Sawhill/Walden Ponds

Today I decided to swing by Sawhill/Walden Ponds in Boulder, CO, USA, on a whim. People have been posting the first Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum) sightings of the season on co-odes, and I've been waiting for dragonfly season since...well, the end of last year's season.

I wasn't expecting much, but as usual, Sawhill delivered an abundance of interesting wildlife. One my way in I had to pull over to check out a large hawk perched in a tree. Fortunately for my weak raptor identification skills, it soon flew and I was able to take some flight shots clear enough to see later that it was a Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni).

I only saw one, maybe two meadowhawks (almost certainly S. corruptum, but I didn't get a good look), but I did see large numbers of Plains Forktails (Ischnura damula) and more than a few Common Green Darners (Anax junius), including mating pairs of both. 4/22 is apparently an early record for Colorado, according to the folks on CO-odes (who also kindly IDed my Plains Forktails using characteristics too technical for my current skill level).

Also spotted one lone bluet, probably Familiar Bluet (Enallagma civile), which flew away before I could get either a good look or a good photo.

Sawhill is a pretty good location for herping, as well. Aside from the odonates, the highlight of this visit for me was definitely the extremely cute (and rather wary) juvenile Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon sipedon). I also saw a young Common Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and two very brightly marked young Western Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta belli).

I'm definitely having fun with my relatively new macro lens--still getting used to being able to get in close to critters, although it is not helping as much with damselflies as I'd hoped (they are very skittish). I will have to practice, and possibly honey-bait, with bees, but these bees were buzzing directly behind my head while I was photographing the mating forktails, so I went for a few opportunistic shots.

Publicado por mbarton mbarton, 23 de abril de 2012

Observaciones

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Caballito Pigmeo de la Llanura (Ischnura damula)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Descripción

"Mature" female.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Descripción

Juvenile, perhaps about a foot long.

Etiquetas

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Azulillas de Estanque (Género Enallagma)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Descripción

Male, probable ID.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Ganso Canadiense Mayor (Branta canadensis)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Descripción

Several individuals.

Etiquetas

Fotos / Sonidos

No hay fotos o sonidos

Qué

Rayadoras (Género Sympetrum)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Descripción

No photo, but mostly liked Variegated Meadowhawk (S. corruptum) this early in the year.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Aguililla de Swainson (Buteo swainsoni)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Etiquetas

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Tortuga Lagarto Norteña (Chelydra serpentina)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Arañas Lobo de Patas Delgadas (Género Pardosa)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Etiquetas

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Abeja Melífera Europea (Apis mellifera)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Descripción

Probably European honeybee, right?

Etiquetas

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Zurcidora Migratoria Común (Anax junius)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Descripción

Pair in copula. Early record for Colorado.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Zurcidora Migratoria Común (Anax junius)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Descripción

Early record for Colorado. This is a male, observed several individuals and two pairs in copula at various ponds.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Caballito Pigmeo de la Llanura (Ischnura damula)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Descripción

Female.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Caballito Pigmeo de la Llanura (Ischnura damula)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Descripción

Female.

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Caballito Pigmeo de la Llanura (Ischnura damula)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Descripción

Male.

Fotos / Sonidos

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Fotos / Sonidos

Qué

Caballito Pigmeo de la Llanura (Ischnura damula)

Observ.

mbarton

Fecha

Abril 22, 2012

Descripción

Pair in copula.

Comentarios

Sounds lovely. I have wanted to go to Colorado for a bee hunt.

With Damsel and Dragonflies, I find a good zoom function is good. As long as the light is fair and the zoom is not extended to it's furthest reaches, I get fair photos for ID purposes.

All though if you can get Macro shots, you can blow them up for amazing detail [I don't get that with zoom-photos].

With bees, I suggest early after noon, between 10am-1 or 2 pm in the mid spring. If it's very hot, then early morning, or later in the evening around 4 to 6 pm. If it's cool--then just before noon.

When the flowers start to release their scent, then you often have a day or two before the nectar really starts to flow. So on fruit trees in early spring and some wildflowers, when you first notice the scent, if you don't see any bees, just try again the next day. Usually within about 2 days the bees will be all over those blooms.

Publicado por greenmother hace alrededor de 9 años (Marca)

Thanks for the comment! I haven't had much chance to go looking for native bees, but maybe next year. I think the niche of people taking amazing photos of European honeybees is already filled...

Publicado por mbarton hace alrededor de 9 años (Marca)

Oh I don't know about that. But I like to photograph members of the hymenoptera order in general. When I photograph honey bees, it's to document the kind of flower they are visiting and the pollen color, because individual bees practice flower fidelity on their flights. But seriously, any bees at all. My kids and I are making our own personal insect guide book for our area, and it's mostly bees, ants, wasps, and their mimics.

Publicado por greenmother hace alrededor de 9 años (Marca)

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