Here is a sampling of the moth species I was able to photograph this month. To start off we have a tiny moth (that’s a blade of grass it is clinging too), known as Crambus agitatellus. It has no common name and few details are known about this moth, but it seems to be quite common across much of eastern North America.
The most curious thing about this moth, the Morbid Owlet, is what little information I could find about it online– essentially nothing but its name.
I’ve tentatively identified the below as the Gray Spring Moth. I’ve seen several of this species along the trails in my backyard.
Here we have the first of two moths that I observed along the rail road tracks at Roscoe Ewing Park in Medina: Eusarca confusaria, also known as the Confused Eusarca moth. As you might guess by the name, this moth has a variable appearance and can be easily confused with several other similar species.
Finally, we have the most photogenic of the group, the Delicate Cycnia. This moth was very interested in a patch of wild mint and was cooperative for a large number of photographs.
I find Skippers hard to identify, and the Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon) is no exception. I submitted this photograph to BAMONA for confirmation that it was in fact a Zabulon, and they confirmed it for me.
It’s a struggle for the Pileated Woodpecker to hold onto the suet feeder, and also maneuver his bill to reach the suety-goodness inside! That’s what happens when you are a woodpecker, and nearly the size of a crow.
After a rather overcast morning filled with yardwork, the sun came out in the afternoon so I grabbed my camera and looked for something to photograph. Birds were scarce, but insects were plentiful, with several species I had not seen before.
An outing to Chippewa Inlet Trail produced several new “life birds” for North America, which is rewarding and also a bit of a challenge now that I’m at 176 unique species. (At least, a challenge as long as I’m only birding in Ohio.)
There was a group of shorebirds on a mud flat, and at first I didn’t realize there was anything new because the Semipalmated Plover (the new life-bird) look similar to Killdeer, especially if you are not paying attention. And also especially if they are mixed in with real Killdeer! It was the wife who first noticed that not all of the birds looked quite right for Killdeer.
The second new bird was the Least Sandpiper. As implied by the name, they are the smallest of sandpipers, not much larger than a sparrow. The key to correct identification is leg-color (which should be yellow-green) and I struggled for a long time to get a good picture where that detail was visible. The lighting conditions were terrible, with very overcast skies and quite a bit of glare off the water, not to mention that the birds were running around in mud, which can cover and obscure their legs.
My plant-lore is not nearly as developed as my bird-lore or butterfly-lore. This wildflower was seen at Schoepfle Garden along the banks of the Vermilion River, and I had no idea what it was. So I put some observational skills to work and did a web search for “light blue spring wildflower with six petals with a yellow stamen.” (I should have added “and a green center” but I did not notice it until afterwards.) This led me in the right general direction with a near-miss, the Great Camas. However, the Great Camas is only found on the West Coast, so a further refinement of the search for “Eastern United States” turned up the likely winner, “Atlantic Camas a.k.a. Wild Hyacinth.”
It’s very pretty, and it had filled up the river valley around Schoepfle with waves of azure.
The Bobolink is not the most beautiful bird to look at. But he makes up for it with his wonderful song. There were two Bobolinks singing to each other in Bath Nature Preserve this morning, and I made a recording which you can listen to below.