10 August 2018

August yawn

After the back-to-back tours of Maine, Alaska, and Newfoundland/Nova Scotia this summer... I've been enjoying a bit of a break back home in northeast Missouri.  That means updating the blog, heat, humidity, cicadas, insect photography, and many visits to Busch Stadium for St. Louis Cardinals baseball:
And yes, I actively eBird from all the games as well.  Like this checklist, for example.

We're already seeing some birds heading south because, well, it's August and that means migration!  Although a potential breeder from nearby, this ORCHARD ORIOLE was a nice species to see on the property and it's one I don't see here very often:
But honestly, I'm probably finding more interesting insects than birds these days.  Here's a SILVERY CHECKERSPOT:
This is a GRAY HAIRSTREAK, the most widespread species of hairstreak in the US:
Often sticking to more shaded areas on the property, this RED-BANDED HAIRSTREAK is one of my favorite species around the house:
Switching to dragonflies for a bit, there are plenty around including this BLUE DASHER that performed well with nice light:
I also really like the EASTERN AMBERWINGS, a tiny dragonfly species:
Here's a COMMON GREEN DARNER on the wing:
Thanks to a new obsession of mine (inputting all my non-birds into iNaturalist), I'm now able to actually find out the identities of various insects.  For example, this is a LARGE MILKWEED BUG... a huge surprise that I found it on milkweed, eh?
What I didn't know is that these are highly migratory!

As I mentioned, I'm trying to ID more of the other insects around but it's been slow going since I have no background in that.  Thanks to friends and the help of iNat, I now know these are INDIANA ROBBER FLIES that have paired up below:
I also used iNaturalist to figure out that this is a SOUTHERN LEOPARD FROG:
I feel like I should have known some of that already but hey, better late than never!