Despite short notice, an early meeting time, and summer heat, 16 folks showed up for this month's group bird walk. We met at the parking lot at the end of Braes Valley and slowly made our way down the trail, ultimately turning around at the last low-water crossing in the T&C playing fields. Here's a great shot of part of the group taken by Barry Noret:
The birds that everyone got to see and enjoy were expected summer and year-round resident species.
Northern Cardinals were abundant and singing. Chimney Swifts, Purple Martins, and Barn Swallows were almost constantly in the sky over our heads. There was a small possible roosting group of Purple Martins on a bare tree in the playing fields that included 20-30 birds. Western Kingbirds and Red-winged Blackbirds offered great views in and over the creek bed. Most of us got good looks at three species of woodpeckers: Downy, Red-bellied, and Ladder-backed. And we saw maybe half a dozen Yellow-crowned Night-Herons on one area of the creek. More uncommon bird sightings for the neighborhood included a male Painted Bunting, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and an Orchard Oriole.
Dragonflies stole the show. I'm appreciating more and more that Summer is the season for dragonflies, and they were out in force this morning. Species that we could identify were Red Saddlebags, Black Saddlebags, Wandering Glider, Comanche Skimmer, Roseate Skimmer, Widow Skimmer, Common Whitetail, Eastern Pondhawk, and Neon Skimmer. Here are a few photos. Click on them or hover over them to see the species:
And here's one butterfly, called a Question Mark:
Here's our complete bird list.
And here are the iNaturalist observations, including a couple plants and additional insects.