Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bastrop Co. late Scissortails Nestlings and Plebeian Sphinx Moth.

These animals were noted in Bastrop Co. today.  These 3 late but near fledged Scissor-tailed Flycatchers were still on the nest this morning , August 7, 2010. This nest is in a normally very busy day use area near a swimming pool in a small planted Live Oak located in a sub-division of Bastrop . Given the location I found it remarkable they succeeded to this advanced stage. They were just out of human reach. We saw the mother bring in Field Crickets (Grylline) to plump them up.

Below  is a photo of what I believe to be a Plebeian Sphinx Moth ( Paratraea plebeja ) based on hind-wings not visible here. If so, it is a new moth for me in the Lost Pines region.  I am rapidly building a healthy list of Sphinx moths in Texas, not that I am much of a lister.. At dusk I noticed several sphinx moths drawn to the overly sweet smelling Jimson weed blooms and other plants as well as the banana baits,  Perhaps this was one that also responded (?).  As I am completing this post, a giant female Black Witch Moth in very fresh condition is at the banana baits as is a huge Sad Underwing.

Elsewhere in Bastrop County today, Byron Stone and I relocated a previously found Least Grebe on a nest near Smithville for only the second breeding record for the county and while at the same location noted a rare August Peregrine Falcon.

It might be a little warm, but it is hopping with nature activity out there.....Just think forward to December and January..Ugh....Actually today was quite pleasant with lower than normal humidity...Makes for more watering but better for being outdoors. It only reached 98.4F at the cabin today..Never even fired up the power sucking A/C as the humidity was so low.

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