Friday morning, I went back to Hondo Canyon to look for butterflies and birds, this time with Rebecca, a woman from the Thursday birder group who is also into butterflies. She was hoping to see the Great Purple Hairstreak that Melissa and I found last weekend.
First, the birds. At the waterfall, we heard a warbler singing nearby. Unsure if it was a Yellow-rumped or another species, I tracked it down. It was a male Virginia’s Warbler, the first for the season. In the junipers above the waterfall we ran into a Steller’s Jay (seemingly at a low elevation but an Abert’s Squirrel, usually tied to higher elevation ponderosa pines was also nearby) and a woodpecker that flew in turned out to be a Red-naped Sapsucker, a bird new for the county!
But the main reason was the butterflies. Things were quiet until we got to the waterfall where several species were fluttering around the stream below the cliff. Short-tailed Skippers were rather common, as were Rocky Mountain Duskywings, Thicket Hairstreaks, and what we felt confident calling a Mylitta Crescent, although it doesn’t match most photographs of this species I could find. It seems too light, especially the outer three bands on the forewings.
Above the waterfall, we found many species along the water in the stream as well as in the dry gullies higher up. We did see the Great Purple Hairstreak again, always a treat! Some Field Crescents gave us trouble–small orange and black butterflies are very similar. A few lighter duskywings were mixed in with the darker Rocky Mountain Duskywings, but I think they are the females of that species. Maybe.
After Hondo Canyon, we checked the nearby Ojito de San Antonio open space. Butterflies were few and hard to track down here, but we got good looks at more Field Crescents and a lovey bright green Juniper Hairstreak.
Here are the full lists for each spot:
Rocky Mountain Duskywing
“Sara” Orangetip sp. probably Southwestern Orangetip
Great Purple Hairstreak
“Spring” Azure sp. probably Echo Azure
cf. Mylitta Crescent
Ojito de San Antonio open space
Digrammia cf. curvata