Moth Monday: Perizoma custodiata

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Yes, it’s Tuesday; but I was on a plane and then pretty jet lagged yesterday. Anyway, today’s moth is one from my Salton Sea trip two weekends ago. These moths were common on every built up surface in every campground. Best guess is that this is Perizoma custodiata, Hodges# 7328.

Moth on restroom wall
Mecca Beach Campground, Salton Sea, 2009-03-21


Starting my New York List for the Year

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

I visited Brooklyn this past weekend. Despite jet lag, rain, and wind, I managed to spend a few hours in Prospect Park and picked up 39 species including 15 year birds:

  • American Coot
  • American Goldfinch
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Song Sparrow
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • American Robin
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • Blue Jay
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Canada Goose
  • Common Grackle
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • European Starling
  • Herring Gull
  • House Finch
  • House Sparrow
  • Mallard
  • Mourning Dove
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Northern Flicker
  • Hermit Thrush
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Wood Duck
  • Great Egret
  • Fox Sparrow
  • Swamp Sparrow
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Brown Creeper

However, I did not find the Red-necked Grebe or the White-winged Crossbills that were reported earlier in the year.

Moth Monday: Many-spotted Angle Moth

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Many-spotted Angle Moth, Hodges #6395, Digrammia irrorata
William R. Mason Regional Park, 2008-03-05

Tan moth on wall, wings spread

Day 1 at The Salton Sea

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

Details and pictures to follow but here’s the day list:

  • Mallard
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Horned Grebe
  • Eared Grebe
  • Western Grebe
  • American White Pelican
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Great Egret
  • Snowy Egret
  • White-faced Ibis
  • Common Moorhen
  • American Coot
  • Black-bellied Plover
  • Killdeer
  • Black-necked Stilt
  • American Avocet
  • Willet
  • Least Sandpiper
  • Bonaparte’s Gull
  • Ring-billed Gull
  • California Gull
  • Herring Gull
  • Glaucous-winged Gull
  • Caspian Tern
  • Forster’s Tern
  • White-winged Dove
  • Mourning Dove
  • Black Phoebe
  • Say’s Phoebe
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • Violet-green Swallow
  • Verdin
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • European Starling
  • Phainopepla
  • Common Yellowthroat
  • Abert’s Towhee
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Brewer’s Blackbird
  • Great-tailed Grackle
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • House Finch
  • House Sparrow
  • American Wigeon
  • Cinnamon Teal
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Gambel’s Quail
  • Brown Pelican
  • Cattle Egret
  • Northern Harrier
  • American Kestrel
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Long-billed Curlew
  • Marbled Godwit
  • Long-billed Dowitcher
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Common Ground-Dove
  • Barn Owl
  • Northern Flicker
  • Western Kingbird
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Red-winged Blackbird


Moth Monday: Pseudoschinia elautalis

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Moth in Shower
Pseudoschinia elautalis, Hodges#4828

I found this one in the shower at Agua Caliente County Park, which is built at hot springs in the desert. Kudos to John Lee for the ID.

#464 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Sunday, 3/1/09, Beth and I had coffee on the patio of our hotel, and then played a little tennis before it got too hot. The hotel grounds were surprisingly birdy with numerous great-tailed grackles and White-winged Doves (a California bird) making quite a racket. I also spotted one Verdin and an American Kestrel. After tennis, we headed out to the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor’s Center and enjoyed some more Verdins, Costa’s Hummingbirds, and Black-chinned Sparrows in their garden. We also followed the path to the Palm Canyon campground, where we found some quail, likely California. After brunch at a Mexican restaurant, we drove back down the Yaqui Pass Road and stopped at the Tamarisk Grove Campground one more time. This time there were even more moths, as well as a Bewick’s Wren.

We had come up through the mountains on 78 through Julian, but we decided to take a slightly more roundabout route home along the Great Southern Overland Stage Road to see some different scenery, avoid the winding mountain roads, and check out some of the parks along the way. Our first stop was at the Vallecito County Park at 1:00 P.M. By this point it was quite hot, and most birds had retired for the day. Beth stayed in the air conditioned car while I looked for the few birds that were still active in the heat. White-winged Doves were doing their Barn Owl imitations. Costa’s Hummingbirds were buzzing. Common Ravens were croaking. House Finches and Verdins were cheeping. Phainopeplas were everywhere (relatively speaking).


And after walking around the campground for 20 minutes or so, a small gray and black bird buzzed by. I got my binoculars on it, and for sure it was a gnatcatcher. It looked a lot like a California Gnatcatcher, but California Gnatcatchers are coastal birds of the sage scrub. Out here in the desert, it could only be a Black-tailed Gnatcatcher, #464. I followed tit form bush to bush, and got some good looks but was never able to get a photo. Maybe next time.