Part of my meticulously crafted Father’s Day celebration (after the rain-lashed finale of an amazing Rochester Jazz Festival) was a spare hour of birding en route to my father-in-law’s home. Seth selected an itinerary that took us through Letchworth State Park, a literally gorge-ous public space billed as the Grand Canyon of the East. Resources regarding best birding practices at Letchworth are limited, at least online, but I suspected that this park’s reputation as home to possibly more breeding warblers than anyplace in the U.S. would ensure a few good sightings. That was my first mistake.
Our hapless crew selected the Deer Run trail for a quick incursion into breeding bird territory. Actually, we attempted a different trail first but it was flooded out. Deer Run wasn’t much better. Worse yet, it was light on birds. What this muddy, narrow path lacked in birds, it more than made up for in bugs, particularly irksome biting gnats. Of course, we forgot our bug spray. That was my second mistake.
You’ll be pleased to know that two mistakes were enough. Seth and I decided to make the most of this brief hike. With limited avifauna — highlights such as they were included Common Yellowthroat and Blue-winged Warbler — we enjoyed the other denizens of this exquisite woodland. Without access to my entymological tomes, I’m forced to exhibit my favorite sightings from Letchworth sans identification. Feel free to fill in the obvious blanks in my knowledge.
Bee-fly on blossom
It may not be an insect but it’s so, so sexy… a toad
Sounds like the kind of luck I get when I bird! But at least you saw the Common Yellowthroat. I’m flummoxed by that one this year, I’ve heard plenty and seen none. I WANNA SEE THEIR ZORRO MASKS!
I love Letchworth, though. It’s a spectacular place to visit.
You know, Laura, I strongly considered calling you for advice. I really should have.
The millipede is Apheloria tigana, the toad is an American Toad (the only other option, I believe, is Fowler’s Toad and it is not a Fowler’s), and the butterfly is a White Admiral. Hey, look at me, I’m a naturalist!
…your millipede shot stopped me in my tracks. He’s really stunning. Normally I’d skitter away from a millipede. I didn’t know what I was missing!