July, 2014 - Trail Report Archive

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 83°F and partly cloudy with light breezes at 10:00 AM on July 2, 2014.
  • The threat of afternoon thunder storms was realized, but after today's walk.
  • Common wood-nymph was finally making an appearance.
  • Surprisingly absent today was banded hairstreak. An afternoon last weekend in Red Hook totaled 40.
  • Little glassy-wing was back in numbers with just a couple northern broken-dash thrown in.

The Trails

  • Common milkweed was coming into full bloom behind Gifford House.
  • Milkweeds famously support monarchs as their caterpillars' sole food, but many other creatures feed on the leaves or nectar... or each other, such as this jumping spider that had captured a daddy longlegs.
  • From a tree top over Gifford Parking lot, an indigo bunting gave its song of paired phrases.
  • Below, at the entrance to the first Old Hayfield, Canada thistle had established a colony to the dismay of the gardener but to the delight of the American goldfinch for which the seed was originally intended.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, one of the plume moths dangled from a leaf.
  • The common wood-nymph was finally back. End of May is usually the peak of the first brood - there was no sign of them at all.
  • A great spangled fritillary looked in trouble with poorly formed wings. When they hatch, butterflies and moths need room for their wings to expand and dry and harden. This doesn't look fatal, rather this individual will probably fly with a slight limp.
  • Ducking into the shady path to the creek at the back of the field, I was reintroduced to the colony of Canada lilies. These are not garden escapees, but are actually native to our area.
  • This was the second time today that I would see a rusty brown bird with a long tail. But this time it landed on a bare branch where I could see it; it was the brown thrasher I suspected.
  • Enjoying the cool shade of the Wappinger Creek Trail, I thought I saw a flash of color on the other shore of the creek.
  • A scan of the binoculars turned up an anglewing.
  • A long lens with image stabilization clinched it as an eastern comma.
  • By the Watershed kiosk, shinleaf was blooming.
  • The constant racket from above the head of the Cary Pines trail was from a very active ovenbird.
  • I seemed to have its complete attention, so I presumed a nest was not far.
  • In the Fern Glen, spikenard was just beginning to blossom.
  • Back in the acid cobble, purple-flowering raspberry was making a poor show this year.
  • Next to it, maple-leaved viburnum was making fruit already.
  • At the deck by the Creek, I checked the recently intalled "birder-fly feeder" for butterflies, other insects or birds coming for them.
  • It was empty, but something was sitting on the arm of a chair.
  • I'm convinced, should humans ever set foot on Mars, they will find proof that indeed there had been life on this now dead planet.
  • In the Old Gravel Pit, wild licorace was blooming with absurdly tiny flowers.
  • Behind the Carriage House, another strange sight was what appeared to be a sycamore sporting flowers. It was Stewartia.
  • One last interesting sight, technically not on the trails, but at the porch light of the Plant Science Building, was a dobsonfly. The huge mandibles of the male are not for biting, but for charming the ladies.
Dobsonfly - male

Sightings

Birds
  • 2 Mourning Dove
  • 2 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • 3 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 5 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 7 Blue Jay
  • 4 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 House Wren
  • 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • 5 Veery
  • 1 Wood Thrush
  • 7 American Robin
  • 3 Gray Catbird
  • 2 Brown Thrasher
  • 5 Cedar Waxwing
  • 3 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 1 Prairie Warbler
  • 4 Ovenbird
  • 2 Common Yellowthroat
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 4 Eastern Towhee
  • 2 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 5 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 3 Indigo Bunting
  • 4 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 18 Cabbage White
  • 30 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 4 Meadow Fritillary
  • 3 Eastern Comma
  • 1 Red Admiral
  • 35 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 34 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 10 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 1 Least Skipper
  • 2 European Skipper
  • 13 Little Glassywing
Insects
  • 1 Dobsonfly
Plants
  • 1 Canada lily
  • 1 Purple-flowering raspberry
  • 1 Shinleaf
  • 1 Spikenard
  • 1 Wild licorace
Moth
  • 1 Plume moth

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