I needed to get out so a 10km. route march from Ward’s to Hanlan’s and back seemed to be the order of the day. Didn’t get going ’til late as it was raining first thing. Successfully negotiated the brave and fearless waterfront marathon runners in order to get to the ferry docks for the 11 o’clock boat. First impressions are often correct (or so they say) and this was certainly the case here – rubbish! Really quiet, apart from the usual migrants for this time. Scattered gangs of Juncos littered the islands along with roving flocks of Yellow-rumps and Kinglets. Really not much variety. Best for me was the chance, finally, to get some decent pix of a female Hooded Merg. Was a bit touch and go, but eventually it gave itself up amidst a sea of brass – really lovely.
Whilst trying in vain to get Sora for my TI list I did see a few other birds. A nice adult Peregrine sat high up on a tall antenna in the aptly named antenna field. It oversaw 7 Eastern Bluebirds and a few Eastern Phoebes, but no hoped-for rare tyrants. A trio of Pied-billed Grebes, five Shoveler and a lone female Green-winged Teal enlivened the Trout Ponds. The beach at Hanlan’s was virtually deserted bar an immature Great Blue Heron and a distant naked woman – which in itself was a rarity as it’s usually 99.9% male-dominated here!
During the brief glimmers of sunshine I did see a few butterflies – two tardy Monarchs, a handful of Clouded Sulphurs and a very fresh Question Mark. I kicked up a handful of Lucerne Moths out of the rough grass, but surprisingly no other moths were evident considering the warmth. However, I was staggered by the number of Gypsy Moth egg cases plastering the cottonwoods throughout the islands, a plague of epic proportions!
Very warm tonight so I’ve fired-up the old moth trap. Already there is a Bicolored sallow and an immigrant Corn Earworm. Maybe there will be some southern delight waiting patiently for me in the morning…