25 June 2012

Bidwell Park, Butte County

We swung up to Bidwell Park in Butte County for a day trip this past weekend.  

Our main target was to hear the reliable BLACK RAILS present in the seeps in the upper canyon.  We did, two of them.  Very cool.  Here's a look at the habitat they're found in:

The rest of the day proved to be fruitful for insects, specifically dragonflies and damselflies.

This BISON SNAKETAIL was a new one for me:

The above snaketail wasn't the only clubtail present though, there were several PACIFIC CLUBTAILS also around:

Not unfamiliar, this VARIEGATED MEADOWHAWK was the only representative of that species that day:

Following are a couple of distinct and easily-recognizable skimmers.  First up is the bright FLAME SKIMMER:

... as well as the striking TWELVE-SPOTTED SKIMMER:

This picture isn't great but I can't remember the last time I saw a BLACK SADDLEBAGS actually perched!  Of course, it did this about 25 feet up in a tree:

The majority of damselflies were actually unidentifiable.  They were either AZTEC or CALIFORNIA DANCERS.  Anyone an expert on these two?  If so, have at it:

One of the species that WAS identifiable was a lifer for me, the SOOTY DANCER:

Here's a nice sooty-colored male of that species:

The black marks on the sides of these dancers gave them away as VIVID DANCERS:

Another nice surprise was my first EMMA'S DANCER:

Ashley called me over saying "What about a damselfly with red wings".  That caught my attention.  Sure enough, the last damselfly of the day was an easy one to ID; the AMERICAN RUBYSPOT:

Yes, there were some butterflies around although not as many as I had hoped for.  Here's a record shot of one of the many PIPEVINE SWALLOWTAILS:

Another prevalent species was the COMMON BUCKEYE:

I'll leave you with a scenic shot of the river canyon there at upper Bidwell Park: