Wednesday, October 27, 2010

biobabbler birds barrio backyards... que bueno!

Who knew we'd see such great birds in urban backyards (granted only those facing a channelized creek)?

great egret, snowy egret, and biologist

We spooked the common mergansers (about 6) and mallards earlier.

This is one of the more picturesque sections. A less picturesque one had a scary dog who's head poked out of the backyard fence, then it's entire body, tho' it seemed to be chained up. At least for now...

My favorite house had 3 potted chili plants on OUR side of the fence (to soak up that southern exposure sun--smart!), and on their side a HUGE shrub COVERED in TINY red chilies. Looked like the whole thing was decorated in miniature chili lights.

And the best part: large cookie sheets balances precariously atop the high fence, filled with drying chilies, and hanging from the lattice canopy that shaded their backyard? Many strings of the MOST beautiful, brilliant red and orange chilies you've ever seen.

SO charming. I told my co-workers I thought they were the coolest people on the block. But, no pics. 

My grandmother taught me better.  It'd be impolite.

black-crowned night heron perched on a wire, hoping we'll leave soon

black-crowned night heron had enough of us...

belted kingfisher (far away)

I also have a pretty impressively bad photo of a butterfly or moth (really erratic, hyper flier like moth, but not unlike fritillaries, tho' I didn't see that kind of pattern--mostly just CRAZY bright). Flitted like mad, then was gone. Arf.

Any one wanna take a WILD, wild guess? Anything to help me find pictures of something it MIGHT be, would be great. STUNNING, crazy bright color. I'd guess 2.5 inches across (like the pretty big fritillaries).

What I DID see pretty well was:

K. OOF, the late night and early a.m. are catching up to me. Better sign off to shop for tomorrow's breakfast and lunch before I pass out (during World Series). And, of course, gotta do SOME yoga before bed. =)

Today, and every day.

Then, tomorrow? More field work. SWEET!



  1. That's not a bad haul. I'd love to know what the vermillion lepidopteran is. Hope someone can identify it. (It wasn't a wayward chili, was it?)

  2. Hee. Love the wayward chili thought. GENius. =) I know, re: lepidopteran. Pins and needles! =)

  3. Hmmm... I thought I commented here already. I have a guess on your butterfly ID, but the species would depend on where you are.

  4. Ooh, Please DO tell. I don't remember seeing a comment, tho' I've been away and have a cold, so it's possible I goofed up posting comments. I was working in San Jose when I saw that brilliant being.

  5. The bright, solid orange coloring, dark forewing tips (variable) and dark hindwing margin, quick, erratic flight, and your urban location, makes me think it's a gulf fritillary (Agraulis vanillae). Did you see any passionvines in those gardens? Despite it's common name, it's not a Speyeria sp., but great guess! Thought this article might interest you:

    Hope you're feeling better :)

  6. Wow. That's awesome, Katie. That's exciting it's a fritillary--sure looked and flew like it, but I didn't know they came without obvious speckles (tho' they're so spazzy, it's hard to see them clearly). Sure FLEW like a fritillary.

    I don't know about passion vines, but I did see lots of purple morning glory. There was a pretty diverse spectrum of plant species in folks' backyards, there, so I wouldn't be surprised. Thanks again!


Cool people write inside rectangles....