Sunday, April 28, 2013

Black-Chinned Hummingbird at Arroyo Seco

Late April is a great time to visit Arroyo Seco in Monterey, County, California (just a few miles west of Greenfield). There is a dirt road that winds up past the parking area but this is gated and you have to walk in to enjoy the canyon and the pretty emerald green stream that runs at the bottom.

The hills here are covered in wildflowers. And for me the most impressive were the many pale orange monkey flowers.

I watched several carpenter bees try and get at the nectar from the outside with their strong mandibles without success. Apparently the long flowers are too difficult for them to enter otherwise.

I also noticed several black-chinned hummingbirds flying about - and managed to catch this one juvenile on film feeding from a horse-mint flower.

I snapped a shot of the adult male the following morning not far from the trail (road) head.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Kodiosoma fulvum

Here's a fascinating tiger moth that Jon, Michael and I found last week along the Merced River just south of Yosemite (in California). I didn't realize that it was a tiger moth at first. Jon snagged it in his net thinking it was an unusual bee - yes it was flying in the middle of the day. This is obviously not typical tiger moth behavior.

According to Powell and Opler (in Moths of Western North America) this small species (not much more than a centimeter long) has various color forms. It is also fairly uncommon. I have to admit that I have never seen a day-flying arctiid before - and certainly not in the month of March. It was a fun find.