Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Joe Neal report from September 24, 2011

Please click on Joe Neal's photo of caterpillar to ENLARGE and click on enlargement for closer view.

Jacque Brown and I birded the upper Buffalo River in Newton County on
Saturday September 24. Jacque had seen a small thrush flock, probably
Swainson's, in Lost Valley on the 23rd. We did not refind this flock,
but did get close looks at a Wood Thrush. At one point at least three
Barred Owls were singing back-and-forth, always a pleasure, especially
so in the highly acoustic confines of a narrow Ozark "holler". On Cave
Mountain we had one each of Philadelphia Vireo, Hooded and Magnolia
warblers, an American Redstart, and another Barred Owl. Jacque found
what I assume is the last ripe pawpaw of the season, then spotted on
another pawpaw tree a singular caterpillar composed entirely of long
lime-green hairs; reminded me of a wig my daughter Ariel wore for
Halloween years ago. I sent an image to entomologist Don Steinkraus
who identified it as a spotted apatelodes (Apatelodes torrefacta), a
species of moth in the Bombycidae, the same family that contains
silkworms. He said it produces an attractive gray-colored moth. I
counted at least 10 hummingbirds visiting flowering jewelweed
alongside Boxley millpond.

JOSEPH C. NEAL in Fayetteville, Arkansas

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