Sunday, November 9, 2008

Butterflies still out at the Yolo Bypass

This morning Truman and I took a walk out at the Yolo Bypass. Yesterday had been cool (~60 F) and the temperature had dropped even lower last night. So I was surprised to see a relative good number and diversity of butterflies ad dragonflies. We saw three cabbage butterflies, one alfalfa butterfly, about six variegated meadow hawk dragonflies, a mating pair of an undetermined medium sized species if dragonfly (couldn't get close enough to identify it), and surprisingly one buckeye butterfly (Junonia lavinia), and two checkered skippers (Pyrgus communis). The Bypass is begining to fill up with wintering hawks, as we continue to see more of them. Interestingly, Art Shapiro of UC Davis reported that the buckeye can't survive freezing winters, and so most recolonize northern California after we have a winter with freezing temperatures. The buckeye we saw was a nice fresh adult male.

We also heard a male pheasant calling from hs grassy hideout. Walking back to the car, we had a brief discussion with three men clad in orange-colored hats checking out the potential for hunting.

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