Sunday, August 23, 2009

Anna's Eighty-eight

Today just a brief entry and a picture of an Anna's Eighty-eight, a common butterfly around the Texolo Waterfalls near Xico, Veracruz. I went there on Friday with Kashmir and Mercy, two co-counters on the Veracruz River of Raptors project. Kashmir, who is from the area, was an assistant counter also last year, while Mercy is 'the other' non-Mexican counter this year; she's from Kenya. These waterfalls were more productive for butterflies last year, when I went here in October - I will likely revisit this place a little later in the season.

The raptor count this year started last week Thursday, and the first couple of days were actually pretty good with good early flights of Mississippi Kites and Swallow-tailed Kites. No doubt the rain of the preceding days had something to do with this, as backed up raptors were given an opportunity to migrate when the rain cleared. Things have slowed down a bit: I counted in Cardel today, where the most interesting birds were a (resident) juvenile Snail Kite and a Laughing Gull, a fairly rare species here. All morning, an Aplomado Falcon was perched on one of the radio towers in town. Only a few Mississippi Kites today, but several large flocks of Anhingas were seen on migration.

Numbers of Mississippi and Swallow-tailed Kites will start to build rapidly now. Swallow-tailed Kites will peak at the end of the month, while Mississippi Kites will peak one or two weeks later...

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