Yellow Rumped Warbler at Shenandoah National Park

Graeme and I went to Shenandoah NP yesterday to look for birds, and, hopefully a bear.
Birding was a lot slower than we had hoped, and the bears eluded us.
On the insect front, we had hoped to find some butterflies, but they they, too were scarce.

Hugh 7

Hard at work in the Big Meadow.

Hard at work in the Big Meadow.

Skyline Drive `

The view from Skyline Drive. `

Field Sparrow Field Sparrow
Dark Eyed Junco

Dark Eyed Junco

We were surprised to find this Dark Eyed Junco, who must be at the southern end of his range.

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrow

Chipping Sparrows were abundant.



We found a flock of Goldfinches in the Big Meadow, where we spent most of our time.


We saw thousands of Sand Flies, which were appreciated by the many Flycatchers.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwings were taking advantage of the flies also.

Bluebird 186


Bluebirds and Sparrows were the dominant species.

Yellow  Rumped Warbler

Yellow  Rumped Warbler

Yellow  Rumped Warbler

This Yellow Rumped Warbler was the only warbler we found.

Broad Headed Sharpshooter 25

Bee Mimic 105

Bee Mimic 103

Bee 60

Bee Mimic 104

Butterfly 35

Garden Spider 4

Today's Bugs.

Today’s Bugs.

Baltimore Oriole at Governor Bridge Natural Area

I went back to Governor Bridge this morning, but there’s still no large influx of migrants. I did find a few birds, and the oriole was the first I’ve seen in a while.
A couple hours looking for bugs was only moderately successful.

Common Yellowthroat

This young Common Yellowthroat was probably born at Governor Bridge.

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Egret

I watched this Great Egret fish for half an hour, but he didn’t catch anything.


This Flycatcher watched me watching the egret.

Indigo Bunting

This juvenile Indigo Bunting will be heading south soon.

Baltimore Oriole

The colors of a Baltimore Oriole are astonishing.

Spider 168

Caterpillar 169

Ladybug 39

Dragonfly 203

Northern Pearly Eye 3

Red Admiral 7

Butterfly 35

Today's bugs.

Today’s bugs.

American Redstart at Terrapin Nature Park

I read about some good birds at Terrapin yesterday, so I decided to give it a try. I found a few, but it was no bonanza. The park rangers have taken to patrolling in motorized carts, and they scare away the birds on every pass, and they come through all too frequently.
I managed to find a few bugs as well.

Chestnut Sided Warbler

This Chestnut Sided Warbler will winter in Central or South America.

Eastern Kingbird

I saw several Eastern Kingbirds in the park.

American Redstart 60

American Redstart 59

American Redstart

American Redstart

American Redstart

The American Redstart is one of my favorite warblers.

Bee Mimic 101

Bee Mimic 102

Praying Mantis 37

Praying Mantis 38

Butterfly 34

Praying Mantis 39

Fly 71

Fly 72

Bald Faced Hornet 2

Today's bugs.

Today’s bugs.

Spiders Galore at Governor Bridge Natural Area

With another perfect day and last night’s North winds, I anticipated an influx of migrants, but it just didn’t happen. Birds were scarce in general, and not a migrant was in sight.
I did see a few bugs, and more spiders than usual.

Blue Gray Gnatcatcher

Blue Gray Gnatcatchers were the most active birds this morning.

Great Blue Heron

This Great Blue Heron was fishing i the small pond near the parking lot.

Indigo Bunting

Yet another juvenile Indigo Bunting.

Flycatcher 55

Flycatcher 54

Flycatcher 53Flycatcher

Spider 162

Spider 163

This Nursery Web Spider is guarding her egg sac.

This Nursery Web Spider is guarding her egg sac.

Differential Grasshopper 9

Red Admiral 5

Red Admiral

Red Admiral

Fly 70

Insect 602

Stink Bug 9

Insect 603

Ant 29

Grasshopper 61

Beetle 98

Robber Fly 14

Spider 160

Spider 159

Garden Spider 3

This spider is new to me.

This spider is new to me.

Macro Photography with the Raynox DCR 250

A few months ago, I started using my Nikkor 55mm with a 12mm extension tube for macro shots. I had been using a Nikon 55mm micro with a TC-2 converter, but the manual focus was difficult for my 70 year old eyes. I was getting some good shots, but i had a lot of blurry shots to delete, as well. Results were much better with AF. I then read ab out the DCR 250 on a FB Macro group, and I ordered one. Graeme was skeptical at the time, and I wasn’t sure if it was worth the $70.00 cost. Well, we’re both sold now, and Graeme is now using it as well.

Examples of close ups with the DCR 250

Examples of close ups with the DCR 250

Fly 68

Caterpillar 161

Graeme has just made a video with a detailed explanation of the gear and techniques.

American Redstart at Wooton Wetlands Preserve

This is a nice variety compared to recent days.[/caption]It was in the low 60s this morning, so I was wearing a light jacket when I arrived around 6:30.
Plenty of birds were active, and I got some good shots almost immediately.
I was going to walk the upper trail, but I got distracted by some good bugs.

Common Yellowthroat

Common Yellowthroat

This Common Yellowthroat was deep in a small bush, and It took a while to get a decent shot.


Flycatchers are hard to ID, and I’m not sure which this is.

Indigo Bunting

This Indigo Bunting appears to be molting.

American Redstart

This American Redstart is a juvenile.

Red Winged Blackbird

This Red Winged Blackbird posed to well to pass up.

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

This Northern Cardinal is probably defending his turf.

Belted Kingfisher

It’s hard to get a good look at a Belted Kingfisher, but this one landed quite near me.

Insect 144

Insect 143

Insect 142

Insect 141

Insect 140

Insect 139

Insect 138

Insect 137

Insect 136

Insect 135

Bee 20

Insect 147

Insect 146

Insect 145

Today's bugs.  This is a nice variety compared to recent days. Today’s bugs.

Blue Winged Warbler at Governor Bridge Natural Area

The migrants are finally arriving. There was a NE wind last night, and a few birds showed up this morning. A good omen for the next few weeks.
I got a little more cooperation from the bugs, also.

American Redstart

This American Redstart was very shy.

Wood Thrush

The Wood Thrush lives around here in the Summer, but I haven’t seen many.

Indigo Bunting

Yet another juvenile Indigo Bunting.

Blue Winged Warbler

Blue Winged Warbler

Blue Winged Warbler

The images I got today weren’t very good, so I’m including this one from last year.

Robber Fly 13

Arrow Shaped Micrathena 3

Ant 28

Caterpillar 168

Garden Spider 2

Nursery Web Spider 100

Today's bugs.

Today’s bugs.

Eastern Phoebe at Wooton’s Landing

Fall migration seems to be slow this year. I didn’t see any migrants today, and damn few in the last few days. Hopefully, we’ll get some action soon.
Bug hunting was slow, and I quit early in the heat and humidity.

White Eyed Vireo

This is a first year White Eyed Vireo.


This Catbird is molting.

Song Sparrow

A small flock of Song Sparrows was foraging on the path.

Common Yellowthroat

Many Common Yellowthroats breed at Wooton.

Eastern Phoebe

This Eastern Phoebe posed very nicely.

Insect 601

Skipper 16

Wasp 61

Scorpionfly 6

Today's bugs.

Today’s bugs.