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Monday, August 19, 2013

New species for CMO

Today started out routine. Up early, go meet Kelly Bryan at the highway for the purpose of riding to Lajitas to help with banding. The last several trips there we didn't even see a hummingbird so I had no expectations. Today we saw a Black-chinned but it didn't go into the trap. I yawned a lot. Couldn't get my adrenalin revved up.....yet.

Finally, we caught a few hummers at another banding site. By then it was hot (it's the middle of summer and all), so we decided to look for odonates at CMO. Arriving there at lunch time, we didn't see much activity so I went up to the house to make lunch. When Kelly arrived at the house an hour later, he thought he had found a new dragonfly species (new to us and the oasis).... a Great Blue Skimmer.  Here's a photo taken by Kelly. I never did get to see it. He only managed a couple of quick shots and it was gone, not to be relocated.  (We still don't have the identity confirmed by experts.)

Then, after lunch we went down to the oasis to try to refind it, and also photograph any interesting dragonflies or damselflies. We actually found several species of interest. While Kelly was photographing one of the interesting species, I got distracted by a tiny butterfly hiding under a bush. I was photographing it when Kelly asked what I had found. I apologetically said, "Oh, just a butterfly." After taking a mere 2 photos of it, I joined Kelly in photographing odonates. 

This photo is funny because before, during, and after I was snapping it, I did not notice the red damselfly (Desert Firetail) on the photo. Not until I downloaded it. There it was on every frame, but I had been so fascinated by the action I hadn't even seen it. So I went back down to try to relocate it, but was unable to. Would have liked a sharper image of it. I have photographed that species before, but not at the oasis.

Finally, when I got my photos downloaded after much consultation with experts, my butterfly turned out to be a Fatal Metalmark. It's not a new oasis species, but a new one for me personally.

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