Swapping birds for butterflies?

3 07 2012

Gulf Fritillary – Luke Tiller

Summer tends to be a bit of a doldrums for birding, even when you are on a whole new coast. The number of new things you can go look at or for tends to run out rather quickly when you are limited mainly to breeding birds. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule but between the beginning of June and the end of July I often find it hard to get motivated to go out birding. I guess that’s why butterflies have become popular with so many birders. They are out in summer when there isn’t much to look at bird wise, they sure are pretty and some of them offer the same challenges to identify them as birds, but with the bonus that they usually sit still long enough to get a photograph (well mainly).

Fiery Skipper – Luke Tiller

Talking of difficult to identify butterflies I spent an hour or so shooting mainly skippers yesterday at Lacy park in San Marino. Fiery Skipper  is a species I have seen in CT and has to be one of my favorite skippers as it is so brightly and distinctively marked. It’s all kind of relative though. According to Wikipedia there are 3500 skipper species across the globe and most of the seem to be a couple of centimeters long and be some variation on black, brown and orange. They are pretty much the shorebirds or gulls of the butterflying world: at times interesting and frustrating.

Umber Skipper – Luke Tiller

As with anything new there is always an element of learning process where you realize that you spent ages looking at something and still didn’t actually pick up on the salient field marks, the good thing about butterflies is that they usually give you enough time and allow close enough approach to get a decent reference photo. Although they aren’t going to surplant my love of birds any time soon butterflies at least make for a welcome summertime distraction.

Marine Blue – Luke Tiller

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