Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back on the Boardwalk

The purpose of yesterday's walk around the boardwalk at Audubon's Francis Beidler Forest was to collect sighting data in support of Project PROTHO. We briefly spotted A004 and two unbanded males. Not being banded, we don't know if these two birds are from locations elsewhere in Four Holes Swamp or if they are from points farther north and already into their migration. What we do know is that Prothonotary Warblers will eat Red-femured Spotted Orbweavers (Neoscona domiciliorum)!

After watching the Prothonotary Warblers, we turned and spied an Eastern Cottonmouth swimming down the extremely-shallow creek channel. Recent rains have only stalled the drop in the swamp's water level. The snake caught scent of something, raised its head and remained alert for several minutes before continuing down the channel.

Just before reaching the nature center, a moth flew across the boardwalk and disappeared. After a brief search, we spotted the moth on a nearby tree. Check out the camouflage of the Ilia Underwing (Catocala ilia).

Images by Mark Musselman

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