Mariton: Warblers and Butterflies

October 4, 2011

Yesterday afternoon, we ran into a mixed flock of warblers and chickadees with the Lafayette College class.  I explained how migrants often tag along with the resident chickadees that know where food can be located .  It was neat for me, because the students got caught up in the excitement of a couple dozen birds flitting about in the tree tops.  Besides the chickadees and White-breasted Nuthatches, we saw Black-throated Blue Warblers, Black and white Warblers and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

So, this morning I thought we should go to the same location for the Tuesday Morning Nature Walk.  We heard the chickadees and started looking in the trees.  The Black-throated Blues, and Black and whites were there.  We also saw a Parula and possibly a Magnolia Warbler feeding with the Chickadees.

Then we walked up to the meadows and saw White-throated Sparrows.  These sparrows are very common throughout the winter, but they breed further north.  So, we don’t see them locally during the summer.  It is kind of exciting to see them return in the fall.

At the bottom of the hill, Carole stopped to look for butterflies feeding on the rotting Pawpaws.  She found this Question Mark Butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis).  This is a beautiful specimen and you should be able to see where it gets it name in the photo with its wings closed.  (Photo by Carole Mebus.)