Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hickory Glen Park again

Another visit to Hickory Glen Park in Oakland County this past Sunday revealed some interesting finds.  I was in Commerce Township on Sunday to attend my family reunion and snuck away from family for a couple of hours.  This was my second visit this year.  My first was about a month ago and I wrote about it on June 18th and posted photos of a few finds.  

I wasn't expecting much.  But I found two locations that offered some dragonfly diversity that surprised me.  Three of the dragonflies were new for me.  Add a couple of butterflies that I have not seen in awhile and it was a productive visit.   

Above:  Northern Pearly-eye (Enodia anthedon) - am out of practice with my butterfly ID.  Needed help to identify this.

Above:  Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis), a pretty but alas non-native, perennial summer wildflower.

As I commented, a former meadow of this woodland is now gone to a new housing development.  The house above is the subdivision model and a family of sandhill cranes strolled through the backyard.  They were joined by two others that set off boisterous calling when they flew in.  I commented on this new housing development taking out a former meadow and woodlot, but considering all that I found on Sunday it's proof that when some habitat it taken away, other habitat may be provided.

Above a new dragonfly for me.  I saw it fly and perch and at first thought it looked like a deformed calico pennant.  I had only one chance for a photo and after it flew I was unable to find it again.   It's an Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenura), one of the smallest dragonflies in North America.  I wish the photo was better, but I'll try again on my next visit.

Above and below:  I think both are female Blue Dashers (Pachydiplax longipennis) but the different angles makes them appear different.  I've seen lots of male blue dashers this summer leaving me with the impression that, along with Common Whitetail and Eastern Pondhawk, it's one of our most common species.  These are the first females I've seen.

Above:  Though it's a tiny photo of a Sympetrum sp. dragonfly, and I know these need to be netted and held in the hand to identify, I'm going to go way out on a limb and call it an immature male 
Autumn Meadowhawk (S. vicinum).  I believe another common name for this dragonfly is Yellow-legged Meadowhawk.  

If I am out-of-practice with butterfly identification, I am way out-of-practice with skipper ID.  Above and below: Going out on a long limb, the only thing I can make this out to be is a Little Glassywing (Pompeius verna).  I am prepared to be wrong.

Above and two below:  Wandering Glider (Pantala flavescens).  This was the third new dragonfly for me on Sunday and I was excited about finding it.  I've since learned that this may be the most common dragonfly worldwide and that it's migratory with a worldwide tropical distribution.   Furthermore, in Michigan it's near the top of its northern range in North America.

A Wandering Glider in flight graces the cover of Dennis Paulson's field guide Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East, 2011.

Common Wood-Nymph (Cercyonis pegala)

I also saw other dragonflies here, but didn't want to post photos of those that I have already.  I'll be able to make at least a couple more visits to this park before summer ends and I'll post photos of where I think these great dragonfly species came from.  

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