Young Creatures in Transition

Leaf miner pupa – probably to be a small moth

I was a little surprised that the leaf miner I found on Crow Island last Saturday only stayed in its mine for a day or so before dropping out and pupating. Actually, at first I was just puzzled that I couldn’t see it in the leaf anymore, and it wasn’t obvious in the container I had kept it in. Finally I investigated a little more closely and noticed it had crawled up in side a fold of the moist paper towel that had been keeping the leaf hydrated. I finally got around to photographing it today. Based on the comment I got about it at bugguide, I should expect a small moth to emerge at some point. My hope is that I’ll be able to get some photos of it without it escaping.

This evening Rowan told me that she had found a Song Sparrow nest with a fledgling in it. She had been hesitant to talk about it because she felt bad that she had actually scared the fledgling. She heard peeping in a honeysuckle and moved a branch to look inside. It turned out that there was a Song Sparrow nest there, and a bird flew out into the yard. I asked her how she knew it was a fledgling, and she said it seemed smaller and didn’t fly very far. In hindsight I probably should have asked her a few more questions, as it occurs to me now that perhaps it was a female sitting on a nest and she wanted to do a bit of a distraction. Though I’m not sure why she would have been cheeping. Rowan did say she saw an adult that appeared to be carrying flies.

I took a walk around the park this morning. It was even quieter than yesterday. I didn’t see any new migrants, and the Black-bellied Plovers that were there yesterday did not seem to be around today. I did hear the Red-breasted Nuthatch again and tried to find it without any luck. At one point it became hard to figure out what direction it was calling from, then it stopped all together (or did so at least long enough that I wasn’t inclined to keep waiting). While on my nuthatch chase I also heard a Brown Creeper singing.

Connor said he saw a robin working on a nest near the bridge in the park. Both kids saw a Song Sparrow gathering nesting material from our yard.

Weather-wise it started out sunny again. Clouds mostly held off for the morning over town (though many of the mountains were obscured by clouds), but later in the afternoon we had some showers move over.

While walking through part of the park this morning I found the sound of the city’s diesel generator fairly oppressive. It isn’t usually running, but when it does it makes a fast insistently throbbing low rumble that makes me feel a bit agitated at some level. The birds were still singing, maybe even more actively than on previous days. I don’t know if the birds are bothered by the sound or not. Perhaps its frequency is low enough that it doesn’t really impact their singing (which occurs at much higher frequency).

Mined grass blade

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