at SD West 2009 or not. Sadly the answer is no. Daylight Savings Time starts the day before the conference on March 8! It doesn’t end until November!

Let’s face it: “Standard” time is now the odd one out. There’s almost twice as much daylight savings time as standard time in any given year. If all the late risers out there (and candy manufacturers and barbecue vendors) really can’t stand dawn and dusk arriving at a reasonable hour, maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and just eliminate standard time completely.

#443 Lark Sparrow at Irvine Regional Park

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Tuesday Neil Gilbert posted about a Chestnut-sided Warbler on the Orange County Birds mailing list:

I got October off to a good start with a very nice hatch-year CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER at Irvine Regional Park in Orange. I saw it near the entrance to the park. It was hanging out with an enormous flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers, Western Bluebirds, House Finches, and Lark Sparrows.

Now Chestnut-sided Warblers are actually reasonably frequent in migration in New York City parks, so this wasn’t a target bird for me. However the Lark Sparrows he mentioned almost in passing are not a common East Coast bird, and I’d never seen one, so Wednesday afternoon after work I hopped in the Prius and headed up Jamboree to Irvine regional Park. I got there about 6:00 and found his flocks of robins, bluebirds, and warblers. There were also lots of House Finches. However I did not find either the Chestnut-sided Warbler or the Lark Sparrows. :-(

Sometimes you have to keep trying though, so the next morning I made a 15-mile detour on the way to work and stopped in the park around 9:00 A.M. This time the flocks of Robins and Bluebirds had vanished, though there were more than usual numbers of Anna’s Hummingbirds. I drove around Sycamore Hill and as I was coming back to the entrance I heard an unusual call I didn’t recognize so I parked and hopped out.

I never did figure out what the call was, but by the baseball backstop I found four Lark Sparrows:

2 Lark Sparrows in grass
(more…)

American Bullfrog

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Bullfrog in water
American Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana
Corn Creek, Clark County, Nevada, 2008-09-28